Our Perspective

      • 'Neither a producer nor user be': Zambia and cluster munitions | Kanni Wignaraja

        10 Sep 2013

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        Kanni Wignaraja, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Zambia.

        Zambia is familiar with the issue of cluster munitions, a form of explosive weapon that can be air-dropped or ground-launched and releases smaller sub-munitions. Commonly known as cluster bombs, they are designed to kill people, destroy vehicles or buildings and disperse over wide swaths of land. The bombs that remain as unexploded ordnance stay dormant for years, and kill and maim children or farmers clearing forests and fields long after a conflict has ended. A national survey conducted in Zambia between 2006 and 2009 revealed that landmines, which pose similar threats, still existed in six border provinces, and remnants of cluster munitions were found in the western and northwestern regions of the country, a cruel legacy of neighboring conflicts. Cluster bombs are an impediment to development, and costly to locate and remove, a price borne by a country that was never a producer or a user of cluster munitions. This is not a new story, nor is it a Zambia story alone, as many communities around the world have suffered from the devastation caused by cluster munitions, across generations. But the motto “neither a user nor a producer be” accurately defines Zambia’s role as a standard-bearer on the issue, and shouldRead More

      • A Story of Urban Renewal – The Rebirth of Livingstone / By Kanni Wignaraja

        26 Aug 2013

        The excitement of the UNWTO event is ephemeral, a fleeting moment that will come and go in a blink of an eye. But the renewal of Livingston as Zambia’s tourism capital will remain with us. This is often the longer-term value of such occasions, as it provides the host with an energy and opportunity to invest in the much needed urban renewal that a middle income country must strive for, even amidst a plethora of development challenges. It is a part of an uneven growth that all parts of the world experience as they go through spurts of reform and rejuvenation. The story of the city of Livingston is charged with history – a story of exploration, discovery, natural magnificence and mystery. This is its past, and one we must honor and project well into the future. For too long this adventure capital has been a quiet forgotten backwater, with little new investments in the past twenty years to allow it to grow as a ‘living’ city and not just a forgotten memorial to the past. Nature has been bountiful and the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ lives on in all its glorious seasonal hues, but it also takes proactive and positive humanRead More

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