“Evidently, non-state actors are able to freely participate so much so that we have witnessed unprecedented proliferation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dealing in various areas of governance which operate without let or hindrance,” says Mutharika as he leads Malawians in joining the rest of the world in observing the International Human Rights Day which falls on 10 December every year.
He said it was encouraging that human rights actors hold his government accountable, “thereby helping the mechanism of Open Government placed in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)”.
He added that his Government was “open to any form of constructive and progressive feedback that such actors offer”.
Turning to this year’s global theme: “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”, the Malawi leader said since time in memorial, youth have always been major drivers of political, economic and social transformation.
“Globally we have seen the youth at the forefront of grassroots mobilisation for positive change and bringing fresh ideas and solutions for a better world,” he said, calling upon all youths to take an active role in safeguarding their human rights and protecting the rights of others.
While assuring Malawians that Government will always support the youth, President Mutharika said he was aware of the limitations to the full realisation of the potential of our youths.
He said that it was for that reason why his administration “has lined up corresponding interventions to address the challenges”.
He said, among the intervention were; the introduction of the Graduate Internship programme, which is aimed at absorbing jobless graduates into the labour market on a short-term basis; constructing community technical colleges to equip the Youth with skills to create their own jobs and businesses; and the introduction Youth Loan Scheme which financially empowers the youth to create small scale business.
Meanwhile, commemorations for the day were held at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe and were presided over by the Vice President Everton Chimulirenji.
Activities at BNS included a football match between Silver Strikers and Blue Eagles, live music band by the Black Missionaries and comedies.
The United Nation General Assembly set aside the day to commemorate the adoption, on 10th December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human and Peoples’ Rights (UDHPR). The declaration is the first global enunciation of human rights and freedoms to which all human beings are inherently entitled.