President Edgar Lungu has called on world leaders to uphold and honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela which was anchored on his principles and values of peace, reconciliation, tolerance and respect of human rights.
President Lungu told other world leaders that the legacy of Nelson Mandela of peace deserves the commendation of the entire global community.
Addressing the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, His Excellency the President said love, peace and forgiveness should continue to be at the core in seeking sustained global peace.
The Head of State said Nelson Mandela proved to the world that healing was possible and that reconciliation should remain at the centre of human development.
He stated that the values of struggle for human rights, sacrifice, mutual respect, tolerance and reconciliation should remain the bedrock for the search for lasting global peace.
“I am pleased that we are able to honour the legacy of a great leader and son of Africa, whose contribution towards global peace have remained for the world to emulate. The principles and values that Nelson Mandela and our founding fathers in Africa’s Frontline States stood for, that of sacrifice and struggle for human rights, mutual respect, tolerance and reconciliation in our relations should remain the bedrock in our search for lasting peace,” President Lungu said.
The President told the UN that Zambia in her quest for peace and the fight against apartheid became home to many of South Africa’s freedom fighters apart from hosting the African National Congress (ANC) from 1963 to 1994.
The African National Congress had its headquarters in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, and the country as one the Frontline States actively contributed towards ending the apartheid minority rule in South Africa leading to the eventual release of Nelson Mandela.
His Excellency President Lungu informed other world leaders that two weeks after Nelson Mandela was released from his 27 years of incarceration, the first visit the global icon undertook outside South Africa was to Zambia.
“This visit was in recognition of the efforts and great sacrifice the people of Zambia played in upholding the principles of peace and freedom. These are the virtues which form the foundation of human development. I therefore call upon the international community to redouble efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive world,” President Lungu said.
And United Nations Secretary General António Guterres described Nelson Mandela as a leader who had devoted his entire life to serving his community as a lawyer, prisoner of conscience and peacemaker.
Mr Guterres said world leaders need to face the forces that “threaten us” with the wisdom, courage and fortitude that Nelson Mandela embodied.
South African President Cyril Ramaposa said the Nelson Mandela Pease Summit is an opportunity for global leaders to reflect on the peace in the world and take necessary measures to end the wars that continue to take millions of innocent lives.