President Peter Mutharika has called upon the international community to come together and address climate change and its effects as the same is reversing development gains in the world especially in least developed countries such as Malawi.
Mutharika was addressing the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations in New York .
The Malawi leader said adverse effects of climate change such as floods and drought are pushing many vulnerable people into poverty all over the world and running counter to robust fiscal and macro-economic reform programs countries such as Malawi are implementing to stimulate economies.
‘‘[ In Malawi ]Our only major setback in the last two years was the effects of climate change. In 2015, we experienced the worst forms of floods which affected over half of the country.’’, Mutharika said.
President Mutharika said the situation repeated itself in 2016 but in a reverse fashion.
‘‘In 2016 the opposite happened and drought scorched half of the country again. This problem has brought us hunger as we could not produce enough food for two consecutive years.’’, Mutharika added.
Mutharika said while the government of Malawi is trying all it can within its means to assist the millions affected, international assistance is still required to fill resource gap. ‘
‘As I stand here, 6.5 million people will this year require food assistance. My Government is doing all it can to provide for these people. However, we need and seek the external support of our cooperating partners and multilateral institutions within and outside the UN system. We still need US$246 million for this cause.’’, he added.
The Malawi leader said as its commitment towards addressing climate change, Malawi would sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Earlier, US President Barack Obama, who will leave office in January, spoke for the last time at UN as American leader, agreeing to an international deal on climate change.
Obama warned that there are deep fault lines, however, in the international order causing the massive refugee crisis, economic disruptions and insecurity.
“We see too many governments muzzling journalists and quashing dissent and censoring the flow of information,” he said. “Terrorist networks use social media to prey upon the minds our youth, endangering open societies and spurring anger against innocent immigrants and Muslims.
“Powerful nations contest the constraints placed on them by international law. This is the paradox that defines our world today,” Obama added.
Obama spoke for about 45 minutes. Traditionally, the U.S. holds the second speaking slot of the debate, but Obama arrived late to the hall and the president of the General Assembly skipped over him to the next speaker, Chadian President Idriss Deby.
Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the annual meeting for the final time. He leaves office after a decade at the end of this year.
Ban released years of pent up anger at leaders and countries who have contributed to suffering and conflict across the globe.
He took particular aim at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the wake of an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy Monday that killed 20 people.
“Just when we think it cannot get any worse, the bar of depravity sinks lower,” Ban said. “The humanitarians delivering life-saving aid were heroes. Those who bombed them were cowards.”
The United Nations has been forced to suspend aid convoys because of the attack.
“A political transition is long overdue. After so much violence and misrule, the future of Syria should not rest on the fate of a single man,” Ban said of Syria’s Assad.
The U.N. chief also expressed “regret and sorrow” for two of the biggest blights of his tenure – the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the sexual abuse and exploitation of civilians by U.N. and foreign troops in Africa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :