UNWTO General Assembly: Zambia President Michael Chilufya Sata opening speech

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (eTN) - Current Zambia President Michael Chilufya Sata has been the fifth President of Zambia since 23 September 2011.

UNWTO General Assembly: Zambia President Michael Chilufya Sata opening speech

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (eTN) – Current Zambia President Michael Chilufya Sata has been the fifth President of Zambia since 23 September 2011. A social democrat, he leads the Patriotic Front (PF), a major political party in Zambia. Under President Frederick Chiluba, Sata was a minister during the 1990s as part of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government; he went into opposition in 2001, forming the PF. As an opposition leader, Sata—popularly known as “King Cobra”—emerged as the leading opposition presidential contender and rival to President Levy Mwanawasa in the 2006 presidential election, but was defeated. Following Mwanawasa’s death, Sata ran again and lost to President Rupiah Banda in 2008.

Below is the speech by His Excellency the President of The Republic of Zambia Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata at the official opening of the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) General Assembly at the Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe on Sunday, August 25, 2013:

“Your Excellency, Comrade, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Amai Mugabe; Your Excellency, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO; The Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Comrade Joice Mujuru; The Vice President of the Republic of Zambia Dr. Guy L. Scott; Honorable Walter Mzembe MP, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry for Zimbabwe; Honorable Sylvia T Masebo, MP, Minister of Tourism and Arts for Zambia; Honorable Ministers present; His Worship the Mayor the Town of Victoria Falls; His Worship the Mayor of the City of Livingstone; Your Royal Highnesses, Senior Government; Officials from Zimbabwe and Zambia; Member of the Diplomatic Corps; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

“First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, on his re-election as president of the Republic if Zimbabwe.

“Comrade Mugabe, well don’t to you and your party Zanu-PF on your landslide victory just ending general elections. Your victory signifies the trust and commitment the people of Zimbabwe have in you and the Zanu-PF.

“In congratulating you I would also like to reaffirm my government’s commitment to further strengthen our already warm bilateral relationship for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.

“I am happy this evening to join my brother and co-host president Comrade Mugabe in participating in the opening ceremony of the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, being held in Victoria Falls Town.

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“As a co-host of this General Assembly, I am glad to note the very large number of delegates have come for this session. We thank you for your presence.

“May I now turn to the secretary General of our World Body on Tourism Your Excellency Dr. Taleb Rifai, I thank you and your staff for your passion and commitment to promote the work of the UNWTO.

“Distinguished Secretary General under your leadership of the UNWTO Secretariat Southern Africa has for the first time in the history of the organization hosted the UNWTO General Assembly.

“I look forward to other regions of Africa that have not done so to host similar events in the future in accordance with the principle of rotation and collective ownership of the UNWTO member states.

“The 20th session of the UNWTO comes against the background of a global realization that tourism is a sector of significance and importance, with great potential in contributing to the wealth of nations.

“It can also contribute to the diversification and transformation of national economies.

“In this regards, the co-hosting of this important tourism conference by our two countries is a clear testimony of our commitment to exploiting the regional potential of the tourism sector.

“As you meet to discuss issues that will help us make tourism a global agenda, I would like to emphasize to you that well-designed and managed tourism can make a significant contribution to sustainable development, create decent jobs and generate trade opportunities for our countries.

“In this vein, I wish to call for increased support for sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity building that promote environmental awareness, ecosystems and cultural diversity, and improve the welfare and livelihoods of local communities by supporting their local economies and the human and natural environment as a whole.

“Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to conclude by acknowledging the hard work and dedication that our two host ministries have put in organizing this gathering. You have done a commendable job and I congratulate you all.

“Once again the Secretary General and staff of our organization deserve our appreciation for their technical and logistic support. As for your distinguished delegates, we are greatly honored with your presence in our region.

“May I now end my statement by wishing our distinguished guests, God’s blessing and fruitful deliberations.”

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