UN Malawi Bulletin, August - October 2019

Report
from UN Country Team in Malawi
Published on 31 Oct 2019 View Original

Malawi has chance to step up sustainable development efforts in next decade

IN THIS ISSUE

Celebrating UN Day with Youth Climate Action in Malawi p 2-5

Govt calls for change in production, supply and consumption of food p 9

A second chance for girls in Malawi p 15

USA Ambassador to Malawi Robert Scott visits Dzaleka Refugee Camp p 17

‘Malawi has chance to step up sustainable development efforts in next decade’

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, has said the next decade presents an opportunity for Malawi and the world to step up efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Speaking on 25th October at a reception organised to commemorate October 24th UN Day, Torres said doing things differently can accelerate SDGs achievement in Malawi. “We gave ourselves until 2030 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said. “There are 10 years to go. The UN is calling this a decade of action for delivering the SDGs. Together with the government, parliament, civil society, international community, private sector and local communities, we need to work on opportunities to fast-track implementation of the SDG agenda in Malawi.” Torres said doing things differently to combat climate change, end violence against women and girls, and change behaviours that cost lives, can enhance Malawi’s drive towards inclusive and sustainable development. “We need to stop violence against women and girls. Men and boys should be involved in this behavioural change because one cannot do it alone. The entire society needs to behave in a different pattern in relation to issues such as HIV and AIDS and sexual reproductive health,” she said.
Torres said Malawi’s participation in the Voluntary National Review of the SDGs at the High-Level Political Forum in New York next year, is an opportunity for the country to feed into the decade of action conversation and showcase how the country is engaging different stakeholders to accelerate the SDG agenda. She said, next year, Malawi can also advance constructive engagement on human rights through the country’s appearance for the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in Geneva, which will assess the country’s performance in realising human rights for its people.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Bright Msaka, who was the Guest of Honour at the reception, said Malawi has contributed to and benefited from the ideas and ideals of the UN over the years. “Issues of peace and security, development and climate change are all part of the issues that we are dealing with within the UN family,” said Msaka. “In everything that the UN stands for, Malawi is participating and benefiting in those areas.” He said the country is improving access to quality education and addressing climate change through initiatives like reforestation and afforestation programmes. “In terms of clean energy, we have about six or seven projects for solar energy that aim to distribute power even to rural areas so that as many people as possible begin to reduce their dependence on the forest. We are also looking at protecting river sources and river banks to avoid siltation,” he said.

Msaka said government is also promoting youth access to education, women's empowerment and economic growth.

In the lead up to the UN Day reception, the UN implemented a series of activities under the theme Youth for Environment, including SDGs Awareness Youth Tour (led by ArtGlo), greening the Lake of Stars festival, youth action for peace market cleaning exercise, conversation with the media on how to accelerate youth SDG action and open UN houses, which culminated into the UN Day reception and Youth Concert.