Malawi President Peter Mutharika leaves for the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which begins at the UN Headquarters in the U.S. on Tuesday, 13 September.
Mutharika leaves for the UN General Assembly this Thursday but government officials are tight lipped on the size of the presidential entourage and the cost to the tax payer.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Francis Katsaira only said the government learnt the hard way last year and no irrelevant people would be taken this year.
”The government has instructed the US embassy to verify with my ministry anyone applying for a visa to go to the US for the UN General Assembnly and there is an instruction to all cabinet ministers to inform His Excellency the predident any officials from their ministries who will be going to the UN,” said Katsaira.
Last year the government took a whopping 115 people for the UN meeting who included irrelevant people like chiefs snd Democratic Progressive Party officials.
“This year the government has put in place measures to address the shortfalls that happened last year, the government has instructed the US not to issue visas to the US for the UN without the authority of my ministry,” he said.
He said the President snd other officials are expected to attend to attend to over 20 sideline meetings on trade and the economy among others.
Malawi is sailing through economic turbulent waters which has forced the President to cut on foreign trips and public officers are now asked to use economy class when travelling.
Kasaila also said President Mutharika would also use the opportunity to hold talks with Tanzania President John Pombe Magufulu where issue of border dispute on Lake Malawi or Lake Nyasa will be highlited.
“We are planning that the President should meet the Prime Minister of Japan, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Spain, Denmark, President of World Bank, President of Tanzania and United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon,” explained Kasaila.
He said that the UNGA conference was a unique one wherethe Head of State had opportunity to meet world leaders and build on the country’s reputation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :