Commonwealth Secretary-General, Sharma, to visit Kenya, Zambia
Sharma visit to focus on Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Kenya constitutional reform, young people, and bilateral issues
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will visit Kenya and Zambia next week to meet political leaders and discuss global challenges, key among them democracy and meeting the needs of young people.
In Kenya from 13 to 15 September 2010, Mr Sharma will address the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, whose theme is "Parliament and Development in the 21st Century".
Mr Sharma will also meet Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Attorney-General Amos Wako to discuss the Commonwealth's pledged support for implementation of Kenya's new constitution.
The Secretary-General will also meet the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Mr Achim Steiner, to look at ways of strengthening cooperation between the two organisations. Climate change is a major agenda area of the Commonwealth.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Sharma said that Kenya is currently taking very important steps in consolidating its democracy, and that the Commonwealth is ready to support the process.
“The recently concluded referendum that paved a way to reform the Constitution is a milestone in Kenya's history. It provides a strong basis for political stability and economic development. The Commonwealth is at the service of the country to support the changes for which the people of Kenya voted," Mr Sharma said.
The Secretary-General will be in Zambia from 15 to 18 September, where he is scheduled to meet President Rupiah Banda, Foreign Minister Kabinga Pande, and other senior officials. He will also be joined by Youth Minister Kenneth Chitungu in visiting the Commonwealth Youth Programme's Africa Regional Centre in Lusaka. The Centre coordinates responses to youth development needs in 19 countries in Africa, and also the three Commonwealth member countries in Europe.
“I look forward to my visit to both countries, to brief leaders on the current priorities of the association and to discuss how we can best serve the interests of our members,” he said.
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