President Michael Sata has told the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil that Zambia is determined to implement strategies and policies that will promote sustainable development.
Sata who addressed the conference Thursday afternoon, said the Zambian government is committed to implementing its strategies and
policies on sustainable development through a green economy and poverty reduction policies as outlined in the draft outcome document
of the Rio+20 conference.
President Sata, however, noted that Zambia regrets the hazy commitments shown by member states and the partners on the means of
implementation of the conference which also marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
“Nevertheless, Zambia continues to implement sustainable development strategies as outlined in the country’s national development plans and
I am confident that the experience and discussions of this conference as well as the outcome document, if adopted, will form the mainstream
of green economies across many different sectors”, said the President.
The President, however, admitted that Zambia, like many other countries has grappled with finding a balance of economic growth,
social development and environmental sustainability due to the high poverty levels in rural areas where people totally depend on the
forest and environment for livelihood without any means of mitigating against their actions on the environment.
President Sata said despite the gloomy 60.5 per cent of people living in poverty in Zambia, the government will endeavour to work with the
private sector, civil society and international organisations, as well as its co-operating partners to mainstream sustainable development.
Zambia has also recorded an improved economic growth averaging of 5.6 per cent in the past decade despite the high levels of poverty.
He also reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to collaborate and work with the United Nations and its member states towards enforcing a coherent
and cohesive approach to building a better and sustained development for all.
The President said Zambia had set its conference expectations of the “future we want” with highest consideration and priority on tackling
poverty through socially inclusive economic growth, sustainable employment, renewable energy for all and ensuring food security which
all anchored on the back ground of protecting the environment.
“My government delegation here is happy that this conference has resulted in a document which, if adopted, could lead to implementation
of socially inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction for developing countries”, said President Sata.
The President told the conference attended by around 100 Heads of States and Government and over 50,000 delegates that the variance
between what Zambia had expected and what is ultimately in the draft outcome document demonstrates a spirit of multi-laterialism and the
attributes of give and take compromise.
“The Rio+20 conference should not be viewed as an end in itself but will indeed lead to the future we want”, noted President Sata.
He called upon the United Nations leadership of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to continue fostering the spirit of multi-laterialism in order
to ensure the successful implementation of sustainable development by all.
Earlier, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who spoke just before President Sata, urged the conference participants to leave Rio having made tangible commitments and a renewed global paradigm of sustainable development ‘for the future we want’, the conference theme.