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Mugabe Delegation Arrives in New York for UN General Assembly

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization FAO headquarters during a World Summit on Food Security, in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool)

President Robert Mugabe has arrived in New York to attend the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations with a team of ministers, including Environment Minister Savior Kasukuwere and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

The president is also accompanied by his wife, Grace, and several senior government officials.

The central theme for this year’s UN General Assembly meeting is “Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Agenda.” Questions of development will remain at the heart of the discussions during this session, though a number of high level meetings will also be taking place on the sidelines.

Mr. Mugabe and Kasukuwere will on Tuesday attend the special summit on climate change convened by the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon; a special summit on terrorism; the world conference on indigenous people while his colleagues in government, NGO representatives and others will attend other meetings on the sidelines of the general assembly.

A session will be dedicated to discussing the Ebola virus disease currently affecting at least three West African nations. The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will address world leaders providing updates of the situation, what the AU has done and what is currently doing to halt the spread of the disease. The session will also be addressed by delegations from the affected countries.

President Mugabe and his team are also expected to participate in other important gatherings including the 2nd Japan-Africa regional economic communities summit roundtable; Africa-South America partnerships; coordination committee of the Africa-Arab partnership while Mumbengegwi and his team will attend political consultations between the Chinese government and African Foreign Ministers (FOCAC), among others.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma on Sunday met with UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon at UN headquarters to discuss issues of peace and security, with some focus on the Ebola virus.

Also in New York is Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, who is leading discussions at the Africa Travel Association (ATA) where he is the current president. ATA is meeting in New York for two days starting Monday to discuss ways through which more tourists could be attracted to the continent.

Top of the agenda, Mzembi told VOA Studio 7, is the Ebola virus that he says is threatening the tourism industry throughout Africa.