Parliament, UN sign MoU to advance good governance in Malawi

Speaker of Malawi Parliament and UN Resident Coordinator signing the MoU. Pic Chris Kaudzu

(Feb 28, 2019) Malawi Parliament and United Nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing the former’s legislative, oversight and representative functions. The MoU also seeks to promote good governance and accountability on implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya and UN Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres signed the MoU at Parliament Building in Lilongwe on 19th February 2019. The MoU brings together the entire UN System in Malawi to deal with Parliament in a coordinated and coherent manner.

Msowoya said the MoU will help make Parliament more responsive to the needs of Malawians as it will address challenges the institution used to face from disjointed UN agency interventions such as duplication of efforts, concentration of resources in few areas, dealing with different planning and reporting formats, and difficulties in monitoring and evaluation of interventions.

“The signing of this MoU marks a significant shift in the way we operate as Parliament of Malawi,” said Msowoya. “I am extremely happy to note that the arrangement within the MoU is putting much emphasis on joint planning, well-coordinated implementation as well as harmonised reporting.”

He said the MoU is in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness which seeks to ensure increased contribution of development assistance in meeting national development priorities.

Torres said the MoU is in line with the ongoing UN Reform aimed at improving UN operations and repositioning its development system to be fit for purpose in the Agenda 2030 era.

“Achieving the transformative 2030 Agenda requires concerted efforts and Parliament is not left out,” said Torres. “Parliaments have a critical roles to play in the implementation of the SDGs. Parliaments are uniquely positioned to act as an interface between the people and State institutions, amplifying the voice of Malawians to promote and adopt people-centred policies and legislation and therefore ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Some of the areas of cooperation in the MoU are: legislation, governance, girls and women empowerment, and food security, agriculture and climate change.