President Lazarus Chakwera has urged the United Nations to get reformed in its approaches and live by its promise of leaving no one behind when dealing with international affairs.
In his address to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday night, Chakwera said the UN promise to leave no one behind is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the principle that the UN body committed to.
Chakwera expressed concern that more than three and a half years since that commitment was made not much has been done with smaller nations and younger democracies around the world already feel like this was but just an empty promise.
“Today, not only do smaller nations and younger democracies like Malawi still feel left behind, but feel much farther behind than before,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader said despite the promise of leaving no one behind, global issues such as Climate Change, pandemics, regional insecurity and food shortages continue troubling developing countries such as Malawi which is a clear sign that such poor countries have been left behind.
Said Chakwera: “And as a result of our collective negligence, the global economy is now a house on fire, yet we continue to use evacuation methods that rush some nations out to safety while leaving the rest of us behind to fend for ourselves in the burning building.
“But if we are truly one UN family, then leaving no one behind has to be practiced, not just preached. If we are truly one UN family, we must reject any attempts to politicise human suffering by lobbying us to refuse the help of those some find politically offensive.”
Chakwera added that if the UN was truly one family, the organisation must get out of political posturing and welcome more helping hands in resolving the global problems.
For a way forward, Chakwera called for a reformed UN and argued that to get back on track, with so many left behind, the only thing to do is to concentrate the UN’s support on the most vulnerable for them to catch up.
The Malawi President pointed out that one problem in desperate need of a solution for the most vulnerable Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is the unsustainable debt levels and distress they bear.
“It is not for nothing that the Scriptures, which are regarded as sacred to more than half the people on this planet, describe unsustainable debt as a form of slavery.
“And as leaders of generations past worked together to end old forms of slavery, so we too must work together to end this new form,” said Chakwera.
He noted that the beginning of breaking the chains holding vulnerable countries back, is through debt relief.
“Let me hasten to add that as President of a country that stands to benefit from debt-relief measures, I do not regard my country as entitled to such, and am in fact fully committed to be held accountable for the responsible use of these life jackets,” added Chakwera.
He said as the President of one of such countries he recognizes that the LDCs too must prove their worthy of such assistance by using it to cushion citizens against the worsening financial volatility, trade cost, and human suffering the debt and other external factors are causing.
Apart from such humanitarian reforms Chakwera also said their was need for the UN to work into defending the rights of smaller nations, a call which was also recently made by the USA President Joe Biden.
“For that to become a reality, US President Biden’s recent call for this UN Family to defend the rights of smaller nations as equals of larger ones must not only be applauded. It must be uploaded,” said Chakwera.
He said as African member states, they do not wish to go back to the UNGA next year with no progress made on the African Union’s Ezulwini consensus, which demands two permanent seats with veto power and five non-permanent seats for Africa in the Security Council.
Said Chakwera: “That is the UN we want. That is the UN the world needs: A reformed UN that practices the equality and democracy it preaches; a reformed UN that is not constantly polarized by nuclear powers stuck in cold war mindsets; a reformed UN that uses its multilateral muscle to give equal attention to the interlocking issues of public health, food insecurity, climate change, and conflict, regardless of where they emerge or whom they affect.
“A reformed UN that gives equal weight to all its members who give it meaning, not just those who give it money. Because we are one humanity facing the same storm in the same boat.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :