Zambia’s First President, Dr Kaunda, supports the push to end Statelessness

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President Sata with First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Former President Dr Kenneth Kaunda during the way of the Cross service at St Ignatius Parish on April 18,2014
President Sata with First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Former President Dr Kenneth Kaunda during the way of the Cross service at St Ignatius Parish on April 18,2014

 

Zambia’s First President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, has joined more than twenty international celebrities and world opinion leaders, including Kofi Annan, Graca Machel, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Angelina Jolie in the push to end statelessness.

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Dr Kenneth Kaunda, in communication to UNHCR through his office confirmed his support of the fight against statelessness.

 

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UNHCR on Tuesday 4 November 2014, launched a global “I Belong” campaign aimed at ending within 10 years the problem of statelessness – a devastating legal limbo for the millions of people worldwide who are not citizens of any state and lack any nationality and the protection of their human and civil rights that goes with it.

At least ten million people worldwide are currently stateless and a baby is born stateless every ten minutes. Not allowed a nationality, they are often denied the rights and services that countries normally offer their citizens.

“Statelessness can mean a life without education, without medical care or legal employment… a life without the ability to move freely, without prospects or hope,” the Open Letter said. “Statelessness is inhuman. We believe it is time to end this injustice.”

Most situations of statelessness are a direct consequence of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or gender. There is also a very real link between statelessness, displacement and regional stability.

UNHCR’s campaign is being launched amid signs of a shift in international attitudes surrounding statelessness. Just three years ago, there were barely 100 States parties to the two statelessness treaties – the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Today the number of accessions stands at 144, bringing critical mass within reach.

60 years after the United Nations first agreed to protect stateless people, the open letter calls on the international community and individual governments to end statelessness itself.

 

President Kaunda stated that although he has been busy with some events around the death and funeral of Fifth Republican President Michael Chilufya Sata, he wishes UNHCR to know that he supports actions against statelessness.

 

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