22 February 2018

Malawi: New UN Envoy to Malawi Acknowledges Development Challenges the Country Still Face

Malawi now has a new resident coordinator of the United Nations (UN) and resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Maria Jose Torres Macho who has presented her letters of credence to President Peter Mutharika to start her tour of diplomatic duty in the country on Thursday.

Torress Macho replaces Mia Seppo who left the country in September last year after completing her mission.

The UN envoy said she was delighted to be part of continued cooperation between the UN and Malawi, reaffirming the UN's commitment to support the government in improving lives of Malawians.

"The UN has a long-standing cooperation with the Government of Malawi, which has yielded several gains such as the continued consolidation of Malawi's democracy and promotion of human rights for all people, including those traditionally left behind in the development agenda," she said.

Among others, she acknowledged development challenges that the country still faces such as high population growth, climate change, unemployment and corruption saying the UN stands ready to continue working with various institutions in the country to deal with such problems.

Torres Macho commended the government for developing the new Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III, which she said presents a key opportunity to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.

According to a statement made available to Nyasa Times from UN Malawi office, before her appointment to the country she was working in Columbia as UN senior post conflict Adviser.

Other posts within the UN which she has also held include head of the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Colombia and deputy head of office for OCHA in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt).

"Ms. Torres Macho studied Law in Spain and holds a Master in European Studies by the Pontificia University of Salamanca, a Master in International Relations by the Free University of Brussels, and a Master of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law (LLM) by Essex University," reads part of statement.

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