A BAD economy is injustice to its citizens, says Malawi President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
He told the 73rd UN General Assembly session in New York on Tuesday that power was not status but responsibility, and leadership was not prestige but responsibility.
“Every nation is important. And we all have something to offer. That is why I began my address by reminding this Assembly that there are no minorities here. There are no small nations here. There are only nations in the United Nations,” President Mutharika said. “Of course, let us admit that there will always be economic inequality of nations. And yes, we all have something to offer to humanity. But those with more resources and power must step out to offer more. Let us remember; power is not status. Power is responsibility. Leadership is not prestige. Leadership is responsibility. We must define global leadership in terms of global responsibility.”
President Mutharika said Malawi was prepared to fulfil its responsibility and obligations in the global community.
“Malawi remains committed to the ideals of the United Nations. Malawi ascribes to values of democratic governance, peace and security. We remain committed to participating in the efforts for maintaining international peace and security,” President Mutharika said.
“Malawi remains committed to promoting and protecting human rights. We remain committed to participating in international cooperation to resolve challenges that face human societies.”
President Mutharika said within four troubled years, Malawi had reduced inflation from 24 per cent to single digit.
“We have reduced interest rates from 25 per cent to 16 per cent. We have taken our import cover from the lowest point to the highest point in our economic history. Our import cover has risen from below two months to six months. We have made local currency stable and predictable,” President Mutharika said.
He said on assuming the presidency four years ago, he found gross domestic product growth rate at 2.4 per cent.
“Now we expect growth of four per cent in our 2018/2019 financial year. And we expect this growth to rise to six per cent in 2019,” President Mutharika said. “We are improving these macro-economic [indicators] because a bad economy is injustice to its citizens. At the same time, we continue focusing on the justice of specific sectors of our society. We are fighting against violence against women and girls. I believe no human society can meaningfully develop while marginalising its women. Development must always be inclusive.”
On UN reforms, President Mutharika said the segregation of Africans must come to an end.
“Why should we allow this organisation to be accused of hypocrisy – that we preach democracy everywhere when we are not democratic enough to accommodate almost one third of our own membership in this Assembly?” asked President Mutharika. “We cannot talk about shared responsibility while we marginalise Africans and deny them full participation in our decisions. We cannot talk about global leadership of the United Nations when African leadership is not on the decision-making tables. In any political system, we cannot claim relevance to the people that we deny. A time has come to make the United Nations relevant to all people. A time has come to show global leadership that is inclusive of all nations. A time has come to pledge shared responsibilities together with Africa and the rest of the world. And a time has come for this Assembly to listen to the voice of Africa.”