30 September 2020
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Full UNGA Address by President Mutharika: For My Country And The Voiceless Of The Developing World

Written by  President Mutharika

New York, USA, 26 September, 2019: Let us begin by listening to the voice of silence— the voice of those who cannot speak but waiting for the actions of this Assembly.

As we speak, there are many losing this precious life because we cannot protect them. Many escaping from their countries because we cannot protect them.

There are many helpless children and women being trafficked and sold like cargo without value. Because we cannot protect them! There are many vulnerable children heading families or failing to go to school.

As an organization, we have urgent work to do!

We are a generation with a place in history. We are a generation with a mission. And let us remember: time has a way of punishing history if we don’t take the right actions today. We have to take the right decisions. Our decisions and actions today may return in time to haunt us.

The United Nations is an organization with a mission in human history. This organization was founded on three pillars:

a) Peace and security
b) Human rights
c) Development

This is our mission. This is the burden of our generation!

This is our turn to do what is right for humankind. This is our time to make a difference to humankind. And the United Nations is our ultimate weapon to make a difference to human existence.

No matter what happens, we should never, never lose faith in this organization. Let us agree with Samantha Powers that “Whatever its flaws, the United Nations is still the only institution that brings together all the countries of the world.”

Mr. President

This year, we have met as an alliance of nations determined to fight a common war. We declare war on poverty; declare to end education inequality; declare war on climate change and declare to fight for inclusion of minority nations.

The world has enough resources to eradicate poverty. We have enough resources to send every child to school. We have enough means to slow down climate change and save the planet. We only need to think as one humanity, with one goal and put together our resources.

But the trouble with multilateralism is that it is only one percent of the world controlling ninety-nine percent of our resources. It is those controlling resources of the planet who are the real decision makers of human fate on Earth.

This global inequality in decision-making undermines the United Nations ability to make the world a better place.

Poverty eradication remains an elusive objective in Sustainable Development Goals. Unfortunately, for some countries in this Assembly, poverty is a leverage for controlling other human beings of other places.

Many people of the world struggling in poverty are amazingly hard-working individuals. Many leaders in developing countries strive with the best intentions to improve lives of their people. We all wish our people well!

Africa is not poor by the will of its people. This is the continent that has suffered the worst history of exploitation from slavery, through colonialism to the aid regime of the last sixty years.

History knows us! We have built empires and cities of the West with our blood, sweat and minerals. Africa has given more resources to the developed world, much more than we ever receive in aid or any rhetoric of philanthropy.

Today, the more we strive to build our economies, the more climate change undermines our economies with disasters and external shocks. And yet, the leading architects of climate change are outside developing countries.

As I speak, poverty thrives in the Least Developed Countries. The Sub-Sahara is one of the worst affected regions of the world. This region has more people trapped in poverty than any other part the world.

Africa has a rising population of youth and women. This booming population of the youth and women trapped in poverty is a great danger to the world. Women and children are the worst victims of poverty.

Poverty is dehumanizing. Poverty is a tragedy of the people! In their quest to survive at any cost, poverty is a breeding ground for radicalization in Africa. A radicalized youth in any part of the world poses a threat to all parts of the world.

This is one reason we must collectively act on poverty, and act swiftly. Here is a reason we must empower the youth as a common front of humanity. We can save the world by empowering the youth and educating the child.

The cost of poverty; the cost of a radicalized youth; and the cost of a children bred by ignorance will always surpass any investment we can do today.

Sadly, there are millions of children who cannot access quality education everywhere in the least developed countries. There are many left behind in the digital divide.

As a United Nations, we cannot therefore, claim to be making progress towards the 2030 Agenda if a significant part of the world population is left behind.

We need to re-examine the underlying causes of poverty, take concrete measures to address them with speed. Let us move with speed to empower youth and women.

Let us move with speed to eradicate poverty! Let us promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. We must reduce inequalities and create greater opportunities for all.

Mr. President

On this account, Malawi has taken pragmatic measures towards eradicating poverty in a bid to achieve sustainable development.

My Government is implementing the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III. This is the overarching national development framework that targets Sustainable Development Goals.
Our progress is satisfying.

We are implementing Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs. We are implementing Social Support Programs that target the ultra-poor and vulnerable in the country.

We are also providing free access to basic social services such as health and education. In order to sustain these programs, we have consistently increased budgetary allocations to the country’s key sectors of Agriculture, Education, Health and Social Welfare.

My Government has also developed a National Social Support Program to guide the delivery of social protection services. The program provides a comprehensive social protection response. It offers women and children preventive,. protective and life-changing interventions in a multi-sectoral approach.

One flagship program in this category is Social Cash Transfer. This intervention targets women, children and the most vulnerable in our society.

This intervention provides a predictable cash flow to cushion vulnerable households. We also have an additional top-up value for all school going learners.
This program has taken hopeless people out of poverty, improved school enrolment and retention, and reduced
extreme hunger.

The program has so far benefited a total of 1.2 million individuals from 280,000 households. These are mostly child and female headed households.

Mr. President

There can never be meaningful development without the inclusion of youth and women. Therefore, my Government has established a number of youth-centered programs.

These programs are set to drive youth empowerment. And we have proven results and testimonies of real lives transformed.

We have focused on empowering the Youth with skills. We have introduced a progressive skills education program for the Youth of Malawi who have finished secondary school. We target empowering the masses of the Youth who do not have access to university education.

We are empowering the Youth with skills to create their own jobs and businesses. We want the Youth to be masters of their destiny.

