Mr. Israel Dessalegne - UNDP Resident Representative a.i.

Ms. Sylvia Chalikosa, Hon. Minister in the Office of the Vice President

His Excellency Mr. Hidenobu Sobashima, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia

Mr Steven Mwansa, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President

Senior government official present

Colleagues from the United Nations,

Civil society, private sector, media and colleagues,

For decades, Zambia has shown its solidarity and humanity to those fleeing violence and persecution from neighboring countries, the region and even further afield. The world remains in great turmoil, and we all continue to count on Zambia to maintain this approach to those seeking a place of greater safety. UNDP will continue to support the government and people of Zambia in this.

In addition, in the case of Angola and Rwanda, where refugee status no longer applies, the Government of Zambia has offered those former refugees who have lived for many years in Zambia and who do not wish to return to their countries of origin, the option of taking permanent residency here in Zambia. UNDP has supported the creation of a Sustainable Resettlement approach to bring together those new permanent residents and Zambian citizens, on a 50-50 basis, into new communities.

Underpinning this Sustainable Resettlement approach are all the concepts of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, most particularly Leave No-one Behind. The Sustainable Resettlement Approach is innovative and forward-looking,  and is a model for working with such communities in other parts of the world.

The Sustainable Resettlement approach recognises three strands of growth necessary to create communities that are cohesive, productive, sustainable and fully integrated into development at all levels. First, these new communities need to be integrated into government planning at national, provincial and district levels so that their needs can be determined and prioritised through a consultative process that includes the community, and prioritised through the structures and processes of the 7th National Development Plan. This is essential to grow a cohesive and sustainable new community.

Second, the communities in and around the sustainable resettlement schemes need to have access to social services and sustainable economic opportunities. Again, this is directly in line with the targets of the 7th National Development Plan. Planning for social services should flow from the first target of integrated and inclusive planning, and we look to the line ministries concerned to give due priority to these new communities. Planning for sustainable economic opportunities looks directly to agriculture, fisheries and livestock, as well as community development, commerce, trade and industry (for cooperatives) and also to the private sector in terms of investment.

Third, we need these new hybrid communities, which bring together people from many different places, to be tolerant, inclusive and integrated with the surrounding society, enabling people to live in peace and harmony to realise their individual and collective aspirations. This requires projects to build social cohesion and governance structures and methods. It is more than civic education, though that would certainly form part of it.

Today, we are gathered for the official launch and handover of the USD 500,000 USD generous support from the Government and People of Japan for the Promoting Human Security Through Sustainable Resettlement Programme in Zambia for 2019-2020. These funds will be used to support all three strands of growth mentioned above.

We thank the Japanese Government for their generous contribution.

Thank you.

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