21 September 2017

Malawi President Mutharika Addresses UN General Assembly - Against Trend of Stereotyping Africa

Malawi President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika on Wednesday afternoon Septermber 20 2017 addressed world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly with a message that focused on investing in African people to realise their potential in both national and global development.

In the speech, President Mutharika zeroed in on the warped view of Africa that usually shapes the image of never-ending strife in the eyes of many people..

"There are many [people} outside the African continent who choose to focus on its socio-political weaknesses instead of the huge potential of African people. This one sided perception must end," Mutharika said.

The international media is often criticised for only reporting on the negatives of Africa, with stories focusing on poverty, famine, war and corruption.

Mutharika further said that people realise their full potential if they are treated positively hence the need to promote the spirit of sustainable human collaboration

The Malawi leader went on to highlight four areas of promoting inclusive growth in society.

Firstly was the issue of promoting gender, women and youth empowerment as a starting point of nurturing development in communities.

"Development cannot succeed unless it is driven from within. No human community can take off socio-economically without empowering its people," Mutharika said.

President Mutharika also called for a working partnership with key stakeholders in development stating that the well-being of the global society is more assured when countries work in partnerships for development.

"We achieve more within our nations with inclusion of all sectors of society," he said.

The President further said there was also a need of paying close attention to issues that affect most vulnerable citizens with climate change as one of the issues.

"The suffering caused by climate change everywhere is real. The people who suffer in the tragedies are not just figures and statistics. These are real human souls like anyone here" he said.

The speech also gave an insight in how the country is eliminating all forms of violence against women, children and people with disability.

The statement ran close to 11 minutes.

Instituted since 1946, the U.N. General Assembly is the biggest annual gathering of world leaders as the body put it, 'to tackle humanity's greatest challenges. 193 countries will have their leaders or representatives giving addresses.

It is the first UNGA for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who took over last year from Ban Ki-Moon.

Ki-moon stepped down after serving two five-year terms.

The Summit takes place between Tuesday September 19 till Monday September 25. The theme for this year's session is: "Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for all on a Sustainable Planet".

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