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Malawi President Chakwera in New York to Ask For ‘A Favour’ From Rich Nations

By Lisa Kadango Malango in New York, USA 

New York, Mana: President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to lobby for more support from developed nations for the world’s 46 poor countries when he will deliver a keynote address to the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC)s in New York, USA on Thursday.

Briefing journalists earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nancy Tembo, said the Malawi Leader is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with different stakeholders. 

She said there is a greater need for developed countries and other development partners to attend the conference where 46 Least Developed Countries will participate.

“It is a high-level meeting as it will accord the platform for leaders, including Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, to meet United Nations (UN) International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials among other development partners to negotiate for more assistance for Malawi.

As Chair of UN group of Least Developed Countries, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera will represent the 46 LDCs and deliver a message on their behalf at the conference to be held at the UN headquarters.

The conference will also launch the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs, which has priority areas that are critical for developing countries and are aligned to Malawi’s development aspirations.

The areas of interest include: investing in people in LDCs, enhancing international trade of LDCs, structural transformation as a driver of prosperity, leveraging the power of science, technology and innovation and mobilizing international solidarity as well as addressing climate change.

President Chakwera will leverage these priority areas for national development in line with Malawi 2063 Agenda with a sharp focus on the first ten-year implementation plan.

According to the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Chakwera will hold bilateral consultations with other high-ranking officials and leaders.

These include UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres, Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Sheikh Mohammed bin Adulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Qatar, the host country of the next meeting of the UN-LDC5. 

This is the fifth conference for the United Nations on the Least Developed Countries group since 1981, and it takes place every ten years.

This conference will offer an opportunity to the United Nations to send a strong signal to the international community for the need for special programmes in support of the LDCs.

Some of such programmes are loans and grants in terms of development financing and multinational trading such as preferential markets and technical assistance towards trade mainstreaming.

Malawi assumed the chairmanship of the UN Group of Least Developed Countries in 2018 which will end in September, 2022.

The UN recognises the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as a category of states that are deemed highly disadvantaged in their development process as more than 75 per cent of their populations still live in abject poverty.

The President is expected to arrive in New York on Tuesday 15th March, 2022.

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