Governance and Human Rights Expert Undule Mwakasungula has commended the President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s administration on Malawi’s re-election as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with the highest votes among African countries as a milestone for national pride and recognition.
Mwakasungula, in an interview on Wednesday, said Malawi’s re-election serves as an affirmation of the country’s commitment to human rights as itt indicates that the international community recognizes Malawi’s efforts in this domain of human rights.
“Important to note that being a member of the UNHRC provides Malawi with a platform to influence global human rights policies. This is particularly important for a country like Malawi, which has a diverse set of its own challenges related to human rights, including issues surrounding health, education, women, girls people with Albinism, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), people who use drugs (PWUDs), LGBTQI rights, and more,” he said.
But the renowned human rights activist challenged that the membership should come with the responsibility of upholding the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. It puts Malawi under international scrutiny, thereby encouraging transparency and accountability.
He said it was interesting that the high number of votes Malawi received among African countries enhances Malawi diplomatic capital.
“It positions Malawi as a leader in human rights within the African continent, which could be leveraged in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. As a member of the UNHRC, Malawi has the opportunity to represent not just itself but also other African nations in global dialogues on human rights. This is crucial for bringing African perspectives into international human rights discourse.
“As a human rights advocate, this news is encouraging. It provides an opportunity for Malawi to play an important role in shaping human rights policies globally. However, it also serves as a reminder that much work remains to be done domestically. The country must strive to set an example by addressing its own human rights challenges effectively,” he narrated.