NEW YORK, USA – His Majesty King Mswati III’s 77th Session of the United Nations General programme indicates a tight schedule which includes several meetings with world leaders.
These include meeting the United States President Joe Biden and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN officials, and private business.
The King, who is accompanied by Inkhosikati Make LaNgangaza and about eight cabinet ministers, is physically joining world leaders in New York for the first time in two years as the world begins to recover from one of the worst pandemics, COVID-19.
His Majesty the King is expected to discuss the terrible geopolitical situation which has been, in part, created by the pandemic, inequalities between the rich and poor countries, the food crisis, and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The theme for this 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is “A watershed moment: Transformative solutions to interlocking challenges.”
UN Secretary-General Guterres, describing the current crisis to UN News on Monday said: “My objective is to make it clear that the geopolitical divisions we are witnessing today are terrible. When the world is facing climate change when the world is facing the possibility of other pandemics and COVID-19 has not yet been resolved, when the world is facing high levels of inequality between developed and developing countries, and huge inequality within countries. The world needs to turn around on all these aspects. We need unity, we need cooperation, we need dialogue, and the present geopolitical divides are not allowing it to happen. We need to change course.”
Yesterday (Tuesday) the King met with the UN Secretary-General Guterres at the UN headquarters before the official opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
Later in the day, according to a programme released by Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Thulisile Dladla, United Arab Emirates Minister of State Sheik Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was scheduled to make a courtesy visit to His Majesty the King at his hotel.
His Majesty the King is expected to address the world today, which would be around 14:55 hours New York time (20:55 hours local time).
In the evening USA President Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden would host a reception for his Majesty the King and other world leaders at the American Museum of Natural History.
Tomorrow UNDP Regional Director for Africa, UN Assistant Administrator Ahunna Eziakonwa will pay a courtesy visit to His Majesty the King. Later in the evening, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Eswatini together with US business magnate Jacob Arabo will host a dinner in honour of the King.
His Majesty the King’s final engagement will be on Friday when the Eswatini Investment Forum in collaboration with the UNDP will host the business forum on how to assist Eswatini in start-up businesses and sourcing funding.
Cabinet ministers in the King’s delegation include Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Thulisile Dlamini, Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard-Mabuza, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Moses Vilakati, Health Minister Senator Lizzie Nkosi, Commerce Trade and Industry Manqoba Khumalo, Home Affairs Princess Lindiwe Dlamini and Economic Planning and Development Dr. Thambo Gina who is represented by PS Thabsile Mlangeni.
Senator Dladla will participate in all the 77th UNGA including the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting, the business dinner, as well as bilateral meetings with counterparts and international cooperating partners together with her technical team.
Commerce Industry and Trade Minister Khumalo other than the Friday’s Eswatini Business Forum organised in conjunction with the UNDP will also attend the private dinners the King would have with business including the one between the Global CEO for ABInbev, the parent company of Eswatini Beverages.
Senator Khumalo is also expected to be a keynote speaker together with Nigerian counterpart Otunba Niyi Adebayo on the margins of the UN under the theme “Brewing the Future, beer’s role in economic development in Africa. The event is organised by Worldwide Brewing Alliance and The Africa Center.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Vilakati is attending the critical global climate change transition issues looking into the institutional investors’ climate, finance dialogue, and the business seminar.
The UN Secretary-General Guterres told UN News on Monday that climate change was the defining issue of our time and that he was extremely worried because, with the war in Ukraine and several other events, climate change seems to have moved out of the priorities for many decision-makers around the world. He said this was suicidal.
“We see emissions growing and we see fossil fuels becoming fashionable again [even though] we know that fossil fuels are the main [cause] for the progressive war against nature that we have been waging throughout our history,” he said.
“It is essential to reduce emissions now. And unfortunately, while we should be able to reduce 45 per cent of the emissions [by] 2030, we are [instead facing] an increase in emissions [by] 14 percent in 2030. So, we need to reverse this trend. We are heading into a catastrophic situation, and we have not much time to turn things around,” warned Guterres.
Education and Training Minister Mabuza participated in the summit on transforming education and other meetings related to African countries which continued yesterday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Home Affairs Princess Lindiwe on the other hand attended the high-level meeting to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of People belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities.
Health Minister Senator Lizzie Nkosi will participate in the high-level side event on “Political Leadership in the HIV Response” and participate at the George W. Bush institution for the 20th PEPFAR conference.
PS Economic Planning on behalf of her minister participated in the annual Sustainable Development Goals moment. She will also present programs and strategies aligned with the Kingdom’s economic recovery strategy at the business seminar.