Lilongwe, 21st September 2018: Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace in Lilongwe on 20th September 2018 under the theme Right to Peace.
In partnership with the Malawi Government, Chancellor College, and other stakeholders, the United Nations converged high-level and community women in politics, business, faith, public service, uniform, academia and law to discuss their contributions to peace in their communities.
The women spoke out and made a declaration to acknowledge their current role in achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions as well as promoting peace and tolerance during and after elections to sustain Malawi’s peace, democracy and development. Their discussions focused on inclusive institutions, justice for all and peaceful co-existence, underlining the point that a peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace enables an environment for sustainable development to take shape and sustainable development helps to promote peace.
One of the main outcomes of the commemoration was the signing of the Lilongwe International Peace Day Declaration. The following is the text of the declaration:
Lilongwe International Peace Day Declaration
“Peace cannot be realized without women’s rights”
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September. The day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the roles of individuals, communities and organizations in contributing towards peaceful societies in the active pursue of SDG 16.
On this year’s commemoration, we the delegates to the International Day of Peace meeting 2018, representing a cross-section of women in Malawi from diverse sectors, ethnicities, ages, cultures and religions, have met at Bingu International Conference Centre to join hands with the rest of the world in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “The Right to Peace
Guided by the African Union Vision: “The Agenda 2063” which reads; “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena”, we hereby sign this Declaration to mark our commitment to peace and to call upon all stakeholders in Malawi to enhance and sustain peace.
As peace cannot be achieved without the active participation of women in society, today we acknowledge the contribution made by women in Malawi towards peaceful coexistence and gender equality in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and Goal 5 – Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
We recall the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948); The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1994), The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979); the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1993) which emphasise the importance of upholding women’s rights.
We are committed to promoting SDGs 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and SDG 5: Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and girls by contributing to initiatives that enhance peaceful coexistence and gender equality. We recognize the importance of contributing to promote inclusive societies that are safe and violent-free spaces for women at all levels of society.
Finally, we pledge using our efforts to build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions that will contribute to the creation of a safe and inclusive Malawi for sustainable peace, democracy and development.