|Overview : |
In its desire to ensure that the country remains peaceful and resolute, the Government of Malawi has commenced the process of establishing a National Peace Architecture (NPA) to serve as the national pillar for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and transformation. The NPA will functionally be represented at national and district levels where its structures will be engaging in a collaborative manner with other key stakeholders in reconciliation and transformative dialogues that foster national cohesion.
Considering the above, Government established 3 pilot District Peace Committees (DPCs) in Karonga, Mangochi and Kasungu in 2016, as a first step and a test towards learning lessons for the roll-out of the NPA structures nationwide.
The establishment of these pilots has been based on the provisions of the draft National Peace Policy, which was validated at a National Stakeholders workshop in March 2015 and submitted to Government for approval. Membership to the DPCs comprises of representatives from different stakeholders nominated in an open and transparent manner by their stakeholder groups within the district and appointed by the Chairperson of the District Council upon vetting by the full council.
The DPCs are mandated to engage collaboratively with other stakeholders within the district to sustain peace and unity, create and facilitate spaces for dialogue between groups, and communities for the exchange of ideas on issues that may threaten peace and stability within the communities in the district. Their specific functions include:
- To serve as the district pillar for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, management, resolution and transformation;
- To promote peace within the district
- To engage in trust and confidence building activities between groups and communities in conflict in the district
- To provide a platform upon which district dialogues on social, economic, political, ethnic and religious challenges can be held in a peaceful manner.
- To provide conflict sensitive advice to the district administration and councilors;
- To provide safe spaces for facilitated dialogues;
- To mediate between conflict parties;
- To refer cases of a regional or national nature to the NPA Secretariat
- To liaise with and report to NPA Secretariat for smooth functioning of the DPC
- To monitor and report on conflict early warning indicators
- To provide annual reports to NPA Secretariat and District Council
- conduct regular meetings with peace building agencies within the district for experience sharing and knowledge management