Zambia’s President Michael Sata has stressed the need for global partnerships to address issues of poverty and development, and lay the groundwork for a new sustainable development agenda.
Speaking to the ongoing 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York Tuesday, Mr. Sata said the importance of the intergovernmental processes and collaboration on sustainable development is critical and cannot be overemphasised.
He also stressed the need for a single set of universally-agreed goals reflecting sustainable development priorities which are ‘actionable, concise and whose implementation will resonate with different development and economic levels of member states’.
He emphasised the need for such goals to be ‘prudently balanced’ and ‘effectively integrate the economic, social and environmental aspects of development, in order to realise the desired objectives’.
‘To this effect, it is necessary to build global partnerships that are supported by commitments towards regional and international cooperation, anchored with mutual accountability, enhanced local private sector and public private partnerships,’ the Zambian leader stated.
On Zambia’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Sata disclosed that the country had made ‘tremendous progress’ on Goal 4, which calls for reducing by two-thirds the
percentage of under-five mortality rates, and Goal 5, which calls for reducing by three-quarters maternal mortality ratios.
‘The national MDG report also indicated that while the challenges are still immense, Zambia has made great strides in its fight against HIV and AIDS, and ensuring that people who are living with the virus receive the best of care and access to social protection services,’ he said.
He, however, noted that the country faces challenges in lowering the levels of poverty and unemployment.
‘My government has taken an unprecedented painful step of curtailing subsidies on fuel and maize, thereby releasing much needed resources’ for programmes that specifically target poverty alleviation,’ the Zambian President said.
PANA reports that the General Assembly debate is centred around ways to accelerate progress in achieving the MDGs and to set the stage for a development agenda after the 2015 deadline.