Malawi is a member of the United Nations (UN), an international organization of 193 member-states, founded in 1945 at the end of the Second World War to prevent another world war.
The U.N.'s founding charter mandates four ambitious purposes: It maintains international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
The theme of this year’s UN General Assembly is: “Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion.”
This year, it will be the sixth time Mutharika will deliver his speech at the Assembly.
Memorable Mutharika speech
But it was Mutharika's speech of 2018, based on the theme “Making the United Nations Relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies,” that distinguished him as a reputable stateman.
Mutharika took global powers and the UN itself to account on their global leadership responsibilities.
He questioned them for favouring some states and excluding others in the decision- making organ of the UN, the Security Council.
“Every nation is important and we all have something to offer,” the UN declared on its website news.un.org. “There are no minorities here. There are only nations in the United Nations.”
Mutharika passionately spoke for Africa and Malawi and their place in global affairs.
Security Council exclusion
He also spoke for nations that the United Nations keeps away from the Security Council and for the vulnerable whom he suggested would better be served if the UN practised inclusion in some of its affairs.
Mutharika reminded the UN that Malawi and Africa have touched global humanity in no small measure.
He made the case by referring to Malawi’s first ambassador to the UN, David Rubadiri, and first black African UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, as African citizens that served the world well.
"They served humanity and promoted the work of the UN in different ways" Mutharika said.
He used Rubadiri and Annan to exemplify Africa’s contribution to global progress and peace.
Mutharika then reminded the UN of Malawi’s role in the global effort to seek sustainable peace.
Malawi has contributed its men and women to UN peace-keeping missions in places such as Burundi, South Sudan and the DRC.
“We are prepared to fulfil our 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,” he said.
In a way, Mutharika suggested, by denying Africa representation in the Security Council, the UN is reneging on the principles of democracy and equality that it preaches, therefore subjecting itself to criticism of hypocrisy and partial relevance.
And so Mutharika stressed the UN needs to change:
“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.”