President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will be travelling to New York, United States of America next week to attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Just like last year’s trip,this one also is under scrutiny mostly by government critics.
Ironically, President Chakwera is not the only world leader going to the UNGA.
The UN General Assembly is a gathering world leaders; be it from the thriving economies or the seemingly struggling economies of this world.The UN General Assembly is the only global event where countries are given equal opportunities to raise grievances.
I have noted that there is a mistake some quarters are making regarding this trip. The criticism around President Chakwera’s UN trip is only centred on the instant economic benefits the country stands to gain forgeting that the gathering of world leaders of such magnitude provides an opportunity to build more cooperation and explore trade opportunities whose benefits may not be felt instantly.
Since it became known that President Chakwera will be travelling to the UN, the conversation has been changing from the allegations of a bloated delegation to the importance of the whole trip.
At first people speculated that President Chakwera will travel to the UN with many people, only for the subject matter to change when it was reported that only 35 people are accompanying him.
So far what has been discovered is that critics will always talk no matter how beneficial the trip is.
But a reminder of what happened last year may favour the proponents of the trip.
During his maiden UN address, President Chakwera spoke strongly on the need for Africa to have some representation as permanent members in the UN Security Council.
He also spoke on the need for lending countries and institutions to consider some new modalities of debt restructuring for some struggling African countries to have breathing space.All these things need a follow up.
Additionally, there is a common issue of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which the United Nations intends to achieve. As one of the countries in the Least Developing Countries, Malawi needs to be actively involved in the policies making because some of the goals such as the Water and Sanitation,Clean Energy and Equitable quality education for all are also focus areas of the Malawi 2063 agenda.
So, besides other important official state engagements lined up on sideline of the UN General Assembly,this trip is a must for President Chakwera.
Its benefits outweight the cost.