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Zambia: Lusaka takes up 32 landlocked countries’ chairmanship

Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia has taken up the chairmanship of the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), a grouping of 32 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, for a two-year term.

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic handed over the chairmanship to Zambia on Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Zambian Mission at the UN disclosed in a statement Tuesday.

Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Richard Nduhuura said it was befitting that a woman had taken up the position of LLDCs chairperson.

“It is most appropriate that we support Zambia whose mission is led by a lady who is very distinguished to lead this group,” Nduhuura stated.

Swaziland’s permanent Representative Ambassador Zwelethu Mnisi expressed confidence in the Zambian envoy’s abilities to lead the group.

“Zambia is very capable of leading from the front; so my Government has mandated me to put forward the name of Zambia to be the head of the Group,” said Mnisi as he praised Zambia’s good relations with Swaziland and other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Rwanda urged Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mwaba Kasese-Bota, to help landlocked countries with promotion of trade.

Accepting the chairmanship, Kasese-Bota assured the member states that Zambia would serve with efficiency and assiduousness befitting the group’s aspirations.

“We are in a very vital period of redefining our development priorities and trajectories with the global transition towards the post 2015 Development Agenda,” said Kasese-Bota.

South Sudan was admitted to be the 32nd member of the LLDCs Group. Of the 32 member countries, 16 are in Africa, 12 in Asia, two in Latin America and two in Central and Eastern Europe.

According to the UN, lack of territorial access to the sea poses persistent challenges to growth and development of LLDCs and has been the main hindrance to their ability to better integrate in the global trading system.

The transit of export and import goods through the territory of at least one neighboring State and the frequent change of mode of transport result in high transaction costs and reduced international competitiveness.

Pana 19/03/2014