Sata endorsement cheers Mutati

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FORMER minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Felix Mutati says he is honoured and humbled by Government’s decision to support his candidature for the position of secretary general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
And Mopani Copper Mines chairperson Emmanuel Mutati, the former minister’s older brother, said, “We are happy His Excellency has shown confidence in the young man [Felix] and we hope he gets the job…we hear there are four other candidates but we hope he gets it.”
Mr Mutati, who is the head of the family, said the endorsement shows the confidence President Sata has not only in the former minister but in the entire family, which is humbling.
In a statement he issued in Lusaka yesterday, the former minister thanked President Sata for the “personal endorsement” of his candidature and the strong support he has offered to this endeavour.
“It is a great honour to be my country’s nomination for such an important and prominent role in international trade and development agenda-setting.
“I trust that my experience in trade and development policy-making and negotiations at national, regional and international levels has given me sufficient knowledge to contribute effectively at a different level on the global stage,” Mr Mutati said.
Mr Mutati, who is MMD Lunte member of Parliament, said the UNCTAD is an important player in the global trade and development arena.
He said the UNCTAD mandate is to promote international trade with a view to accelerating economic development, formulate principles and policies on international trade and related problems of economic development.
Mr Mutati said UNCTAD is also mandated to initiate action for the negotiation and adoption of multilateral legal instruments in the field of trade.
He said he is looking forward to a productive and successful process that will hopefully culminate in a Zambian national holding what will perhaps be the highest position ever to be held by a Zambian within the UN system.
Mr Mutati believes the position will also give Zambia a voice and an important role in international trade and development.
He is also looking forward to the support of his colleagues, the Zambian public, the African and international communities between now and the time UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon will decide on his nomination for the position.
The UNCTAD fulfils a special mandate in the UN, the international trading systems and in shaping global trade and development policy debates.
It is an important mechanism for enhancing South-South and North-South dialogue and co-operation.
President Sata on Monday urged countries that attended the Boao Forum for Asia in China to support Mr Mutati’s candidature for the position of the Geneva-based UNCTAD secretary general.
Mr Sata made the appeal before delivering his remarks at the economic summit’s opening ceremony held in the coastal island of Boao, south of the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Mr Mutati’s candidature has also been expressly welcomed by MMD president Nevers Mumba even though it may mean losing a parliamentary seat which may fall vacant if Mr Mutati gets the job.
Dr Mumba endorsed the candidature through his spokesperson Muhabi Lungu on Monday.