Mutharika Declares 73rd UNGA Meeting Fruitful

President Professor Peter Mutharika has described this year’s 73rd United Nations General Assembly as fruitful and said Malawi will continue participating in the coming assemblies.

He said the meetings were of mutual benefit as Malawi learnt a lot and also contributed to the assembly. He said his cabinet ministers that accompanied him presided over high level meetings and made presentations that put Malawi on the map.

“Our attendance at the 73rd assembly was important. We learnt a lot of challenges we are facing and how we shall pursue our future agenda. The meetings were fruitful. We shall continue participating in these meetings. We benefitted and we also contributed to the meetings,” said Mutharika.

He was speaking Monday in New York when he addressed the Malawi media that accompanied the Malawi delegation to the assembly.

Mutharika reiterated his and African Union’s position on the need for the UN to accommodate African representation through two permanent seats in the Security Council.

   We contributed to the meeting- Mutharika

“There is no governance in the UN. We have spoken and they know our position. We need good faith. They need to know that global position has changed,” said Mutharika.

Commenting on the visit to Malawi by US First Lady Melania Trump, Mutharika said: “We are very excited that she is coming. This is great honour to Malawi.”

Trump is on a solo international visit to four African countries of Malawi, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt. She announced her visit during reception she hosted for First Ladies who had accompanied their husbands to the UN.

Mutharika’s first meeting to attend at the UNGA was the Global Peace (Nelson Mandela Peace) Summit where he said Malawi will always go out to defend peace wherever it is under threat.

He also co-chaired with former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown a high-level meeting at the UN International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity where he called on countries to invest in education.

At the media briefing with Malawi media, the president said his government will have to do more financing towards education to ensure that every citizen gets education. He said the Ministry of Education gets the lion’s share of the national budget.

Mutharika said with better funding, his government will eventually abolish all fees in secondary schools. He said the recent abolition of tuition fees in secondary schools is the starting point.

In his official address to the UN delivered on September 28, Mutharika spoke strongly against the hypocrisy in the world body. He asked the UN to accommodate two permanent seats with veto power and five Non-Permanent seats for Africa in the UN Security Council.

As one of the 30 global champions for HeForShe, Mutharika attended and addressed the UN HeForShe summit where he told the world that the fight against gender-based violence must always take an integrated approach.

At the press conference with Malawi media, Mutharika said women and girls should have access to funding to make them independent of men. He said gender-based violence is a serious problem globally.

The Malawi leader held bilateral talks with several world leaders including US president Donald Trump who also hosted the presidents to a reception.

Mutharika flew to Washington University where he was conferred with Doctor of Humane Letters which is awarded on an individual in recognition of their impact to the welfare of the global humanity.

In an interview Mutharika said: “This is the highest degree a university can offer and it is offered very rarely. I am delighted to receive it.”

Malawi’s delegation included five ministers and a deputy minister: Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Jean Kalilani, Minister of Labour Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila, Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi, Minster of Home Affairs and Internal Security Cecilia Chazama and deputy minister of Defence Everton Chimulirenji.

All the ministers attended high level meetings in line with their ministries at the United Nations.