President Peter Mutharika is today expected to deliver a Least Developed Countries (LDCs) commitment on behalf of member States that fall in the category at this year’s 74th United Nations General Assembly (Unga74) in New York, United States.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said in an interview LDC leaders will give their national commitments to address climate change leading up to 2030, the year United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be met.
He said: “Mutharika will speak on behalf on LDCs on this. And on Tuesday [tomorrow], the President will again speak on behalf of LDCs for three-minutes immediately after the President of Palestine.
“He will speak on the achievements of the SDGs, progress, challenges and the way forward for LDCs.”
The list of LDCs, according to the United Nations (UN) classification, has 33 countries from Africa ,including Malawi, Burkina Faso, Somalia, South Sudan, Zambia, Togo and Liberia; nine from Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, East Timor, and Yemen; four from Oceania, including Solomon Islands and Tuvalu; and one from the Americas, Haiti.
According to Kasaila, Mutharika is also expected to attend the opening ceremony of the 74th Session of the Unga on Tuesday and another opening ceremony on the achievement of the SDGs.
Asked which other leaders have delivered the LDCs commitment before Mutharika, Kasaila said this is not a routine event as each year has a different theme.
The Unga74 theme is Galvanising Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Action and Inclusion.
Besides the LDCs address, Mutharika is also expected to attend a private roundtable discussion on HIV and Aids progress in Africa hosted by former United States president George W. Bush, and also attend other engagements such as private meetings with Global Fund executive director Peter Sands.
Malawi is expected to participate in several other high-level meetings which include Universal Health Coverage; Commemorative Event of the General Assembly on the Occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); meeting on progress and perspectives on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls and a meeting with Pan African Medical Talents Initiative aimed at finding solutions to the shortage of medical doctors that has affected most countries in sub-Sahara Africa.
Commenting on the high level meeting on the 30th Anniversary of the Adoption of the CRC, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Thom Navicha said the meeting would give Malawi an opportunity to showcase some of the developments made in 30 years of CRC adoption.
“As a country, we have promoted child participation initiatives through children’s Parliament, children’s corners and child-led clubs in schools,” she said.
She said government has also established key institutions and departments that focus on children’s rights such as Malawi Human Rights Commission, Department of Child Affairs and Office of the Ombudsman.
On his part, Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said Malawi was ready to share its experiences on Universal Health Coverage and learn from other countries’ successes.
This year’s theme was decided by the Unga74 president Tijjani Muhammad Bande, a Nigerian diplomat and academic who has taken over from Ecuadorian Maria Fernanda Espinosa.