Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila has said that his Ministry will start conducting paperless meetings as one way of fighting climate change.
The Minister said this during a quarterly meeting with Heads of Missions and International Organizations resident in Malawi.
As a norm, the Ministry holds quarterly meetings with Heads of Missions and International Organizations aimed at discussing and sharing information on matters of mutual interest between the Government of Malawi and Members of the Diplomatic Community with residence in Malawi.
Kasaila was briefing the meeting on, among others, Malawi’s participation at the recent 2019 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in New York, United States of America (USA) in September, 2019 under the theme “Galvanizing Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Change and Inclusion”.
He indicated that in the margins of UNGA, Malawi attended the Climate Action Summit that announced concrete actions to counter climate change that was affecting many countries, Malawi inclusive. Kasaila gave an example of the heat wave that the country is currently experiencing which he pointed out as one of the possible impacts of climate change.
“This heat wave might be a result of climate change and as you can see it is not a good thing at all. The country can lose lives of people and livestock, among other things, that is why it is incumbent upon every one of us to take decisive measures to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.
“Energy can be saved if people who are employed use less paper, the environment can be protected since less paper would be utilized and disposed not to mention the enormous expense that Government itself can save,” said Kasaila.
The Minister also stated that the paper free meetings would include the quarterly briefings for the diplomatic community.
The Minister also announced that this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will organize a tree planting event with the diplomats during the tree planting season and every Friday shall be a car free day for the Ministry’s Management team and as such they shall use non-motorized means of transport. He added that this covers the Minister, Principal Secretary, all Directors and Deputy Directors.
Among other things, the Minister briefed the diplomatic community on the post-election developments and other current activities happening in the country, meetings that Malawi has participated, high level visits that Malawi has had, upcoming events and reminded them of diplomatic standard procedures that they need to follow when dealing with the Government of the Republic of Malawi.
In his remarks, His Excellency Jorge Gune, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Mozambique to Malawi and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, thanked the Government of Malawi for being transparent and accountable when dealing with the Diplomatic Community.
He said the quarterly meetings go a long way in providing a platform for consultations and its importance can never be over emphasized.
“As a diplomatic community here in Malawi, we appreciate the efforts you make for smooth and effective diplomatic work,” Gune said.
Gune also commended the Minister for advocating for paperless meetings as a way of mitigating climate change.
During the meeting, the diplomatic community had a chance of asking all their burning questions as well as elaborate to Government on issues that Government needed clarification. These meetings are held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation quarterly.