Zambia, Sri Lanka confer

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PRESIDENT Michael Sata on Wednesday held bilateral talks with his Siri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the ongoing 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

Mr Sata and Mr Rajapksa held their closed-door meeting at the New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan where they discussed a range of issues affecting their countries in various areas of human endeavour.
President Sata’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah disclosed that the Siri Lankan President took advantage of the meeting to officially invite Mr Sata for the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government meeting later, this year.
Earlier, Mr Sata also met UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe who commended Zambia for her commitment in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS by reducing infections and ensuring access to medication.
Mr Sidibe, who is also the UN under-secretary general said UNAIDS would engage the Zambian Government together with partners like Global Fund and PEPFAR to accelerate the achievement of the MDG on HIV/AIDS.
President Sata told a high-level special meeting on follow-up efforts made towards achieving the MDGs that Zambia had developed an MDGs acceleration framework aimed at addressing the multi-faceted nature of poverty.
He said special attention had been paid to employment creation, especially for youths, women and other vulnerable groups and that in line with the 2013 Africa MDG report, the framework enhanced efforts to reduce inequality by pursing inclusive growth strategies.
Meanwhile, First Lady Christine Kaseba has said the world is noticing Zambia’s strides in maternal and infant health care delivery as well as women and youth empowerment.
Dr Kaseba said during a tea party business forum organised by the Laura Bush Foundation for First Ladies who are in their respective countries’ delegations to the 68th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly here.
“I am happy that the world is taking notice of our efforts. This is a sign that we are doing something positive to better the lives of our women and youths,” said Dr Kaseba who is also a World Health Organisation (WHO) Ambassador.
The First Lady was particularly happy with the organisations that participated in the event including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Vision and others that provide scholarships for girl children.
She said the issue of scholarships was close to her heart because the high illiteracy levels among women and youths was partly due to lack of sponsorships opportunities especially at secondary and tertiary stages.

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