New York- US (PANA) -- Malaw's President Bingu wa Mutharika and current Chairman of the African Union (AU), says Africa is striving to transform itself political l y and economically for the benefit of its people.
He also noted that African leaders were working to eradicate hunger, disease and poverty.
"I want to present to you another Africa,â? Mutharika said on Friday in his spe ech at the UN General Assemblyâ?s annual general debate.
"This is the Africa of new hopes and new possibilities, Africa of industrial, mi neral, and agro-processing opportunities, Africa with new jobs creation prospect s ; and Africa that can produce enough food to feed its people,â? he stated.
Speaking of a "new beginning" in Africa, the president said he wanted the UN to "share our belief that Africa is not a poor continent, rather it is its people t h at are poor.
"I have come to inform this world body that Africa has decided to shift from â~ Afro-pessimismâ? to â~Afro-optimism'.
" Mutharika, however, lamented that the media had long portrayed Africa as a regio n of conflicts, diseases, poverty and despair, ignoring any positive development s on good governance, peaceful multi-party elections and strong microeconomic gro w th.
On Sudan, the AU Chairman said that the country presented a special challenge to both the AU and UN in their support of the implementation of the Comprehensive P eace Agreement (CPA) which was signed in 2005 to end two decades of civil war be t ween the north and the south.
He said that African leaders were concerned that the indictment on war crimes, c rimes against humanity and genocide of Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir by the I n ternational Criminal Court (ICC) could undermine peacebuilding efforts in Sudan.
"The African Union therefore strongly appeals to the United Nations General Asse mbly to amend Article 16 of the Rome Statue to enable it to assume the powers of the Security Council to defer the case against President Al-Bashir for one year t o allow ongoing negotiations and dialogue to succeed," Mutharika said.
PANA reports that the Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC.
Mutharika also said the AU supported the UN as an instrument for international c onsensus and global governance and stressed the need for the organization to str e ngthen its institutions to make the decision-making process more equitable.
According to him: "African leaders believe that the United Nations, with its uni versal membership, is well placed to build political consensus for global govern a nce''.
The Malawi leader said the AU was proposing that Africa be given two permanent s eats and five-non permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
"The African Union should have the right to determine the selection of the Afric aâ?s representative in the Security Council," he added.