July 30, 2018: The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) on 27th July engaged with senior media managers and editors in Blantyre on UN contributions to Malawi’s development, with the UN Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres urging media houses to continue ensuring that various stakeholders, including political parties and election candidates, remain focused on key development issues in the country.
The UN System in Malawi has developed its new joint development assistance framework, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2019 to 2013, aimed at supporting the Malawi Government to achieve its national development aspirations as stipulated in the third Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) running from 2017 to 2022.
“What we find to be critical is the media’s role to continue reporting on issues. The work that the UN will be concentrating on will be underpinned by the principle of leaving no one behind, including people with disabilities, women, children, the youth and the elderly,” said Torres.
She said promoting human rights, including media freedom, will also remain a key focus of UN work in Malawi, saying ensuring respect of human rights for all can advance achievement of sustainable development in the country.
UN Communications Group (UNCG) Chairperson and UNHCR Representative Monique Ekoko added that the UN in Malawi counts on the media to raise awareness on human rights, analyze and generate debates on human rights issues, report human rights violations, as well as interrogate Malawi’s human rights State Party reports to the UN human rights Treaty Bodies.
“We also rely on the media to continue shinning the light on issues affecting Agenda 2030 achievement, including inequalities and discrimination, and promoting peaceful and inclusive participation in the electoral process, especially for women, youth, and persons with disabilities,” said Monique.
National Editors’ Forum Secretary General Gracian Tukula said the media in Malawi appreciates the partnership it has with the UN System, saying media houses will continue to actively promote development in Malawi through many ways such as awareness raising and promotion of accountability among stakeholders.
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Chief Editor Chisomo Ngulube said the media in Malawi are keen to remain focused on issues in their coverage.
“The meeting with UN heads was a great opportunity for us as editors and media managers to gain more insight into the work the UN is doing in Malawi and how we as the media can partner with them to document, keep track, create more awareness, shine a spotlight on the issues good or bad,” she said. “Again, as editors, we are often at the back, we do not often get the opportunity to meet the faces behind the news. So the interaction was great.”
The new UNDAF for Malawi has three pillars where UN Agencies in the country will be implementing their programmes and projects. They include peace, inclusion and effective institutions; population management and inclusive human development; and inclusive and resilient growth.