Monday, November 04, 2013

Kasese-Bota urges concerted efforts against poverty
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Fri 11 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

ZAMBIA's permanent representative to the United Nations Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota has called for concerted efforts to combat poverty with special attention on employment generation especially for the youth and other vulnerable groups.

Addressing the Third Committee of the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, Ambassador Kasese-Bota said the government was committed to the social development of its people through policy and structural transformation aimed at improving their social economic wellbeing.

She said the Zambian government had repositioned its national development plans to be all-inclusive, people-centered and focused on achieving desired growth outcomes with social integration elements.
She said the government was cognisant that empowerment of women, youths and the needy in the country was the quickest way to reduce poverty.

"High poverty levels, social vulnerability, inequality and social exclusion, higher rates of unemployment especially for the youth, and major health challenges and illiteracy rates still pose challenges to sustainable development," she said.

She told the UN meeting that Zambia was one of the countries with the "success stories" in attaining the MDGs on universal provision of primary education.

Ambassador Kasese-Bota said Zambia had reached over 90 per cent enrolment in primary school, coupled with gender parity.

"Commitments towards significant improvement of literacy levels for all at both national and the international level should be prioritised as education remains key to inclusive social development and empowerment of the vulnerable in our societies," she said.

"The MDGs contributions are tremendous, but more needs to be done to accelerate the progress for the attainment of the MDGs."

She said the post-2015 Development Agenda - expected to succeed MDGs - should aim at expedited elimination of "all forms of poverty".

Ambassador Kasese-Bota said Zambia, in collaboration with relevant partners, had embarked on review and amendment of labour laws to update and align them to international labour instruments, and harmonise them with other national policies and legislation.

On women's protection, Ambassador Kasese-Bota said Zambia was cognisant of the current society imbalances that subject women to social exclusion, vulnerability and inequalities.

She said the government was implementing the gender policy that addresses gender inequality and made deliberate effort to appoint women in influential positions in Government to address the inequalities.

Ambassador Kasese-Bota urged the international community to prioritise social development in the post-2015 Development Agenda.

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