The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Thursday granted the first meeting to this year’s General Assembly to Malawi’s leader Peter Mutharika.
From bookings from several world leaders to see him, the secretary general suspended his busy schedule on Thursday morning to host Mutharika first.
In an interview, the Malawi leader expressed delight and gratitude for being given precedence over a horde of close to 200 world leaders to meet the UN’s chief executive.
“I feel this is an honour and privilege to the people of Malawi that were the first ones to have a meeting with him during this year’s General Assembly,” said Mutharika in an interview with Nyasa Times at the end of the 15 minute meeting.
The 69th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 69) convened on Tuesday, 16 September 2014. However, the General Debate, when world leaders speak to the Assembly, will open on Wednesday, 24 September 2014.
The debate’s opening was postponed from Tuesday, 23 September 2014, to accommodate the Climate Summit (resolution A/RES/57/301 and decision 68/512).
The meeting was Mutharika’s first as Malawi’s president having been elected to that office just about three months ago in the May 20 Tripartite elections.
The two leaders, Mutharika and Kin Moon, meeting in the board room of the Secretary General’s office on the 38th floor of the Secretariat Building discussed wide-ranging issues, including the critical role that Malawi is playing in the UN system.
“The Secretary General also commended us for the peaceful transition of power that we experienced in Malawi after the tripartite elections,” said Mutharika who besides attending scheduled UN meetings will use his time in the US to court trade and investment opportunities.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues focusing on Malawi and other regional issues as well as the wider global world.
Malawi together with South Africa and Tanzania contributed troops to the Force Intervention Brigade in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mutharika is in the United States of America to attend the 69th United Nations General Assembly which he is expected to address. He left the country on Sunday, 14 September.