It is that time of the year once again when world leaders converge in New York, United States of America for the United Nations General Assembly.
Just like previous years – spanning from President Kamuzu Banda’s days, except the Covid-19 troubled year of 2021 – Malawi will be part of the UNGA family as President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwerw will join other world leaders at such an important world gathering.
President Chakwera is expected to leave the country for the 78th UN General Assembly.Unlike what used to happen in the previous administrations when Heads of State used to travel to the UN General Assembly with a delegation of over a hundred people, this time around President Chakwera will be accompanied by one of the leaniest delegations of 35.
According to communication from Minister of Information and Digitilisation,Moses Kunkuyu, the Malawi government has carefully selected who makes the final cut this time around to keep up with the mission of austerity which the Malawi government has been pursuing.
Those who followed President Chakwera’s last years UNGA trip would attest to the fact that only those who had specific assignments in New York were the ones who travelled with President Chakwera.
It must also be understood that even at 35, not everyone will be going to the UN on governnment ticket.Looking at previous trends, there have been names of people who appear on the travelling list but are sponsored by some United Nations agencies. One example is Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza who went to the convention courtesy of the UNDP.
The bottom line is that; times have changed, the President’s trips are no longer business as usual. There are no tourists like mere party cadres like Jomo Osman who used to be on the board to UNGA only to admire the Manhattan scenery.
What it meant was that there were many people like Jomo who used to go to UN for sight seeing and had no special assigments there.
Well, it is pleasing that those days are long gone.