‘World stands in great danger’–Mutharika

President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the world stood in great danger due to numerous challenges.

Addressing the 71st Session of UNGA in New York, USA, Mutharika said innocent souls continued to suffer in what he called tragedy of wars.

“Many lives are maimed, mutilated and curtailed. Political instability continues to shake foundations of our dreams,” he said.

He said the mission of any generation should be to leave the world a better place for next generations, and that “for us our mission is faced with mountains of challenges.”

Mutharika said conflicts had displaced communities from their homes and sent them into endless migration.

‘We are caught in endless cycles of suffering, violence, terrorism, radicalization, extremism, abductions, and human trafficking,” he said. “This is a story we cannot tell the next generation with pride.”

The Malawi leader also said the planet was also in danger with global warming threatening mankind’s existence what with cyclones, earthquakes, wildfires, extreme flooding and droughts causing problems.

“These dangers threaten fragile economies of Africa and the Third World everywhere,” Mutharika said.

On climate change, he said Malawi would do its duty to humanity, pledging that the country would sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“Malawi has already adopted a climate change policy which shall guide domestic implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.” We are moving on our climate action.”

He said Malawi’s only major setback in the last two years was the effect of climate change, pointing out that it experienced the worst forms of droughts in 2015 that affected more than half of the country.

He said 6.5 million people would this year require food assistance, adding his government was doing all it could to provide for these people.

“However, we need and seek external support of our cooperating partners and multilateral institutions within and outside the UN systems. We still need US$246 million for this cause,” Mutharika said.

He said Africa and the rest of the world was suffering from dehumanizing poverty, the pain of hunger, disgraceful inequalities and unjustifiable gender imbalances.

Most of the tragedies and challenges, Mutharika said, were of “our own creation and the solutions lie in our hands. The choices for human destiny, all over the world, lie with us in this Assembly.”

On health, he said Malawi was making exemplary progress in the sector, pioneering innovative approaches to the management of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

“We are among the few countries on the African continent that have successfully rolled out the ‘test and treat programme’. We are managing the pandemic,” he said.

Mutharika, however, appealed for more concerted efforts to manage non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

And speaking in his capacity as UN Youth Champion, the President said he was more than committed to the promotion of youth development and harnessing the demographic dividend in Malawi, across Africa and beyond.

Mutharika’s speech also touched on peace and security, saying Malawi was making great contributions to the UN’s peace operations through its soldiers.

The 71st Session of UNGA is being held under the theme ‘Sustainable Development Goals: a Universal Push to Transform the World’.

The 2016 General Assembly, which is taking place a year after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aims at reviewing progress countries have made in attaining the goals.

The Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to end poverty, fight inequality and fight injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 14 years. The SGDs build on the Millennium Development Goals— eight goals the UN set in 2000 to eradicate poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.

Mutharika in his address said Africa’s common position was that it believed that the attainment of the SDGs could not happen in an environment which was devoid of representation, fairness, efficiency, transparency and accountability at the United Nations Security Council.

“My country therefore earnestly supports efforts and work currently underway to find a suitable formula for that reform and revitalization of the UN and shall seek every possible way to contribute to the appropriate solution on the matter,” he said.

On trade, investments and markets, Mutharika said Malawi continued to open up the economy to and offer numerous investment opportunities.

He said: “We have opened up to investors in mining, manufacturing, agriculture and value addition, tourism, transport, water, energy, and financial sectors. We are rapidly improving our business climates.

“We are ready to do business with the world. I therefore invite the global community to patronize Malawi’s Annual Investor’s conference to be held in Lilongwe on 10TH and 11TH October 2016.”

He said Malawi was making every effort to overcome decades of underdevelopment, disease and hunger that had retarded the country’s development.

“This is our quest for the dignity of our people and their place in the world,” Mutharika said. After delivering his speech, the president later signed the Paris Climate Treaty at the UN Headquarters.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA