By McMillan Chasunda
The Malawi Government through the foreign affairs ministry has written the United Nations (UN) Secretary General complaining why the UN invited former president Dr. Joyce Banda to the sideline activities of the 69th UN general Assembly (UNGA).
In the letter, the Malawi government feels betrayed by the UN for allowing the former president to participate in various functions where she was rrecognized and almost stealing the show from the incumbent president president Peter Mutharika
The Malawi government has asked the UN that in the near future the UN should inform the government if they want to engage former president of Malawi so that they should take necessary and appropriate measures.
The UN has however told the government of Malawi that the former President was not invited to the UNGA but rather she was attending various events that happens alongside the UNGA. It is the tradition of the UN when carrying out the general assembly that several statesmen and women including former heads of states be invited as reference group to various issues happening around the UN. Therefore, for Joyce Banda to be present at the UN was a blessing on part of strengthening the UN functions especially to deal with girl and women empowerment globally.
Further, the UN has also indicated that several organizers of various events are responsible for inviting who they wish to attend their functions and its not a duty of the UN or their respective countries to vet whether the individuals invited should attend or not. Several leaders in the world take advantage of the UN assembly to organize several activities hence there are so many leaders doing various activities.
During sidelines of the just ended UNGA, the former Malawi leader, Joyce Banda was invited to attend several functions and high level meetings in her personal capacity and as a global leader. Among the functions included; Women and Climate Change by Former Irish Prime Minister Mary Robinson, “A world at School: Global Business Coalition for Education” organized by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Gordon Brown’s Global Leaders Forum for Education, Launch of Joyce Banda Foundation International (JBFI) Africa Initiative, Meeting with former President George Bush, High level meeting with several donors and philanthropist supporting women and girls empowerment in Africa.