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PRESS STATEMENT

ON
RETURN OF HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER
MUTHARIKA,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

FROM
THE 70TH SESSION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (UNGA),
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,


Lilongwe 3

OCTOBER, 2015

1. INTRODUCTION
His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of
the Republic of Malawi, has returned from New York, the
United States of America (US), where he participated in the
70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(UNGA).

The General Assembly was officially opened on 15th


September, 2015 under the theme "The United Nations at
70: The road ahead for peace, security and human
rights". It was a well patronized assembly, with over 140
Heads of State and Government in attendance.
This years session was historic and unique as the United
Nations was commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the
founding of the Organization. The climax of the session was
also marked by the adoption of the landmark agreement of
the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The
Agenda consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) and 169 targets, and will form a development
blueprint for the next 15 years.
This Press Statement gives a summary of activities that His
Excellency carried out in New York, which included
attending the General Debate; chairing High Level side
events; and holding bilateral meetings with various
dignitaries. It also outlines Her Excellency the First Ladys
engagements during the same period.

2. THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE UN GENERAL


ASSEMBLY
The General Debate of the 70th Session of the UNGA ran
from 28th September, 2015 to 6th October, 2015, under the
leadership of His Excellency Mr. Mogens Lykketoft of
Denmark. In their national Statements, Heads of State and
Government focused on the strong linkages between
development; peace and security; and respect of human
rights, as being the drivers for the achievement of the
Sustainable Development Goals by all countries.
His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika delivered his
Statement on 29th September, 2015. He stated that though
conflicts, poverty and violence have endangered the human
existence for the past 70 years, we must commend
ourselves as an international community for collectively
averting another world war. He emphasized that the
pursuit for peace should be the international communitys
main goal for a promising world for the future generations.
He also shared his views on the reform of the UN Security
Council, with the aim of making it more representative,
effective, transparent and accountable, as provided for in
the Ezulwini Consensus. He reiterated his call to the
international community to commit to end HIV and AIDS,
as a public health threat by 2030, and underscored his
Governments commitment towards achieving this goal.

3. THE
UN
SUMMIT
ON
DEVELOPMENT GOALS

THE

SUSTAINABLE

The UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals


was held from 25th to 27th September, 2015. The official
opening was preceded by the address of Pope Francis.
The Summit adopted the development agenda for the next
15 years the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development. Heads of State and Government drew
lessons from the unachieved MDG targets, and committed
to
implement
the
highly
ambitious
Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs). They also highlighted the
importance of reaching a strong global agreement on
climate at the Paris Climate Change Conference this
coming December.
In his Statement at the UN Summit, His Excellency Prof.
Arthur Peter Mutharika committed to the implementation
of the SDGs with the involvement of women and the youth,
as well as by increasing access to higher education. He
also committed to the promotion of human rights and the
rule of law.

4. HIGH LEVEL SIDE EVENTS DURING 70TH UNITED


NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
For the first time in history, Malawi hosted a number of
side events on the margins of the 2015 UNGA.
His
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Excellency the President, Professor Arthur Peter


Mutharika, convened or co-hosted the following meetings:
4.1 High Level Event on Higher Education as a strategy
for delivering on Sustainable Development Goals
In his capacity as Higher Education Champion, His
Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika chaired the side
event on Higher Education as a strategy for delivering on
the Sustainable Development Goals, on 26th September,
2015.
The

President

reiterated

the

importance

of

higher

education, and its potential to transform Africa. He


commended the Regional Universities Forum (RUFORUM)
for establishing Centres of Excellence on the continent, to
initiate and sustain various development endeavours.
At the meeting, the Governments of Norway and the United
States of America, the African Development Bank (AFDB)
and the Carnegie Institute, made commitments to support
higher education initiatives in Africa.

