Malawian President Peter Mutharika will attend the forthcoming 72nd session of the United Nations General assembly to be held in New York, United States of America from September 19 to 25, government has confirmed.
Mutharika will lead a 19 member delegation, which includes three cabinet ministers, senior government officials and some members of the media. There will be no party representatives in the delegation.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano told journalists in Lilongwe that Mutharika is expected to deliver a statement to the assembly on September 20.
The president will also attend a number of high level meetings and side events during the meeting.
These include; participating at the United Nations Private Sector Forum under the theme “Financing the 2030 Agenda: Unlocking prosperity.”
He will also present a key note address at the official launch of the of the He for She Impact Parity Report, a key note address at the Global Partnership on Education in his capacity as Global Champion of Education and another key note address at the 10th CEO Investor Summit.
Mutharika is expected to present Malawi’s position at the High Level Meeting on sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
At the High Level meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, the president will seek solutions to the emerging challenges of trafficking in persons, amongst other engagements.
Fabiano said the participation of Malawi at the General assembly is of great significance to Malawi and its developmental goals.
“Just like all other assemblies, this session is also very important. However, it is different because it is focusing on people, which means the meeting will make efforts to address all aspects of human endeavors,” Fabiano said.
He added that these human aspects in focus include education, safety and security and nutrition and development.
“We know that we cannot achieve our objectives of serving people better if we do not look at development as our main agenda. We believe the discussions and all agreements that will be made will contribute meaningfully to the development of Malawi and other countries under the UN,” he said.
Fabiano said the delegation President Mutharika is leading probably has the least number of delegates compared to those a sitting president in the past had led.
He cited an example of the 2015 delegation to which many Malawians bemoaned as having far too many delegates for a struggling economy like Malawi.
However, Fabiano said not everyone who went UNGA then under the government banner was sponsored by government.
According to Fabiano, some nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s), civil society organizations (CSOs) and others from the private sector had approached government to have their representatives accredited by government to enable them to attend the assembly.
“These organizations met their own expenditures. But because they went on government banner, the general public thought government paid for all of these delegates,” said Fabiano.
He said it is because of this misconceptions that this year government instructed that only those people coming from the government side will be on the official government delegation list.
“And for your information, not all the 19 people that are going to this year’s General Assembly are all being funded by government. Other officials including an officer in my ministry are being funded by other organizations like the UN,” the foreign affairs minister said.
He added that all ministries will be responsible for their respective delegates.
“As such, it would be difficult at the moment to establish the exact cost of the trip” he said.
This year’s UN General Assembly will be held under the theme “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :