PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu arrived in New York yesterday for the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which began on Tuesday and the Head of State will be here until 21 September.
The President arrived at Terteboro International Airport in New Jersey, a state within New York City at about 07:18 hours local time (about 13:18 hours Zambian time), accompanied by First Lady Esther, his political advisor Kaizer Zulu, senior private secretary Daniel Siwo, Mwiinga Habeene the special assistant for economic affairs and Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe More than 100 Heads of State and Government are expected to congregate in New York in the coming days for the UN General Assembly which will officially be opened by the General Secretary of the global body Ban Ki Moon. The theme is: The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform the World. The City of New York is under tight security as global leaders converge to discuss many issues affecting the world including the new challenge the large movements of refugees, stateless and the internally displaced persons.
The city of New York becomes the busiest of all world cities as global leaders congregate here and although the leaders will be discussing the challenge of refugees, the question of the reformation of the Security Council is certainly going come up as African leaders are demanding a permanent seat.
The world has witnessed unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers with statistics indicating that approximately 60 million persons were either refugees, stateless or internally displaced persons and Zambia being host to many refugees for many years, US President Barack Obama has invited President Lungu to chair the round table on the subject which has now become a challenge in Europe and the US. President Lungu is expected to speak about the burden of hosting refugees which had become so unevenly distributed among countries as 80 percent of the world refugees population were being hosted by low and middle income countries.
Zambia is currently home to as many as 70 000 persons of concern and one of the few countries hosting refugees that offers full local integration to a number of former Angolan refugees.
The Head of State is expected to deliver his keynote address the 71st UN General Assembly on Tuesday after which the President will be expected to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The Paris Agreement was adopted by all the 196 Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in 2015.