UNITED Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has asked President Lungu to repeat some parts of his state of the nation address speech at the UN high-level meeting in New York.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Wednesday night that Mr Ban has requested President Lungu to repeat some of the things he said to the nation in his state of the nation address at the high-level meeting in New York.
Mr Chanda said the UN thinks that the fundamental pronouncements President Lungu made during the ceremonial opening of the fifth session of the 11th National Assembly last Friday go very far in addressing issues on which the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set.
“His Excellency Ban Ki-moon has specifically requested President Lungu to co-chair the high-level panel discussion of 142 countries,” he said.
Mr Chanda also said the UN would want President Lungu to speak on those issues because they cut across the aspirations of the organisation, and can be used as a model in addressing the challenges which they think it is now facing.
“As you know, the MDGs were set in 2000 to 2015, so the United Nations is impressed with some of the fundamentals laid down in the state of the nation address by President Lungu,” he said.
Mr Chanda said these will be the two most important engagements by the head of State at the UN General Assembly in New York.
He said President Lungu will make a key note address to the UN General Assembly tomorrow and at the high-level panel discussion.
He also said President Lungu will meet several heads of State who have requested to meet him.
Mr Chanda said one of the major bilateral meetings that President Lungu will have, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, is with Chinese President Xi Xinping and many other European leaders who have requested to discuss bilateral cooperation with him.
And Mr Chanda also said President Lungu will meet Barrick Gold, the owners of Lumwana Mine and Turkish investors.
“The Zambians based in New York have requested the party secretariat to put up ‘the Meet the President Dinner’ which is a private arrangement” he said.
The President, who was accompanied by Mr Chanda and some senior Government officials, was seen off by Vice-President Inonge Wina.
The President departed for New York aboard a chartered plane at 23:50 hours on Wednesday night.
And CHAPADONGO LUNGU reports from New York that President Lungu landed at JFK International Airport at 11:00 hours (local time) and 17:00 hours (Zambian time).
About 11:30 hours, the President arrived at New York Palace Hotel where he was received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga and Minister of Gender Nkandu Luo.
Others who received him were Zambia’s ambassador to Washington Palan Mulonda and Zambia’s UN permanent representative Mwaba Kasese-Bota.
A heavy schedule, starting with a maiden speech to the UN General Assembly tomorrow, other bilateral talks and courtesy calls await President Lungu.
The General Assembly will be opened by Pope Francis today.
President Lungu, who was in a jovial mood, remarked before greeting Grand Coalition on the campaign for a people-driven constitution chairperson Father Leonard Chiti that: “Are you a party cadre?”
And Zambians resident in the US will today host a dinner for President Lungu with a rich cast of musicians among them JK, Macky II, sentational gospel artiste Kings Mumbi alias Malembe Malembe and Mampi.