Malawi commemorates international Day of Peace, Launches National Peace PolicyNov 30, 2017
The importance of sustainable peace as a prerequisite for development in Malawi cannot be taken too lightly. Peace has been described as the mother of civilization. A state of harmony, order and justice in a society. An enabler for development and prosperity for nations. The backbone and lifeblood of basic human rights and democracy for any democratic nation, including Malawi.
Sustaining peace and unity in the country is also crucial for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 which looks at peace, justice and strong institutions.
Malawi has enjoyed a state of peace and stability since its independence in 1964 and is one of the countries that has not seen large scale armed conflict on a comparable scale as other nations continue to experience instability and conflict.
Recent trends and new challenges however have unveiled potential threats to peace and unity in the country. Political tensions, gender-based violence, lack of economic opportunities and inequality – amongst others - threaten the peaceful coexistence of all Malawians.
As such the Launch of the National Peace Policy and the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, that took place on the 29th November 2017 in Lilongwe has come at the right time.
With the theme ‘Together for peace; Unity in diversity’, the Launch of the Peace Policy was presided by His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, who marked the event as an important milestone in the sustenance of peace in the country.
“We value peace and that is why Malawi has been at peace for all these years. It is symbolic that we launch the National Peace Policy on this day,” said Mutharika.
In a true symbol of social cohesion, the Launch was graced by leaders of opposition Political Parties, legislators, faith based leaders, traditional leaders, civil society organizations and many others.
In her statement, the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative a.i, Claire Medina described the newly launched Peace Policy as an illustration of the choice Malawi has made to invest in peace rather than respond to violent conflict when it is too late.
“This is a Policy that has been developed through extensive consultation and trust building. For it to be successful, it must also be taken forward through trust, providing space for dialogue for all Malawians: women, young people, people with disabilities and others. For lasting peace must be inclusive...and diversity must be an ideal which unites all Malawians,” she said.
The Chief Secretary to the Government, Mr. Lloyd Muhara said in his statement that the commemoration and Launch of the Peace Policy sends the right message to all that Malawi is strongly committed in ensuring sustainable peace and government will implement the policy with great speed. He assured that the consultations that were done during the development of the policy will continue during the implementation and that no sector will be left behind.
The National Peace Policy will provide a framework that specifies the institutional arrangements within which peace building initiatives in the country will be coordinated and collaborated among al stakeholders
One key priority of the newly launched Policy will be to establish National Peace Architecture at a national and district levels to work in conflict prevention, reconciliation and transformational dialogue aimed at fostering community and national cohesion.