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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

STATEMENT
BY
HIS EXCELLENCY PROFESSOR PETER MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

On

THE EVE OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY


LILONGWE

Wednesday, 9th December, 2015

Fellow Malawians,
The 10th of December every year is the International Human
Rights Day. The day is commemorated in all the 193 Member
States of the United Nations, to remind us of our human
rights, duties, responsibilities and obligations. I therefore have
the honour of addressing the nation on this important
commemoration.
The International Human Rights Day was set by the United
Nations to honour the United Nations General Assembly's
adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights on 10th December in 1948. The idea of this
declaration was to celebrate that we have rights to which all
human beings are inherently entitled.
We commemorate the International Human Rights Day in
various activities. These include rallies, conferences, cultural
events and exhibitions on human rights issues. These activities
are organised by different concerned groups. Malawi is
proud to be part of this international occasion. As a country,
we will this year celebrate this day at a Human Rights Public
Rally scheduled forthe 10th of December. I am proud to say I
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will personally attend. And I urge you all to demonstrate your


patriotism to be part of this commemoration.
It is very important for us to live and commemorate this
Human Rights Day with the rest of humankind. The day allows
us to come together in a common spirit that remembers to
dignify humanity. On this day, we remember to rise above
our differences and focus on the things that matter most in
human existence. It is the day we remember that beyond
our differences, we are all born equal with dignity and worth.
This is the principle at the core of our commemoration.

The international community affirms this principle in various


instruments. This fundamental principle is firmly entrenched in
the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. Our recognition
of the equality, dignity and worth of all humanity compels us
to join the international community and affirm our national
commitment to the promotion and protection of the human
rights of all people.

This year, our theme is: Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always.
In commemorating this theme, we are reminded of the
importance of our rights and responsibilities. These are the
rights and responsibilities we need to make the most of our
human existence and to attain sustainable development in
Malawi.
This commemoration also enables us as Government to
reaffirm our commitment to the fulfillment of our Human
Rights Obligations.
Fellow Malawians,
In this theme, we are also challenged to realize that there
cannot be rights and freedoms without responsibility. As we
remember our rights and freedoms, let us also remember our
duties and responsibilities.
Indeed, we all have the responsibility to ensure that we
realise our human rights as a country. And the onus of
realising human rights does not rest with the State alone. This
is the time for us all to reflect on our individual and collective
duties for the realisation of human rights in Malawi.
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We the people of Malawi are proud because we have a


strong framework for the protection of human rights. We
have an independent judiciary, a strong national human
rights institution, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, and
a vibrant civil society. 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. As we commemorate this
years 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 solutions.
In closing, let me once again reaffirm Governments
commitment to ensuring that concerted efforts continue
and strategies are implemented in order for Malawians to
live dignified lives. Let me assure all the people of Malawi
that Government remains committed to steadfastly promote
and protect the human rights of the people in Malawi
through the transformation of human rights from abstract
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promises to genuine improvement in the daily lives of all


people in Malawi, especially those who are marginalized or
vulnerable. Let me call upon all duty bearers, the individual,
the family, the community, the private sector, development
partners to support my Governments efforts in this cause. I
want to appeal to all Malawians of goodwill to join in the
quest by Government for the full and effective realisation of
human rights for all people in Malawi.
I wish you all a happy and successful International Human
Rights Day. It is our day, every one of us!
God bless us all and bless our Country Malawi.
THANK YOU.