President Peter Mutharika has urged all Malawians to reflect on their individual and collective duties for the realisation of human rights in the country as the onus of realising the same does not rest with the State alone.
In his address on the eve of Human Rights Day which falls on December 10 and this year is being commemorated under the theme Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always, the President said every Malawian has the responsibility to ensure that the country realises its human rights.
In a speech made available to The Nation by the State House Press Office Wednesday evening, Mutharika said the theme also challenges Malawians that there cannot be rights and freedoms without responsibility; hence, the importance of their rights and responsibilities.
He said: “As we commemorate this year’s International Human Rights Day, there is cause for us to celebrate our efforts. While we celebrate, we are also aware of challenges that stand in our way. A time of commemoration is also a time to reflect on the challenges that beset us. Most importantly, let us collectively reflect on the possible solution.”
The President said Malawians should be proud because they have a strong framework for the protection of human rights as there is an independent Judiciary, a strong national human rights institution in the taxpayer funded Malawi Human Rights Commission as well as a vibrant civil society.
He added: “In recent times, government has made considerable progress in reporting at both the United Nations and African Union levels. Malawi has also continuously enacted laws that entrench relevant human rights standards and principles.”
Mutharika also reaffirmed government’s commitment to ensuring that concerted efforts continue and strategies are implemented in order for Malawians to live dignified lives.
December 10 every year is the International Human Rights Day which is commemorated in all the 193 member States of the United Nations (UN) to remind people of their human rights, duties, responsibilities and obligations.
The day was set by the UN to honour the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA’s) adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December in 1948.
As a country, Malawi will this year celebrate this day at a Human Rights Public Rally today at Masintha ground in Lilongwe where the President will be in attendance. n