UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia Kanni Wignaraja Zambia should demonstrate to the world that it will always vote on the side of peace and tolerance.
In her message to mark the world holocaust day which falls today Wignaraja, the freedoms from want and the freedom from fear are still far from being realized in many parts of the world.
She noted that since its independence, Zambia continues to enjoy peace and stability amidst turbulence in the region.
“It has been a source of hope and a new home, for so many who went in search of security, safety and a new life. And it must continue to be so, also for all those within its borders, and demonstrate to the world that it will always vote on the side of peace and tolerance, without which there can be no progress on the Millennium Development Goals and no prosperous human development,” she said.
Wignaraja said that even as we praise the accomplishment of Zambia, there is need to pay attention to broad based policies and institutions like those that support the freedom of information and participation that promotes open and responsive issue-based dialogue and accountability between state and citizen.
She observed that there is need to support policies that promote civic education especially among the young so they become engaged responsible citizens in their countries” governance, and policies that encourage greater inclusion of women in political and economic governance, to empower half the country’s population to benefit as much from the country’s progress.
“Today people all over the world come together to commemorate the holocaust – as those united in a common vision and sense of purpose that we must together stop such events from ever happening again. And hence that one cannot and should not forget.
“The great advancements of the 20th century have also been accompanied by violence with its two world wars, genocides and civil wars that are together perhaps without historical parallel. And add to this, the day to day insecurities, threats and breach of human rights that goes on with impunity. When living in fear, or in contexts of great instability, the goal of human development seems far out of reach, no matter what the investments are in growth and development.
“Without the achievement of these two fundamental freedoms, human development is stifled. At the middle of this mix are the powerful principles such as equality, tolerance, inclusion, non discrimination and justice. Violence is often precipitated where the respect for and practice of these principles, through the support for human rights, remains absent in legislation, in policy and in action.
“Today, as we reflect together on past atrocities such as the holocaust, we know we must act together to avoid such occurrences, no matter where and no matter why. The United Nations is fully committed to promoting and protecting fundamental human rights and to support Zambia to continue along a peaceful and tolerant path, that is the only way forward for long term human development,” Wignaraja said.