4.2 Global leaders meeting on Gender Equality and


Women Empowerment
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His Excellency the President attended and spoke at a high


level meeting co hosted by the President of China and the
UN

Secretary

General

on

gender

equality

and

empowerment of women. His Excellency the President


pledged

Malawis

commitment

to

the

accelerated

implementation of actions and activities which aim to


achieve Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
and Girls in Malawi.
The President took this opportunity to highlight policies
and programmes that Malawi is implementing to ensure
that women are empowered.
4.3 High Level event on Demographic dividend and
Youth investment
On 28th September, 2015, the Malawi leader in his capacity
as Champion for Youth, co-convened a meeting on
Democratic Dividends and Investing in Youth.

The side

event was supported by the United Nations Fund for


Population (UNFPA), and was co-hosted by President
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who was represented by his
Minister of Health.

The

meeting

coordination

was

organized

commitment

to

and

agree
support

on

improved
for

youth

empowerment and development for Africa.

4.4 High Level event on Ending AIDS epidemic by


2030:
Shaping
new
models
and
means
of
implementation
On 27th September, 2015 His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter
Mutharika and His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya,
co-convened the High Level event on Ending AIDS epidemic
by 2030, with technical support from UNAIDS.
The two Presidents led an urgent call for new investments,
improvements and innovative ways in health service
delivery to put the world on course to ending the AIDS
epidemic by 2030. One of the innovative ways to end the
epidemic includes putting people at risk, especially the
adolescents, at the centre, by empowering them to realize
their rights and make their own informed choices. Another
innovative way is the greater engagement of communities,
and community-led approaches to the delivery of health
services.
4.5. High level event on Every Child, Every Woman
His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika was a panelist
as an event organized by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban
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Ki Moon to launch the updated Global Strategy for


Womens, Children and Adolescents Health (Every Child,
Every Woman). During this meeting, His Excellency the
President pledged Malawis commitment to implement
Every Newborn Action Plan to save more newborn lives. He
said Malawi will ensure to end preventable deaths so that
women, newborns, children and adolescents, Survive,
Thrive and Transform.

4.6 Meeting of the International Commission on Global


Education Opportunity
His

Excellency

the

President

in

his

capacity

as

Commissioner on Global Education, convened the High


Level Commission on the Financing of Global Education
Opportunities.

The meeting was co-convened by His

Excellency Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the


United Kingdom (UK), UN Special Envoy on Education, and
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, of the Kingdom of Norway.

The Commission discussed issues of low access to


education in developing countries, like Malawi. 58 million
children are denied education across the world, with
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education costs per child as low as US$80 per annum in


sub-Saharan Africa as compared to US$8,000 per annum
per child in developed countries.
The Commission undertook to ensure that investment in
education is duly prioritized in all countries across the
world.

4.7 Meeting at the Committee on Foreign Relations


His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika was the Guest
of Honour and Speaker at the Council of Foreign Relations
(CFR) in New York.

He briefed the CFR about the

democratization process and its challenges in Malawi, and


shared his vision and the economic development of the
country.

Members of the Council, that included business persons,


media experts, politicians, development experts, amongst
others, posed questions to the President, including whether
the former President Dr. Joyce Banda was free to return to
Malawi.

In his response, the President said the former

President was free and welcome to return home.

4.8 Working Luncheon for African Heads of State and


Government
His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, was a keynote
Speaker at the High Level event at the Thomson Reuters,
under the theme, Intra-African Investment Programme for
Infrastructure Development in Africas Regional Economic
Integration, where he was also interviewed by the Cable
News Network (CNN), on the Malawi economy, and the
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities available.

The Malawi leader invited potential investors to come and


invest in Malawi, and assured them of their personal and
business security. He shared with the investors Malawis
flagship

bankable

projects,

as

contained

in

the

compendium.

5. BILATERAL MEETINGS
5.1 Meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of
Sweden
His Excellency the President held a bilateral meeting with
Prime

Minister

Stefan

Lofven

of

Sweden,

on

28th

September, 2015. The President expressed gratitude to the


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Swedish Government for the US$2.4 million assistance to


Malawi, following the devastating floods that ravaged the
country in the month of January, 2015.

The two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest,


including the enhancement of bilateral relations and the
United Nations Security Council.

