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.
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.
FIFTIETH (50TH) INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
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.
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.
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.
POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
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.
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.
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.
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 (LCDs).
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.
SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM
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.
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