United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s plane was forced into an emergency landing in Malawi on Sunday night after it reportedly ran out of fuel.
Ban was on his way to South Africa for the International Aids Conference in Durban.
President Peter Mutharika swiftly sent Agriculture minister George Chaponda and scores of police officers to provide security for the UN chief.
Information minister Patricia Kaliati said Ban did not have a scheduled meeting with any government official.
“President Mutharika sent the Agriculture minister just for protocol, to be with him when his plane was being refuelled, they did not hold diplomatic discussions,” Kaliati said.
Ban spent close to an hour at the Malawian airport.
Meanwhile, UNAids executive director Michel Sidibe has bemoaned the continued dwindling of international funding towards the HIV and Aids response, expressing fears that gains made so far could be eroded if individual countries fail to mobilise their own resources to fund their health sectors.
Speaking at the official opening of the 2016 International Aids Conference in Durban yesterday, Sidibe said, of late, most funding partners had reduced their financial assistance towards Aids due to competing needs such as the fight against terrorism and illegal migration.
“If we continue with this trend, we will not be able to end Aids by 2030, we will have a rebound in this epidemic.
We will have resistance, we will lose our investments and we will have to pay more later,” Sidibe said.
“If we stop now, we will certainly regret because we have seen resurgence in this epidemic and that is not what we want.”
Ban said there was need to incorporate everybody in the fight against HIV including gays and lesbians if the world is to end Aids by 2030.