The President briefed

Premier Lofven of the food insecurity problem in Malawi,


with 2.8 million people estimated to be food insecure.

It is

pleasing to note that the world has started responding to


His Excellencys call.

The President further extended an invitation to Prime


Minister Stefan Lofven to visit Malawi, which the Premier
accepted.

5.2 Meeting with His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon,


Secretary General of the United Nations (UN SG)
The President held a bilateral session with Mr. Ban Kimoon, UN Secretary General, who paid tribute to the
leadership for the commitment to the ideals of the United
Nations, that include the development agenda, and peace11

keeping. He congratulated the Government of the Republic


of Malawi, for managing to score favourably on four (4) of
the eight (8) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika shared with
the Secretary General, the appeal towards food assistance
to address the food shortage affecting about 2.8 million
Malawians. His Excellency Ban Ki-moon expressed regret
following the food deficit, and undertook to join in the
appeal for the food assistance on behalf of Malawi, to the
international community and Member States, through his
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

5.3 Meeting with Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of


Global Fund
Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika held a meeting with Dr. Mark
Dybul, on 28th September, 2015.

Their meeting centered on the progress of US$616 million


Malawi Government-Global Fund cooperation programme,
scheduled to be signed this October in Lilongwe.

The

President expressed gratitude to the Government of the


United States of America (USA), and the Global Fund, for
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the invaluable support to the Government of Malawi, in its


fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

5.4 Meeting with Mr. Kamran Khan, Vice President of


the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
His Excellency the President held discussions with Mr.
Kamran Khan, Vice President of the Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC), on 30th September, 2015.
The Vice President updated the President on the US$350
million electricity Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)
Project in Malawi. It was explained that all contracts on the
Project had since been granted and signed, and actual
work on the ground is expected to commence soon. MCC
called upon Government to proceed with the reform of the
energy sector, including the reform of the Electricity Supply
Commission of Malawi (ESCOM). President Mutharika
thanked the MCC for the project, but urged that urgency
was paramount for the project to take off and be
appreciated by Malawians.

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5.5 Meeting with Mr. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister


of Canada and Vice Chairman of the Global Leadership
Foundation (GLF)
On 30th September, 2015, the President met and held
discussions with Mr. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of
Canada, in his capacity as the Vice Chairman of the Global
Leadership Foundation (GLF).

The two discussed cooperation between the Government of


Malawi and the Global Leadership Foundation (GLF). The
GLF would be sending to Malawi its experts, to explore
areas

of

cooperation

including

consultations

on

the

extractive industries, electoral reforms, the rule of law and


democratization.

OTHER ENGAGEMENTS
Dinner with His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister
of Japan on the 10-10-10 Impact He4she Campaign
Initiatives
On 29th September, 2015, His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter
Mutharika attended a dinner for Champions of the He4She
Impact Campaign Initiative, organized by Prime Minster
Shinzo Abe of Japan. President Mutharika reaffirmed his
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personal and Governments commitment to the cause of


gender equality and the empowerment of women, in the
country and beyond.
The President called for support to the various institutions
in Malawi towards this noble cause. He highlighted the
girls boarding school facilities being promoted by Her
Excellency Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic
of Malawi, and the Beautify Malawi (BEAM) Initiative.

Dinner organised by the International Conservation


Caucus Foundation (ICCF)
President Arthur Peter Mutharika was joined by the
Presidents of Tanzania, the Central African Republic (CAR),
and Vice President of Botswana, at a dinner organized by
the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF).

He addressed the Foundation on wildlife conservation and


the fight against wildlife crime and trafficking in Malawi.
He thanked cooerating partners who are assisting Malawi
in its efforts to conserve wildlife and fight against wildlife
crime and trafficking.

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Visit to the
Connecticut

Ivy

League

University

of

Yale

at

His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika wound up


his visit to New York, with a visit on 1st October, 2015 at
his almer mater, the Ivy League Yale University, where he
delivered a lecture on Democratization and Economic SelfDetermination

in Africa: The Case of Malawi.

