Address by His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of The Republic of Malawi at the Commemoration of The International Day of Peace and Launch of the National Peace PolicyNov 30, 2017
· Your Excellency Prof. Gertrude Mutharika, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi;
· Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi
· Ms Claire Medina, UNDP Resident Representative, Ad Interim
· Ambassador (Retired) Ron Nkomba, Vice Chairperson for the Civil Society Organisations Taskforce of the National Peace Architecture
· Honourable Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
· Honourable Leader of the Opposition;
· Your Excellency Madam Thandiwe Dumbutchena, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Heads of Diplomatic Missions;
· Mr. Lloyd Muhara, Chief Secretary to the Government
· Distinguished Invited Guests;
· Ladies and Gentlemen.
Peace is precious. Peace deserves to be celebrated. Therefore, we have gathered this morning to commemorate the 2017 International Day of Peace. At the same time, we are also here to launch of our National Peace Policy.
The rest of the world commemorated International Day of Peace on 21st September. But we waited for this day because it is symbolic that we must launch our National Peace Policy on this day.
These two events demonstrate that Government and the people of Malawi value peace. We value peace and that is why Malawi has been at peace for all these years. We celebrate peace because nothing works where there is no peace. We cherish peace because peace comes next to life itself.
No wonder, after completing his mission on earth, the immediate gift Jesus Christ left to humanity was peace. “My peace I leave to you,” tells us The Holy Bible.
Peace is the normal condition of human existence. Peace is the environment for development. Peace is the environment for human happiness. Peace is the next best gift we can give to one another. Therefore, as a human family, we all have the responsibility to ensure that everyone around us is at peace.
But peace should never be taken for granted. Peace does not come accidentally. Peace is delicate, and sometimes fragile.
Peace must be guarded jealously. For this reason, it is important for Government to take deliberate steps to safeguard peace. That is why we decided that Malawi must have a National Peace Policy.
By unveiling this National Peace Policy, we are satisfying the aspirations of Malawians who are peace loving people.
By inaugurating this policy, we fulfill the aspirations of our national Constitution, particularly Section 13(l). At the same time, we are also conforming to the various Conventions, Treaties, Charters and Protocols agreed upon at various regional, continental and global levels.
Today, we are joining the rest of the world of peace lovers. The world knows that Malawi is an envoy of peace in our part of the world. We have not just kept our nation at peace for years. We have also sent our soldiers to numerous peace keeping missions. And they have always returned home as shining stars of Africa.
My Fellow Malawians
Let us be proud of ourselves as peace keepers of the world because peace is a precious gift to mankind. Let us be proud that we are ambassadors of peace.
The world has learnt bitter lessons from wars, conflicts and hostilities. War and conflict have always shown us the worst of human evils. The worst of human nature! War is evil.
I therefore welcome the measures taken by the African Union Commission in supporting member states to establish Early Warning and Early Response mechanisms. These mechanisms will help countries to deal with conflicts as they begin to emerge.
Thus, we are launching our Policy at a timely moment when Africa is taking serious measures to safeguard peace. This means Malawi is going in the right direction.
But let me once again warn. We should never take peace for granted. It takes a high sense of responsibility and respect for others to keep peace with one another.
Unfortunately, I see a growing culture of provoking one another in our society. This is common a common discourse in our society. I see it in politics, in the media, including social media. For some people, creating lies and misinforming the public has become a norm.
We should never forget that we are a peace loving people. We should remember that the war in Ruanda began because of a radio station. Many precious lives were lost. And the rest is history. As we say, it is a small matchstick that ignites a great forest.
As we launch our peace policy today, let us all take the responsibility of safeguarding the peace we enjoy.
Time has come for us to be proactive by establishing and strengthening our systems and processes for managing conflicts. As long as we are human, there will always be conflict. Conflict is natural to human society. Our responsibility is how we manage our conflicts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am aware that the Policy requires that we must create a Malawi Peace Commission. This Commission will play a strategic role in advancing peace, particularly in preventing major conflicts in the country.
I am delighted to note the Peace Commission will be all inclusive. I have noted the striking emphasis on the participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities. Nobody must be marginalized. Everyone must have a voice in our peace architecture.
Our National Peace Policy is for every Malawian. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the Government Spokesperson and Chief Secretary to the Government to publicise the Policy extensively. Take the Policy to the people. Every Malawian must be part of the national peace architecture initiative.
Further, I have directed that the Policy should be translated in all major vernacular languages.
Finally, I would like to thank the UN family for funding the National Peace Architecture processes since 2012. You have always been with us. I am confident that your goodwill will continue as the process of establishing the Malawi Peace Commission begins in earnest.
Let me also invite other development partners and the private sector to join us. We all value peace! Together, we can make great things happen.
I now declare the National Peace Policy launched.
May God continue to keep us a land of peace!
And God bless mother Malawi!