Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the country is likely to lose some opportunities following a decision by President Lazarus Chakwera to cancel his trip to physically attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, Foreign Affairs minister, Eisenhower Mkaka, said Malawi will not be able to make bilateral meetings.
He said: “It`s not just Malawi which is not attending this meeting physically, but many, if not all countries, are attending virtually and in terms of losses, there are indeed some that we can’t quantify at the moment.
“We are talking about the benefits that Malawi would have gained through bilateral meetings and this opportunity has been lost.”
Mkaka has however highlighted that despite the Malawi leader missing physical attendance, his virtual participation in a number of high-level meetings will contribute to a number of issues including climate change and Covid-19.
“But in terms of presentation to the UNGA, I think Malawi is not losing anything because what could have been said there in person will still be said through the virtual platform,” said Mkaka.
The 76th UNGA is expected to run from 14th to 27th September 2021 and world leaders are expected to discuss issues ranging from climate, health, human rights, education, gender and mental health.
The Malawi leader is also expected to make a presentation as Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson and on behalf of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).