Sata leaves New York

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PRESIDENT Michael Sata has left New York after attending the 68th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

President Sata was seen off by Foreign Affairs Minister Wylbur Simuusa, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda and his Community Development, Mother and Child Health counterpart Joseph Katema.

Others who were on hand to see off the President were Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States (US) Parlan Mulonda and Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mwaba Kasese-Bota.

From New York Palace Hotel in the central business district of Jersey town in  midtown Manhattan, Mr Sata headed for John F Kennedy International Airport for his journey back home.

He is accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba, who has had a series of meetings with cooperating partners here, and the President’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chella.

Meanwhile, Zambia has condemned the terrorist attacks on Westgate Shopping Mall in Kenya that left about 67 people dead.

Mr Simuusa offered Zambia’s condolences to the families of the dead, the people and the Government of Kenya.

“I wish, on behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Zambia, to offer sincere condolences to the people and the Government of Kenya on the loss of life that has arisen from the senseless violence that was unleashed in the last few days in Nairobi. Our thoughts and support are with Kenya,” said Mr Simuusa at the UN headquarters.

The minister condemned the violence and terrorist attacks in Kenya when he addressed a special meeting on the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region earlier this week.

African presidents continued addressing the UN General Assembly on Friday, where they highlighted the progress the continent was making to reduce poverty and improve the wellbeing of their people.

More than 120 Heads of State and Government have been addressing the General Assembly during its week-long high-level general debate that started on Tuesday last week.

President Sata was one of the 30 Heads of State and Government who addressed the General Assembly on the opening day of the general debate on Tuesday.

Mr Sata on Thursday also attended a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, with Zambia being among the signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said his country’s progress had stalled in the areas of eradication of poverty and hunger, child mortality, universal access to maternal and reproductive health, and access to portable water and sanitation, mainly due to a lack of financial capacity.

His hard-hitting speech which in some parts singled out the West for blame on some of the woes on his country prompted the US and British delegations to the General Assembly to walk out of the debate.

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