Lilongwe, February 22, 2018. The new Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Maria Jose Torres Macho, today presented her letters of credence to the President of the Republic of Malawi, Prof. Peter Mutharika, officially starting her mission in the country. She has replaced Ms. Mia Seppo who completed her mission to Malawi in September last year.
After meeting with the President, Ms. Torres Macho said she was delighted to be part of advancing the continued cooperation between the UN and the Government of Malawi, reaffirming the UN’s commitment to support the Government in improving lives of Malawians.
“The UN has a long-standing cooperation with the Government of Malawi, which has yielded several gains such as the continued consolidation of Malawi’s democracy and promotion of human rights for all people, including those traditionally left behind in the development agenda,” said Ms. Torres Macho.
She added that the UN stands ready to partner with Malawi’s national institutions to overcome challenges related to high population growth, climate change, unemployment and corruption.
Ms. Torres Macho commended the Government for developing the new Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III, which she said presents a key opportunity to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
Prior to her appointment as the highest-ranking UN official in Malawi, Ms. Torres Macho was UN Senior Post Conflict Adviser in Colombia. She also served as Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Colombia and Deputy Head of Office for OCHA in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) for eight years. Before her OCHA assignment, she worked for the UN Department of Political Affairs in the Americas and Europe Division, and the Policy and Mediation Support Unit at the UN Headquarters in New York, where she was also deployed to the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
Earlier in her career, she worked with UNDP in Guatemala, UNHCR in Rwanda, in Madrid as Executive Director for Spanish NGO IPADE and in Brussels at the European Parliament.
Ms. Torres Macho studied Law in Spain and holds a Master in European Studies by the Pontificia University of Salamanca, a Master in International Relations by the Free University of Brussels, and a Master of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law (LLM) by Essex University.
Currently, there are more than 20 Agencies and specialised organisations of the United Nations active in Malawi which, through their work, contribute to ensuring a better life for the people of Malawi.
For more information, contact: UN Communications Officer in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Phillip Pemba, on 0995271671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.