Trudeau 'reaffirms resolve' to carry Nelson Mandela's torch


President Edgar Lungu got down to business in NY ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the legacy of Mandela was front and centre throughout the assembly's opening day, whether at the unveiling of a statue in his grinning likeness or during a peace summit in his name, where a parade of leaders and dignitaries defended the values he came to represent.

He was joined by ministers for National Development Planning, Alexander Chiteme (National Development Planning), Joseph Malanji (Foreign Affairs), Elizabeth Phiri (Gender), Zambia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe and Presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda.

He thanks the UN Secretary General and others for organizing the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit to honour such a great humanitarian leader who showed the path of true reconciliation to the world.

Zimbabwe's Head of State and Government is expected to present a statement at the Summit in support of the "Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace".

But Rouhani appeared to be taking aim at Trump and his pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexican border when he said Mandela was a model for the "historical reality that great statesmen tend to build bridges instead of walls".

U.N. General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said Mandela "represents a light of hope for a world still torn apart by conflicts and suffering" - but one where there are concerns about the worldwide community's ability to work together to resolve such major problems as poverty, hunger, war and global warming. "We hope we will prove ourselves worthy as the bearers of the legacy of Nelson Mandela".

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Mandela was a leader who showed how to use power for the benefit of the people and give up power without any greed for power, he said and added that there is a dearth of such leaders today. "Canada will always stand tall for democracy, the rule of law and human rights at home and overseas".

And NAFTA surely won't be far from Trudeau's mind this week, either-there's talk of a meeting on the summit sidelines between Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and USA trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

Trudeau also has a number of bilateral meetings with world leaders on his summit itinerary, including one earlier today with the prime minister of Nepal, who thanked Canada for its humanitarian help following that country's devastating natural disaster in 2015.

While Canada is keen to resume its efforts to secure a coveted seat on the UN Security Council, NAFTA - the government's main foreign policy preoccupation for the a year ago - won't be far from Trudeau's mind.

The governor said he was optimistic that at the next meeting of the Council on Prerogative of Mercy, the president would officially grant the pardon.

The hub in particular aims to improve the representation of women and other marginalized groups in sustainable infrastructure, develop infrastructure in emerging markets and ensure facilities are created to be resilient to the effects of climate change.