It is fair to say that the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly has been no ordinary one so far. The Global South has used the session to make it clear to all that a new multipolar world order is now non-negotiable. Several heads of states from Africa have used the platform to advance their pan-Africa rhetoric which seeks to liberate the continent from the unfair grip and hegemony of the West.
The President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellence Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, took to the podium today to deliver his speech before the assembly. While President Chakwera’s speech leaned heavily on promoting Malawi’s position in securing capacity to achieve the country’s development goals and aspirations, the now dominant spirit of Pan-Africanism refused to be obscured.
In his speech, President Chakwera joined African calls for a reformed United Nations Security Council and global financial architecture. In his speech, the Malawi leader noted that the present structure of the Security Council and global financial architecture are among the major culprits disenfranchising least developed nations from true progress trajectory.
He stated that the global financial institutions, which by the way owe their existence to the existence of different nations across the globe, remain less helpful to under-developed nations whose progress can be made possible with reformed global financial system.
“For Malawi’s part, we are committed to continue implementing reforms and policies aimed at building economic resilience against shocks. We are committed to continue engaging the United Nations and our development partners, both multilaterally and bilaterally, in mobilizing international support that goes beyond disaster management and seeks to build sustainability. We are committed to continue banging on the doors of financial institutions that remain too slow, too unresponsive, and too rigid to address the existing financing gaps in the programs we have for achieving SDGs”, said Chakwera in his second address to the UN General Assembly.
“We are committed to the principles of the UN Charter and to a rules-based international system, so long as we have the power to change the rules that have worked against us and held back our development for decades. This is why Malawi strongly advocates for radical reform in the United Nations Security Council itself, whose very structure undermines the values of democracy, inclusivity, accountability, and trust. It is no accident that at this 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly focused on rebuilding trust and solidarity”.
“I believe President Biden said it so well here, and Malawi joins the United States in insisting that Africa must have permanent seats on the UN Security Council with veto power, because without that level of inclusivity, rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity will be a challenge”.
The call for Africa’s inclusion in the list of permanent membership of the Security Council started ringing with the late Robert Mugabe, former president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, whose advocacy earned him prominence on the global scene.
In his task today, President Chakwera further explained why Malawi is in agreement with those advocating for reformed fiber of the United Nation: “One of the reasons we need a reformed United Nations is because we need a new development paradigm beyond 2030”, he said.
“We need a development paradigm that takes on board the interests of the developing world in the spirit of true partnership. We need a development paradigm that places partnership at the heart of our quest for SDG achievement. We need a development paradigm that promotes competition in matters of human ingenuity, science, technology, and innovation, and not in matters of militarization and economic exploitation, which are just new forms of colonization”.
The Malawi leader highlighted further fronts of the desired new paradigm stating that: “We need a new paradigm that builds each continent’s capacity to tackle future pandemics, including vaccine manufacturing capabilities and proactive pandemic preparedness. Most importantly”, Chakwera said, “we need a new paradigm that unleashes the full potential of our youth and puts them in the driving seat of the vehicles we are using to reach our SDG targets, for the future we are chasing after is theirs, not ours”.
Clocking three years in power since his election into office in 2020, the 78th session of the United General Assembly marked the second session that President Chakwera has attended in person having attended last year’s session distantly from Malawi.