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Peter Mutharika preaches peace at UNGA

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President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday appealed for world peace in his address at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Addressing world leaders, Mutharika said peace is a prerequisite for development and that, as a country, Malawi values peace as a necessity for human existence. He said this is why Malawi has actively participated in peace-building missions by African Union as well as the United Nations.

Mutharika told the assembly that Malawi disapproves the spread of ballistic missile technology which, he said, is a threat to peace and mankind. He appealed to all nations not to tolerate the use of nuclear weapons.

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“Today, Malawi reaffirms its pledge to continue as an envoy of peace. We believe this is our duty to humanity. We believe that, in protecting your neighbours, you protect yourself.

“While we all seek peace as a necessary condition for existence, we face the threat of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are an existential threat to humanity. The threat of nuclear weapons is a concern to us all. Ironically, even those nations who keep nuclear weapons get concerned with this threat The idea of keeping nuclear weapons questions the wisdom of mankind,” he said.

Mutharika also affirmed Malawi’s support to Africa’s call to have a permanent member in the UN Security Council, arguing that every continent, poor or small, has a right to participate in decisions that affect global peace.

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Currently, only the continents of Asia, Europe and America have permanent members in the UN Security Council. They are represented by China, France, United Kingdom, Russia and United States of America while Africa is represented by Egypt and Ethiopia as non-permanent members.

“Malawi strongly supports the African position for the full representation of the continent on the Security Council. The United Nations can no longer claim to lead in democracy while side-lining a representation of 1.2 billion people from Africa. How can we claim to be in unity with those whom we exclude? Africa must be included.

“Our rising Africa is always ready to play her role in the global community. And Malawi will continue to be a global player,” he said.

Mutharika also appealed to the world to stop focusing on the negatives associated with Africa and start regarding it as a development partner that has massive potential to contribute to global development.

“Unfortunately, there are many outside the African continent who choose to focus on its socio-political weaknesses instead of focusing on the huge potential of African people.

“This is the view history has painted in the mind of the world. And this one-sided perception of Africa must end. This negative view blinds the world from seeing the potential of African people. We can only realise the potential of any people when we see them positively,” Mutharika said.

He also made a call to world leaders to focus on empowering people in order to end poverty.

“No human community can take off socio-economically without empowering its people to drive their own development agenda. That is why I underline the importance of investing in human capital,” he said.

Mutharika also highlighted Malawi’s contributions to global issues such as fighting child marriages, empowering the youth, fighting climate change as well as promoting and protecting rights of people with disabilities.

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