Magufuli Too Busy to Meet President Mutharika

September 19, 2016 by Staff Reporter

President Magufuli of Tanzania had postponed all foreign trips to deal with the aftermath of the disaster that has claimed at least 19 lives and left over 200 others injured.

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli will not attend the 71st United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week because of the Kagera earthquake disaster.

“The President will be represented at the General Assembly meeting. He has decided to stay home because of the Kagera earthquake disaster.

President Arthur Peter Mutharika of Malawi waits to address attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York

President Mutharika Waiting For Magufuli

This is the second time in a week that Dr Magufuli has shelved a foreign trip following the September 10 disaster. He cancelled his trip to Lusaka where was expected to attend the swearing-in of Zambian President Edgar Lungu last Tuesday, and was represented by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Who will represent Dr Magufuli in New York will be known today when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, addresses a news conference in Dar es Salaam.

“The President has received many invitations to attend various sessions and meetings that will take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. He will send representatives to represent him in all those meetings,” Ms Kisinga added.

Dr Magufuli has travelled outside the country only twice since he was sworn in 10 months ago. He visited Rwanda in April before attending the swearing-in of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala in May.

It was expected that he would have attended the 36th Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Summit in Mbabane, Swaziland, but skipped the regional meeting and was represented by Ms Hassan.

The UN General Assembly opened its 71st session on September 13, with an emphasis on the implementation of the new global development goals, adopted by its 193 member states last year.

“The 70th Session launched the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and for integrity’s sake the 71st must be the year we witness the wheels turning on the implementation of all 17 SDGs,” the President of the General Assembly, Mr Peter Thomson, said in a statement last week. The theme of the 71st session is The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.

World leaders have been gathering in New York in the last few days to attend what is arguably the busiest diplomatic season of the year at the United Nations headquarters.
During the high-level segment of the General Assembly’s 71st session monarchs, presidents and prime ministers will engage in debates that define international responses to many of the global challenges of today, including protracted conflicts, extreme poverty and hunger, the refugee crisis and climate change.

The high-level week will kick off with a summit today to address large movements of refugees and migrants.

World leaders are expected to adopt a political declaration as an outcome document at the summit, during which the UN will see a new addition to its family – a dedicated migration agency. Leaders of the UN and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will sign an agreement to officially make IOM a related agency of the UN system.

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