African countries will not relent in pushing for a seat in the Security Council of the United Nations until their wish is granted, Malawi’s President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has said.
President Mutharika said this in New York, USA during a news conference with Malawian journalists on the round-up of activities at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Malawi leader was part of world leaders and non-governmental actors from 193 member states who attended this annual global meeting.
In his speech to the General Assembly, the president came out strongly for Africa’s inclusion in the Security Council, the key organ in making decisions on world affairs.
President Mutharika said the UN is not being democratic in sidelining a representation of 1.2 billion people from Africa.
“In terms of balance of power, you have countries in the council that represent a very small section of the international community.
“And they run to our countries to talk about democracy and good governance. There is no good governance in the organisation,” he said.
Mutharika’s call reflects Africa’s common position on the UN Security Council reforms through the Ezulwini Consensus made in Swaziland in 2005 and adopted the same year at an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union in Ethiopia.
With 54 countries, Africa forms the largest bloc in the world body but lack representation in a number of departments, agencies and organizations under the UN.
“We need representation not only in the Security Council but even in key jobs at the UN.
“For example, you find most retired heads of state from western countries are special envoys to this or that. Africa has so many former heads of states but I don’t see one who is a UN special envoy,” Mutharika said.
Apart from pointing out the Security Council issue during the press briefing, the president also offered a summary of some of the high profiles engagements he attended before, during and after the general assembly.
Mutharika was invited to attend 38 side events but managed to personally attend 16 of them, with the rest being delegated to the three ministers who accompanied him to this year’s UN General Assembly and the two Malawian ambassadors in Washington and New York.
President Mutharika was invited to address most of the events he attended because of the roles conferred to him on the global stage.
As global champion of education, the president co-convened an international meeting with leaders from Norway, France and Senegal on plans of how to finance education in the next three years.
Under the Global Partnership for Education initiative, the meeting focused on addressing the education crisis that has left close to 260 million children and adolescents out of school.
Malawi President also addressed a conference on fast tracking the end of Aids by sharing Malawi’s success stories in the containment of the epidemic.
“Malawi has done well in a number of areas. It is a leading country in the prevention of mother to child transmission and provision of universal support and care to people living with HIV/Aids,” Mutharika said.
Other high profiles events included addresses to the UN General Assembly, the HeforShe International meeting in ending child marriages, a meeting with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on the US$350 million power line project in connecting Malawi with Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.
Mutharika also met the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita regarding bilateral relations among the many engagements.
Furthermore, the President interacted with the Malawian community in USA where issues of investment by local Malawians abroad and the enactment of new law to provide for dual citizenship took centre stage.
The Malawi leader also met a Brazilian company which intends to invest in the agriculture and mining sector in Malawi.
President Mutharika said it is very important for Malawi to participate in these kind of events because this where major decisions about world issues are made.
“Our coming to the UN General Assembly is of great benefit to Malawi. You kill so many birds with one stone because everyone is here.
Instead of flying say to Japan and Britain to meet country leaders there, you all meet here to exchange ideas. That’s the beauty of coming to the UN because it helps to strengthen relationships,” Mutharika said.
This year’s UN General Assembly was held under theme “‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :