Mutharika to leave for UN…not taking whole village with him

Peter Mutharika

President Peter Mutharika will be going to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and with him it will not be a huge group as done previously.

The President will only be accompanied by 19 people during this year’s trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), government has said.

Peter Mutharika
Peter Mutharika

Mutharika will attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America from September 19 to 25.

Malawi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano told members of the press in Lilongwe that Mutharika will lead a 19 member delegation, which includes three cabinet ministers, senior government officials and members of the media.

Fabiano said during the trip, Mutharika is expected to deliver a statement to the assembly on September 20 and he will also attend a number of high level meetings and side events during the meeting.

According to Fabiano, the meetings include participating at the United Nations Private Sector Forum under the theme “Financing the 2030 Agenda: Unlocking prosperity.”

Mutharika will also present a keynote address at the official launch of the of the Impact Parity Report, a keynote address at the Global Partnership on Education in his capacity as Global Champion of Education and another keynote address at the 10th CEO Investor Summit.

The president is expected to present Malawi’s position at the High Level Meeting on sexual Exploitation and Abuse. At the High Level meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, the president will seek solutions to the emerging challenges of trafficking in persons, amongst other engagements.

Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister said the participation of Malawi at the UNGA is of great significance to Malawi and its developmental goals.
“Just like all other assemblies, this session is also very important. However, it is different because it is focusing on people, which means the meeting will make efforts to address all aspects of human endeavours,” he said.

Fabiano added that these human aspects in focus include education, safety and security and nutrition and development.
“We know that we cannot achieve our objectives of serving people better if we do not look at development as our main agenda. We believe the discussions and all agreements that will be made will contribute meaningfully to the development of Malawi and other countries under the UN,” he said.

On last year’s trip, Fabiano said some non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and others from the private sector approached government to have their representatives accredited by government to enable them to attend the assembly.

“These organizations met their own expenditures. But because they went on government banner, the general public thought government paid for all of these delegates,” said Fabiano.

He said it is because of this misconceptions that this year government instructed that only those people coming from the government side will be on the official government delegation list.

“And for your information, not all the 19 people that are going to this year’s General Assembly are all being funded by government. Other officials including an officer in my ministry are being funded by other organizations like the UN,” the foreign affairs minister assured Malawians.

He added that all ministries will be responsible for their respective delegates hence it would be difficult at the moment to establish the exact cost of the trip.

This year’s UN General Assembly will be held under the theme “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”.