UN member states eager to learn about Malawi experiences

Preparations are almost through for the United Nations 67th General Assembly in New York, USA with most of advance delegates arriving for the world’s biggest annual summit.

Malawian President Joyce Banda and her entourage who left Saturday afternoon are expected to arrive in New York on Monday, September 17, ahead of the expected official opening of the summit’s general debate on September 25 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The theme for this year’s summit, expected to host over 193 heads of State and Governments, is ‘Adjustment/settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means.’

Mcheka Nkhoma at the UN headquarters. Pic Francis Mphweya (MANA)

President Banda, one of the two female African Presidents, is also expected to make her maiden statement to world leaders on Wednesday, September 26, just after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s UN Mission Deputy Resident Representative to New York, Esther Mcheka Nkhoma has said most UN member states are anxiously looking forward to listening to President Banda about the experiences the country has gone through since taking over power in April 2012.

The deputy resident representative told Malawi’s official news agency MANA in New York, the country will showcase that it was indeed a peaceful nation owing to the peaceful power transition after the death of former leader Bingu wa Mutharika.

“Most member states are eager to learn about the developments that have taken place in Malawi since President Joyce Banda took over government,” Nkhoma told Malawi News Agency reporter who will be covering the summit in New York.

She said during the event Malawi will present a report on progress the country has made with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) in place as a catalyst for fulfilling the MDGs.

The UN Mission Deputy Resident Representative said of critical importance was the fact that Malawi had made strides in fulfilling at least five of the eight goals.

“What is more significant is that Malawi has demonstrated its commitment in satisfying the UN Summit’s agreement to meet some of the goals by 2015 in the area of improving child and maternal health, access to universal primary education and gender equity and empowerment,” she said.

She also said Malawi had made significant inroads in terms of eradicating poverty and hunger, citing the recently introduced initiative by the president.

President Banda launched the multimillion presidential initiative on hunger and poverty reduction in Mangochi which aims at engaging small scale farmers in both crop and livestock production.

Apart from attending and addressing the UN General Assembly, President Banda is also scheduled to hold a number of official engagements among them receiving awards.

The Malawi leader will receive the ‘African Most Influential Female Leader of the Year’ award from the Global Forum on African Women In leadership on Friday, September 21 where she will also be giving the luncheon lecture at Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

She is also expected to receive another award from the African-American Institute (AAI) and have an opportunity for an audience with the world’s most influential leader US President Barack Obama.

The awards come a few weeks after she was also ranked the most powerful woman in Africa and 71 in the world, by world renowned American Forbes Magazine.

President Banda will also have a task to lure investors while attending a Malawi Investors Forum organized by Standard Bank and an Investment Summit for African Heads of state at the New York Stock Exchange.

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