They meet every year in New York seemingly unified discussing themes that seek to address global challenges but problems refuse to go.
And so this year’s United Nations General Assembly currently underway in New York provided those rare moments as one leader among the assembled heads of state had to tell an emotional stirring story of how the gathering of that sort has failed the world and that leader was President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.
President Chakwera managed to rise to the occasion as the Chairperson of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Delivering his first in-person key note address in presence of global leaders at 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, President Chakwera said it is high time the United Nations start putting into actions resolutions of the General Assembly lest the gathering will only be seen as a routine assembly of leaders without anything tangible to show for.
At every UN assembly, problems such as poverty have been discussed and resolutions have been passed to mitigate the human suffering in the world but there has been no meaningful change, if anything, the gap between the rich nations and the ultra poor nations has been widening as the richer have been becoming richer and the poor have become poorer.
Chakwera said in the opening of his powerful and moving speech: “Leave No One Behind. These four words are the promise at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development. That is the principle this UN body committed. But today, over three and half years after that commitment was made, smaller nations amd younger democracies around the workd already feel like this was an empty promise.
“Today, not only do smaller natioms and younger democracies like Malawi still feel left behind, but feel much further behind than before.”
Wearing two hats as Head of State of the Republic of Malawi and Chairperson of LDCs, President Chakwera pleaded with the UN major countries to consider writing off the debts the poor countries owe them to lessen the suffering of the the people at the peripheral of the economic index.
“Recently, the Managing Director of the International Monetory Fund (IMF) called world major leaders to show leadership by relieving vulnerable countries debt that are shackling them, because even loans that were given and received in good faith have become unsustainable in the recent and current climate of relentless unforseen external shocks.
“I therefore join her to reiterating, and i commend the People’s Republic of China for leading by example by fulfilling the pledge it made at last year’s Forum on Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to forgive interest-free loans owed by 17 countries.”
President Chakwera’s stinging tell-it all speech is a bitter pill to some of the super-rich countries but it is frank talks like these that can turn the UN General Assembly into a meaningful grouping.
It is honest speeches like these that can bridge the gap between the rich and poor.