LUSAKA, May 27 - Zambia's ambassador to the Vatican Anderson Chibwa has reaffirmed the country's resolve to work with the Holy See and the international community to diffuse regional conflicts.
Mr Chibwa said this when he presented his credentials to his Holiness Pope John Paul II.
He said Zambia would maintain close co-operation with the Holy See in fostering international peace, debt and poverty reduction, maintenance of good governance and upholding of human rights.
Mr Chibwa expressed appreciation to the Pope about the Vatican's concern for the development of Africa.
He said the benefits of globalisation were not being passed on to Africa and instead defiant manipulations continued to harm the continent through unfair trade, inappropriate investment and declining commodity prices.
He further informed the Pope that Zambia was one of the few countries on the continent that had enjoyed peace and political stability since independence in 1964 but continued to face many challenges like HIV/AIDS.
Mr Chibwa said the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS was threatening the development gains of the past decades by threatening both human welfare and social stability in the country.
Stressing that AIDS had not just become a public health problem but also a development issue, the ambassador said Zambia's debt burden was one of the biggest constraints in reducing poverty.
He said Zambia, therefore, looked to the Holy See and the good will of the international community for concerted efforts in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.