Thus, we are constructing community technical colleges in every part of the country. We have started with a community college in every district.

Now we are moving to bring a community college in every constituency. Every constituency will have a good secondary school and a community technical college. Our goal is to empower and create equal opportunities for all the Youths of every part of the country.

Our Youth empowerment programs complement our programs for
empowering women. There can never be a society without women. There can never be development without including women.

We have stepped up the inclusion of women in decision-making positions. For rural women, we have increased social protection measures that target women.

We now provide soft loans to rural women for them to invest in small and medium businesses. This initiative now benefits over 4.5 million women. Our goal is to include women in economic activities.

Mr. President

The United Nations agreed that education is a human right.
Education is a primary responsibility of the State. Every country is doing its best to educate its people.

Education creates a human society that understands its problems and equips the people with the capacity to solve their problems. Investing in education is the best way of investing in all other sectors of society. That is why in Malawi, education gets the lion’s share of the national budget every year.

We acknowledge the support we get from various stakeholders, including development partners. These include UN Agencies and civil society organizations.

But we regret that the global commitment on education is wakening. UNESCO projections warn us that the global community will fail to meet the educational commitments, unless there is serious progress over the coming decade.

This year’s SDGs Report informs that that millions of children are still out of school. Worse enough, not all who attend school are learning.

Consequently, many youths cannot fully participate in a highly complex global economy. These educational gaps also threaten an individuals’ ability to move out of poverty. Failing to prepare the Youth is preparing a generation to fail.

But we are the ones failing the global child. The world will pay the heavy cost of breeding poverty and ignorance by failing the child.

And let me remind this Assembly. Poverty and ignorance are the breeding ground for radicalization of the Youth. And we all suffer the cost of radicalism.

Mr. President

Let the world also remember its commitment to save the only planet we live. Climate change is an existential threat.

In March this year, Malawi yet again suffered another devastating national disaster. We were hit by Cyclone Idai together with our Mozambican and Zimbabwean brothers.

We lost our loved ones. Infrastructure damaged. Cyclone Idai destroyed many people’s livelihoods.

Malawi needs over three hundred and seventy million dollars (US$370) to recover.

My Government, in collaboration with the UN Country Team and other partners, has so far raised forty-five million dollars (US$45) for immediate response. This has gone into food, temporary shelters, relocation and medication.

But we still have a huge deficit that calls for support from the international community.

Mr. President

Malawi plays its role in international peace keeping with diligence. We are proud to sacrifice our little resources for the humanitarian cause of keeping others safe wherever they may be. As apeaceful
country, we consider ourselves Ambassadors of Peace.

We are proud that the Malawi Defense Force has always been professional and effective wherever they have gone on UN peace keeping missions. Our military is the pride of the nation. And we are proud to find our place in the UN family and play our role.

It takes us all to make the world a safe place. It takes us all to provide security to the vulnerable and the voiceless.

Malawi is understood to be a poor country. But we are a testimony that small or poor countries can play a significant role in the affairs of the United Nations.

I repeat what I have said before: there are no small or poor nations in the United Nations. All we have are nations of the United Nations.

In fact, this organization would be more powerful, more effective if we all participated in the decision-making on security. But for some reason, there are nations that refuse to share power with African nations.

In this regard, the United Nations is undemocratic. And yet, the same countries and the UN are preachers of the gospel of democracy in
Africa. But Africans are sometimes more democratic than Western countries.

Therefore, let me call upon the United Nations to implement the Security Council reforms. Africa must be on the UN Security Council. Let me repeat: Africa must be on the Security Council.

We cannot ignore and marginalize an entire Continent of 1.3 billion

We cannot marginalise and repress one third of Member States of this organization. It is a mockery that we meet to galvanize multilateral efforts while we marginalise and repress other Member States.

I therefore urge the UN and the P5 in particular, to open up the Security Council membership. Increase the number of Permanent Seats with Veto Powers and make the UN Security Council a true representation of all the UN Member States.

As Africa, we will never relent on this position. Our position is for the good of the United Nations and the global community as a whole. The more we allow a few nations to monopolise power in the Security Council, the more we make the United Nations look like an undemocratic organization.

This cannot be allowed in this day and age. Let us be the change we want to see in the world.

Mr. President

Let me conclude by saying what should have been my opening remarks. I and my country are a proud member of this organization.

We are thankful of the role the UN plays in my country.

This year, Malawi had an Election. I have come in my second term of office.

The process was duly audited by a United Nations affiliated network called BDO. This Election was unanimously declared free, fair and credible by the European Union, the African Union, SADC and the Commonwealth observer missions.

But the Opposition, led by Malawi Congress Party decided not to accept this very credible Election. This is the party that ruled Malawi under dictatorship for thirty-one years.

This time, they went to court but ignored the court process and waged a vicious campaign of violence in the disguise of demonstrations. Their violence betrayed a desire for ethnic cleansing, a desire for civil war, an attempt to demolish the economy and to make Malawi an ungovernable state of lawlessness.

We responded with peaceful resistance and insisted on the rule of law. We fought violence with peace; and fought hate with love. This is what saved Malawi from degenerating into chaos.

We have seen democracy and the rule of law at its best in Malawi. And Malawi remains a peaceful and stable country that we have always known. Malawi remains a beautiful destiny for tourists and investors.

Malawi is a beautiful place where we fight to make life better for everyone.

I thank you for your attention.

#ManaNews #UNGA2019 #UNGA74 #UNGA #UNGA19


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