Speech by HE Peter Mutharika at the 69th UN General Assembly1 Comment

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Posted on 26 Sep 2014 at 8:33pm


Mr. President
Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr. President on your election to preside over the 69th
Session of the General Assembly, and to wish you all the success in this position.
I have no doubt that your election at this critical juncture in the history of human kind, will
provide an opportunity, to increase global awareness of the enormous challenges that Africa, and
other less developed regions of the world, are facing.

Your great country of Uganda, has historically enjoyed close ties with my country, Malawi. My
delegation is therefore, delighted to see you in this important position. Let me assure you of my
full support and cooperation, and that of my government, during your tenure of office.

Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador John William Ashe, for
guiding the work of the 68th Session, with admirable skill and pragmatism. I would also like to
thank His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moo, Secretary General of the United Nations, for the
steady manner, in which he continues to lead our global organization. NATIONAL ELECTIONS
Mr. President,
On 20th May, 2014, my country held its first ever tripartite elections, which enabled Malawians
to choose their political leadership, through a democratic and peaceful process. The elections
ushered me into office, as the fifth President of the Republic of Malawi. I would, therefore, wish
to inform this Assembly, that despite few challenges, the elections were free, fair, transparent
and credible. In this vein, let me seize this opportunity, to thank all electoral stakeholders,
both local and international, for their dedication to ensuring successful elections in my country.
Malawi has come out of the election much stronger than before.

Mr. President,
On 6th July, Malawi commemorated her Golden Jubilee of Independence. As we commemorate
these 50 years of peace, law and order, we have tasked ourselves, to take stock of the development,
which the country has registered, since 1964 as well as deal with challenges facing the country.

Much as the country has made some strides in the diverse sectors of national development, there is
still more to be done, in order to uplift the living standards of the many Malawians, who continue
to remain below the poverty line. They too dream of a better future that is only possible if we
work with unity of purpose. In a quest to take development to their micro level, my government has
embarked on a journey, to transform Malawi, for the delivery of satisfactory services to Malawians
especially the poor and the marginalized.

Mr. President,

As you are aware, Malawi was the chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), from
August 2013 until August this year. During our term of office we strove as a region, to achieve
durable and long lasting peace and stability in our countries.

In this vein, let me commend my country Malawi, and the countries of Madagascar and South
Africa for holding peaceful and credible elections. Mr. President,
The SADC Group has been undertaking a number of efforts aimed at ending the cycle of conflicts and
violence in the region. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), SADC deployed the Force
Intervention Brigade (FIB), comprising troops from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania, under the
aegis of the UN Organization Stabilization Missions (MONUSCO), as authorized by the Security
Council’s Resolution 2098 of 2013. SADC is happy and I daresay the international community as well
with success that the FIB has achieved this far making the M23
and other negative forces in the country surrender. In Madagascar, SADC played a crucial role in
bringing back constitutional normalcy in that country.

In terms of international peace and security, I would like to share with this august gathering that
Malawi has always rendered political support for the disarmament of all weapons of Mass
Destruction. Towards this end, we have supported the resolution aimed as nuclear disarmament in the
General Assembly. Over and above this, a couple of months ago, my country held an in- country
workshop to come up with implementation mechanisms of resolution 1540 at national level to prevent
the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.

On the same subject, Mr. President, in the Middle East, Malawi is always disheartened by the
continuing violence and loss of life and property due to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
This cannot go on forever. We trust that the Two-State Solution to the conflict, with Israel and
Palestine living side by side, in peace and harmony, is the only viable way to achieving lasting
peace in the region.

We encourage both sides to the dispute to denounce violence, exercise utmost restraint and employ
dialogue as the sure tool to reach a political settlement.
The choice of “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post 2015 Development Agenda” is the
theme for this session of the General Assembly, could not be more appropriate. The fight against
poverty, hunger, and inequality, constitutes the greatest challenge of our time. The theme further
augurs well with the plans and aspirations of the people of Malawi.
Malawi appreciates the consultative nature of designing the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Let me,
therefore commend the Secretary General’s initiatives, to ensure an inclusive process,
leading to the Post 2015 Development Agenda. With financial and technical support of the UN, more
than fifty (50) countries conducted national consultation, whereby the people provided input and
direction on the post 2015 development framework.

