Malawi (on behalf of the Least Developed Countries)
His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera
LAZARUS CHAKWERA, President of Malawi, speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries and associating himself with the Group of 77, pointed out that the Charter of the United Nations begins with the phrase “We the peoples”, reminding the international community that people are the cornerstone of the Organization. The world’s challenges, including COVID‑19, must be overcome together, he stressed.
United Nations reforms will be critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda , he went on, saying Sustainable Development Goal 1, on eradicating poverty, must be at the forefront of the Organization’s efforts. However, reports depict uneven progress on that front. Even before the pandemic, Goal 1 was off track, he said, adding that if the pandemic continues the global poverty level will reach 8.8 per cent, the first such rise in many years. The least developed countries in Southern Asia and sub‑Saharan Africa will experience the effects of that increase disproportionately, he said. To meet the world’s challenges, enhanced and stronger multilateralism is required. Inequalities such as gender gaps and the digital divide must be addressed, and financing provided to help the people furthest behind. Holistic approaches to reflect a singular objective of all Sustainable Development Goals must be adopted, he said, calling also for a “people‑centric” approach.