The Malawi Government sponsored MANA has a glowing article on the recent controversial trip by the Malawi President to the United Nations.
Many Media observers blame the President for taking a bloated delegation to the meeting when the country is undergoing hard economic times. However Mutharika insisted that most of the delegation was sponsored outside Government coffers. However this appears to have fallen on deaf ears in the country.
Below is the full reporting by MANA on the trip?
President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s trip to the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), proved to be one of the most successful by any Malawian leader in many decades.
To have Malawi represented by an eminent development-conscious leader is what struck the cord so well for the country at a gathering that brought together over 140 Heads of State and Government and thousands of other delegates from across the globe.
What made the 70th session memorable is that it came at the turn of global development paradigm shift as world leaders deliberated on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a substitute of the previous master-plan Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Officially opened on September 15, the session ran under the theme “The United Nations at 70: The road ahead for peace, security and human rights”.
The SDGs are a landmark agreement of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” This agenda consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, and will form a development blueprint for the next 15 years.
President Mutharika views the categorization and setting of the 169 targets as a pragmatic way of walking the talk in as far as the blueprint is concerned.
He is of the view that unlike the previous global agreements, these SDGs will have proper checks and balances along the way for individual countries as such, Malawi will be able to measure her own progress and fine-tune in case of any sidetracking.
His statement at the UN Summit on SDGs centred around his and his people’s commitment to achieving the set goals with full inclusivity of key sectors of society such as women and the youth. In addition, he singled out access to higher education, promotion of human rights and rule of law as equally crucial aspects towards achieving the SDGs.
Besides the summit on SDGs, the President also delivered the conventional UNGA statement in which he commended global societies for abiding to peace as a currency of development and being quick to avert any danger towards a repeat of pre-1945 atrocities.
Besides the SDGs Summit and the General Assembly itself, the Malawi leader attended close to 40 other engagements both on bilateral and multilateral platforms.
The engagements can best be categorized in two; there were those that the President just attended and many others where he was a keynote speaker or chairperson due to his vast knowledge and experience in his field of expertise.
Owing to the fact that he has been in office for just close to 18 months, the global recognition President Mutharika signifies how ready the world is to embrace Malawi on a well-defined path to development. The world now knows that Malawi is ready informed by the new development philosophy that the new government has brought in.
Prominent among his many engagements was hosting the High Level Event on Higher Education which is coincidentally a strategy for delivering the SDGs. As one of the six eminent and accomplished scholars who make up the Higher Education Champions, Mutharika reiterated the importance of higher education, and its potential to transform Malawi in particular and Africa in general.
The hectic schedule in New York involved long working days and nights of engaging key stakeholders in line with Malawi’s developmental goals.
From education, health, youth and women empowerment and agriculture to mining, rule of law and social programmes among other thematic areas, the President kept abreast his promise of improving the livelihoods of his citizens. He spoke to these stakeholders with full realization of home-grown solutions in a global context.
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, of the Kingdom of Norway, His Excellency Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete and many others are some heads of state who paid courtesy call to the Malawi leader to discuss crucial issues.
In addition Mutharika met top officials from Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) where they corporately discussed the progress of the Millennium Challenge Account – Malawi, an MCC-funded project that aims at facilitating economic growth through the energy sector.
In between the high level meetings, the President found time to sell Malawi as an investment destination through meetings with potential investors who already have seen the bankable projects compendium that was put together by the Malawi Trade Investment Centre (MITC).
When all is said and done about this year’s UN trip, it will go down into the history books as one where a Malawi leader redefined and repositioned the country’s strategic posture in world affairs for many years to come.