I am pleased that Malawi was one of the countries selected for these national consultations. The
post 2015 Development Agenda ought to reflect the needs and priorities of the developing world.

Mr. President,

It is important that, the next global development agenda, should draw lessons on the successes and
challenges of the current blue print, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Rather than seeing
2015 as an end point, we must review it as the beginning of a new era; an era in which we eradicate
extreme poverty, protect the environment and promote economic opportunity for all. The MDGs have
played an important role, in concentrating our efforts around the
common purpose of eradicating poverty. They have raised public awareness about unacceptable levels
of poverty, and helped to mobilize action towards a fairer world. The MDGs provided a common
framework for monitoring progress, highlighting areas of achievement, as well as challenges.

Mr. President
Malawi is on track to achieving four (4) of the eight (8) MDGs, namely:

   Reducing child mortality
   Combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other diseased;
   Ensuring environmental sustainability; and
   Developing a global partnership for development.

However, we are unlikely going to meet the other four goals, namely:

   Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
   Achieving universal access to education
   Ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women; and
   Improving maternal health
Malawi, will, therefore, be proceeding to the post 2015 development agenda, with unfinished
business of the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. President,
One reason why developing countries, like Malawi, have failed to achieve all the Millennium
Development Goals is inadequate resources. Commitments made by development partners have been
unpredictable and often times not fulfilled. To achieve delivery of the post 2015
Development Agenda, the global community should not repeat this mistake. More importantly,
accountability and transparency as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be promoted.

It is, therefore, imperative that as we move closer to welcoming the new global development agenda,
we should all be mindful of the importance of global partnership or effective development
cooperation. This would ensure successful implementation of programmes in the Developing Countries

Mr. President
The post 2015 development agenda should not be looked at as a one size fits-all global development
framework. Malawi is looking forward to a framework that is common, but differentiated enough,
where developing countries, depending on their special needs and unique characteristics, will have
flexibilities in implementing programs.

My delegation is pleased with the tremendous progress made, thus far, in defining post 2015
development agenda. It is in this context that I would like to reiterate and confirm Malawi’s
commitment to achieving sustainable development in three interconnected dimensions; economic
development (including the end of extreme poverty), social inclusions, and environmental
sustainability. I am convinced that Member States, gathered here today, will own the outcome
document of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and be committed to its full implementation. It is
also encouraging to note that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that emanated from the Open
Working Group on Sustainable development Goals (SDGs), have incorporated the development concerns
of both developed and developing countries.

Mr. President
As the August House is aware, the year 2015, will mark the seventieth anniversary of the United
Nations. As such, it will be an occasion for us all, to bring in new energy to the organization,
and carry out the important reforms that we have been calling for ever since. For instance, the
limited representation in the Security Council, in view of the current challenges of the
twenty-first century, is a source of great concern. Only by expanding the number of permanent and
non- permanent members of the Council, and by including developing countries, in both categories
shall we solve some of the legitimacy deficits the Council currently suffers.
Mr. President,
In conclusion, I want submit that the centre of the Post 2015 Development Agenda should be to
address the plight of hitherto disadvantaged groups such as women, girls and persons with
disabilities in the world. It is a well-known fact that the ugly face of poverty manifests itself
through women, girls and persons with disabilities.

It is sad that Africa, the continent to which Malawi belongs, shares the following worrisome
statistics in terms of human development:
   Its shares a global poverty is as high as 30 percent
   Forty (40) percent of the continent’s under five children are stunted
   Africa’s share of global child mortality is 50 percent; and
   Fifty (50) percent of Africa’s children are out of school.
I urge that the Post 2015 development Agenda should prioritize such challenges for redress.
Africa has already spoken clearly about its priorities through the Common African Position on the
Post 2015 Development Agenda and through the African Union Agenda 2063 which aspired for a
prosperous, peaceful and integrated Africa.
In this vein, I wish to call for adherence to global partnership for effective development
cooperation principles by all stakeholders in implementing and delivering on a transformative Post
2015 Development Agenda. Malawi will use her position as Co-Chair of the Global Partnership for
Effective Development Cooperation to help realize this cause.
I thank you for your attention.