Prof.

Mutharika did his education at Yale University in the late


60s.

The President explained that Malawi, like most countries in


Africa, has been able to successfully master democracy at
various levels since the 1990s, and that Malawi is pressing
forward for economic self-determination. His Excellency
convincingly responded to the questions that followed the
lecture.

6. HER
EXCELLENCY
THE
FIRST
LADYS
ENGANGEMENTS ON THE SIDELINES OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Her Excellency Madame Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of
the Republic of Malawi, had her own engagements which

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she undertook on the margins of the 70th session of the


United Nations General Assembly. The activities included:

1. Meetings of the Organization of First African


Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA)
Her Excellency Madame Gertrude Mutharika, in her
capacity as Vice President of OAFLA, chaired the meetings
of African First Ladies that were held on 28th September
2015.

Opening the meeting, Her Excellency the First Lady


highlighted the successes of the OAFLA grouping since its
inception, in the effort to ease the burden of HIV and AIDSrelated stigma and deaths on the African continent. She
underscored

the

need to

fast-track

more

holistic

approach involving the adolescents, youth and women to


achieve the 90.90.90 targets by the year 2030. The First
Lady of Malawi called on national governments and
cooperating partners to mobilize more resources towards
this noble cause.

The African First Ladies called on the Global Leaders, and


the international community, to ensure a safe future for
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women and adolescent girls in particular, in the context of


the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The First
Ladies reaffirmed their commitment to stop new HIV
Infections amongst children, and keep their mothers alive
and healthy, by championing the end of early marriage and
adolescent pregnancies; improving access to services that
eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV; and
ensuring all children diagnosed with HIV receive treatment.

OAFLA will coordinate with the African Union Commission


and national governments to adopt national legislation to
raise the minimum age of marriage for girls to 18 years.
The OAFLA meeting culminated into a working luncheon
organized by the Fashion for Development (F4D) group. The
Luncheon provided an avenue for the First Ladies of Africa
to learn new skills on resource mobilization for OAFLA
activities in their respective countries.

2. Side Event on Every Woman Every Child


Her Excellency the First Lady was invited to deliver a
Statement on behalf OAFLA, at this High Level event that
was hosted by the UN Secretary, and where His Excellency
Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika was a panelist.
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The First Lady spelt OAFLAs desire to reduce infant and


maternal mortality rates, in line with the Post 2015 era and
the procession to the Sustainable Development Goals. She
shared Malawis progress in meeting the MDG 5 target by
reducing child mortality rate. The First Lady called upon
her fellow First Ladies to complement government efforts in
ensuring that women, new-borns, children and adolescents
survive, thrive and transform in their development efforts.

3. Meeting on
Initiative

the

Global

Autism

Public

Health

On 30th September, 2015 Her Excellency the First Lady


joined the Founders of Autism Speaks Foundation and
other policy makers at the 8th Annual World Focus on
Autism round table meeting in New York.
Autism Speaks Foundation introduced the meeting to a
new concept in Autism, involving community participation
in the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation process
of people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). It was
indicated that this is an initiative supported by the World
Health Organization (WHO), to fill in the gaps that have
been there in the management process.
Sharing her Malawian experience, the First Lady indicated
that as a country, Malawi is faced with various problems in
the management and classification of mental health
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illnesses, disorders and conditions. She noted that lack of


human and financial capacity in the health profession, as
well as cultural norms and practices have also played part
in the delay of rehabilitation process. The First Lady
appealed for financial and technical support in the health
profession, to assist in this regard.
7. CONCLUSION
His Excellency the Presidents working visit to New York
was obviously rigorous, eventful, and has positively left a
mark for Malawi. It was a fruitful visit that leaves Malawi
to benefit from the Presidents engagement with the world.

Besides leading Malawi to the World Forum, His Excellency


the President played his rightful roles as a world leader in
his capacity as:
Champion for Higher Education in Africa;
Commissioner on Global Education;
He for She Champion;
UNFPA Champion for the Youth

Malawi, now has a deserved place in the world.


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