Our Priorities

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Cross Cutting Issues

Human Rights: The UN in Malawi is committed to advancing progress in the promotion of human rights and gender equality in all sectors. Malawi is a signatory to some major international treaties promoting human rights and rule of law. However, most international conventions need national ratification through Parliament and submission of State party reports on the ratified treaties remains limited, thereby posing accountability challenges. In events where State party reports have been submitted, there is limited follow up on recommendations made by UN treaty bodies. Revisions of key laws to align with international conventions are, in a number of instances, overdue. Non-ratification of UN conventions on rights is an important issue for Malawi in consolidation of democratic governance. Read more…
Gender: Almost all four Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are unlikely to be met in Malawi are deeply related to gender issues (MDG1, MDG 2, MDG 3 and MDG 5). The Gender Index indicates that women’s economic and political power in the country is weak, with disparities relative to men being particularly noticeable in agricultural household enterprises; in paid employment, and in senior positions across all sectors of life. Malawi’s progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment has been below expectation and attributed to inadequate gender structures in the country to drive gender equality at a policy level. Many of the initial structures to coordinate the national response following the Beijing Platform of Action were informally institutionalised, and have therefore fallen away. As a result, support for gender programming and projects has often been fragmented and disparate, with little institutional support available from the National Gender Mainstreaming Division within the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare which itself faces serious human and financial capacity constraints and lacks institutional support to fulfill its mandate. Read more…

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Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

In September 2000, 189 Heads of State and Government gathered at the United Nations in New York at the Millennium Summit and adopted what became known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Targets. A set of time-bound goals, the MDGs are an embodiment of wider human concerns and issues – they are “people-centred” and measure human progress.
The MDGs are intended to engender national initiatives and strategies geared towards alleviating poverty and improving the standard of living of the poorest of the poor across the globe.

Although the global challenge to alleviate poverty is overwhelming, these leaders decided to concentrate on eight crucial goals that touch upon available income and food, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships.
The eight goals are set to encourage all countries, rich or poor, to focus on human development problems. They have been carefully selected with the help of the UN Agencies and other international organisations. They include 18 feasible straightforward targets to be met through country policies and programmes, international aid, and civil society engagement. These targets are set to be achieved in a 25-year period from 1990 to 2015.

International Development Targets, which preceded the MDGs, were derived from a series of UN global conferences held during the 1990s. Read more…

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On 2nd March 2005, Ministers and other high-level officials of some 85 developed and developing countries as well as heads of some 20 bi-lateral and multilateral development organisations gathered in Paris, France, to discuss ways to improve the quality of development assistance. The message coming out of Paris was loud and clear: “Development assistance works best when it is fully aligned with national priorities and needs.”

They adopted the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness which lays out a practical, action-orientated road-map to improve the quality of aid and its impact on development. It puts in place a series of specific measures for implementation and establishes performance indicators that assess progress.

It also calls for an international monitoring system to ensure that donors and recipients hold each other accountable – a feature that is unique among international agreements. Read more…

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Post 2015

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established the benchmarks for the global development policy in 2000 with targets expiring in 2015. The MDGs have made a huge impact in the lives of billions, but there is still much more to be done to address extreme poverty, diseases and environmental crises. Although much progress will have been made, many targets will not have been met, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
With 2015 fast approaching and the implementation of the MDGs coming to an end, the United Nations, its development partners and its implementing partners, are looking at what development priorities various countries should focus on beyond 2015. In the Secretary General’s report on Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: options for sustained and inclusive growth and issues for advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, he states that “the post-2015 development framework is likely to have the best development impact if it emerges from an inclusive, open and transparent process with multi-stakeholder participation”. The United Nations development framework for the period after 2015 will build on the progress achieved through the MDGs while confronting persistent inequalities and new challenges facing people and the planet. Read more…

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The UN in Malawi, in collaboration with Development Partners, is committed to supporting the Government of Malawi to achieve long-term, sustainable development results that will benefit the people of Malawi. The UN Country Team (UNCT) applies results based management principles in the planning, implementation and assessments of their programmes and operations.
Furthermore, the UNCT ensures accountability for results through implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework, containing realistic targets against which effectiveness and efficiency can be measured and reported on. The UN in Malawi regularly assesses the immediate outputs and longer term outcomes of its collaboration with partners. Periodic reviews and evaluations are undertaken to ensure goals and targets set out in development plans are on track to be met. Read more…

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UN Cares and UN Plus

UN Cares is designed to reduce the impact of HIV on the UN workforce by supporting “universal access” to a comprehensive range of benefits for all UN personnel and their families. These benefits – known as the UN Cares 10 Minimum Standards – include information and education, voluntary counseling and testing, access to male and female condoms, and emergency prevention measures in case of accidental exposure, among others. The Standards also call for increased measures to stop stigma and discrimination. Download: UN Cares 10 Minimum Standards; UN Cares Minimum Standards with IndicatorsUN Cares Brochure. Read more…
UN Plus is a group of UN staff living with HIV. Established in 2005, the network aims to give a voice to issues affecting those living with HIV and working in the UN system. The group supports all members in the UN system that are living with HIV and AIDS, regardless of their levels of disclosure. Read more…