Thursday, 16 December 2010


By Globe reporter
Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (DSG), Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro has asked African leaders to endorse the Great Lakes Region tool kit, which includes a Regional Certification Mechanism, legal harmonization, a database on resource exploitation, a pilot traceability project and a whistle-blowing initiative, to curb exploitation and illegal trade of natural resources.
Winding up her visit to Zambia, during which she attended the summit on Illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes region in Lusaka, Dr. Migiro urged the international partners to provide the necessary support to the ICGLR Secretariat to ensure the expeditious implementation of the Summit decisions.
Dr. Migiro commended Canada and Germany for their pledges of support to the ICGLR and encouraged other partners to join in.
“United Nations entities will continue to support the Great Lakes Region, both in tackling the challenges of the illegal exploitation of natural resources and in pursuing sustainable social and economic development by working in partnership with the respective countries to fully implement the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development” said Dr. Migiro. “The people of the region aspire to the dividends of peace.  They want jobs and opportunities ... freedom from fear ... a greater voice in the decisions affecting their lives ... the hope of seeing their children survive past childhood.”
She noted that for the people of the region to realize their legitimate aspirations; the devastating, illegal exploitation and illicit trade of natural resources, including by armed groups and criminal networks needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
 She observed that the plunder of natural resources had continued to cause instability, and it had engendered systematic and gross human rights violations leading to untold and unacceptable suffering in the region.
“This plunder is an underlying cause for, and exacerbates conflict.  It fuels illicit arms trafficking, especially small arms and light weapons. It undermines efforts for peace, stability and development,” she said.
She urged the private sector companies involved in extractive activities must act responsibly and refrain from sponsoring illegal exploitation of natural resources.
Dr. Migiro held a bilateral meeting with President Rupiah Bwezani Banda and discussed the country’s next president and general elections, issues of distribution of the bumper harvest and regional matters and the United Nations’ role and support to the country.
She also had bilateral talks with other visiting heads of state and also met members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Zambia.
In her meeting with the UN Country Team and staff in Zambia, the UN Resident Coordinator, Kanni Wignaraja informed Dr. Migiro on the preparations to implement the new UN Development Assistance Framework (2011-2015), the effort of the UN system in Zambia to harmonize and coordinate to “Deliver as One” under the UN reform agenda and on results achieved together with government, national and international partners towards the MDGs in Zambia. Members of the UN Country Team also briefed the Deputy Secretary General on the joint UN programmes and respective agencies specific works and challenges.
Dr. Migiro visited United Nations’ supported projects in the outskirts of Lusaka where she observed firsthand UN’s support to communities in social mobilization, health and disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation in Kamwala township.
Kamwala is one of the areas, which are prone to annual flooding, cholera and other water born diseases.

No comments:

Post a Comment