Several UN member States took turns to congratulate Malawi for a peaceful, democratic transition as positive examples to the African continent at the 36th Session of UN Human Rights Council’s organized Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Malawi appeared before the UN Human Rights Council to present it’s progress in terms of implementation of the human rights recommendations it received under the second cycle of UPR.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Titus Mvalo – who was the leader of delegation constituting representation from Malawi Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs presented the human rights track record on behalf of Malawi during the UPR)— which all 193 UN countries must undergo every four years .
During a review of Malawi’s rights record , UN member countries hailed Malawi for a peaceful and democratic election which had a set a good example to the rest of the world in as far as consolidation of electoral and democratic governance is concerned.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Justice Mvalo said as monitored by Nyasa Times via UN TV, the greatest lesson they had learnt from the peaceful, historic, and democratic transition was that Malawians were midwives of their own destiny.
“Between 2019 and 2020, the people of Malawi further decided to reclaim the country’s destiny and chart it on the course of our founders’ dreams. In 2019, Malawi held a General Election which was marred by irregularities. What followed was a year of public protests, the Malawi Defence Force standing with the people and the Judiciary fiercely protecting our democracy.
“This process culminated in fresh Presidential Elections in June 2020, which saw the birth of the administration of His Excellency President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera. What have we learnt in the past year? We have learnt that people are the midwives of their own destiny.”
Mvalo continued: “We have learnt that democracy can be hijacked and it is the responsibility of every generation to guard it fiercely.”
He further told the UN that Malawi was now revitalized and a key player on the international scene and a fervent defender of human rights.
“In this new Malawi, the duty bearer is bound by the solemn dictates of our Constitution to serve the people and exercise power by sustaining the trust of the people of Malawi. The demand for transparency and accountability is now entrenched in our 3-national psyche.
“Never again will the Malawian be taken for granted. Furthermore, we pledge before our people and this Council, that the virtues enshrined in our Constitution, and international human rights law, will be highly respected,” said the usually reserved and calm Mvalo.
During the session, a long line of country representatives, speaking in the room or remotely due to coronavirus restrictions, applauded Malawi for implementing some of the recommendations but were also quick to raise concern around areas of gender-based violence, prison conditions, attacks on persons with albinism just to mention a few.
Malawi is expected to receive consolidated recommendations based on it’s report and review by other countries.
Under the UPR mechanism, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva reviews each UN member country’s human rights record every five years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :