Don't leave us behind- Chakwera appeals at UNGA

Chakwera at UNGA
  • Appeals for debt relief

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has called on world leaders to address challenges the world was facing without leaving countries like Malawi behind through among other things debt relief.

He made the remarks when he addressed the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Thursday.

"One problem in desperate need of a solution for the most vulnerable LDCs is the unsustainable debt levels and distress they bear. The Scriptures...describe unsustainable debt as a form of slavery. And as leaders of generations past worked together to end old forms of slavery, so we too must work together to end this new form.

"Recently, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund called on the world’s major lenders to show leadership by relieving vulnerable countries of the debts 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 and unforeseen external shocks. I therefore join her in reiterating that call," he appealed.

Chakwera said the four words ‘Leave No one Behind’ are at the heart of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Today, not only are smaller nations and younger democracies like Malawi still left behind but they feel much behind than before.

“The world is fighting with rising prices of basic commodities, COVID-19 pandemic Climate Change and war in Ukraine which has heavily affected many countries economies including Malawi.’’ 

Chakwera at UNGA
Chakwera: We're left behind. Photos by Lisa Kadango Malango-Mana 

Chakwera said in the roll out of vaccines and applications of travel restrictions, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have been left out and that on regional insecurity the participation of the UN Security Council decisions that affect them, they have also been left out.

He added in the allocation of international facilities for Agro-based and debt distressed economies, LDCs have been completely left behind hence the need for a reformed UN.

The President explained that his government was ready to catch up and called for action on the pledges already made that Malawi and other LDCs could build resilience to climate change.

“Climate change remains a set back of development and that cyclone alone destroyed strategic infrastructure, community assets and put lives of people at risk.

“Malawi is ready to cut carbon emissions by half before the year 2040 and call for support towards the efforts to transition to clean and green energy,’’ he told the gathering.

He called on the gathering to attend the conference of LDCs in Doha where countries would discuss and create solutions for vulnerable countries such as unsustainable debts among others.

“As African member states, we do not wish to gather next year with no progress made on the African Unions’s Ezuleini consensus which demands the permanent seats in the UN Security Council to be tabled, heard and settled,’’ Chakwera stated.

He also paid tribute to and extended deepest condolences to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on the passing of the Queen Elizabeth II.