Government on Monday presented a review of a draft on Malawi Foreign policy to the Parliamentary Committee on International Relations.
Speaking during the official opening of the presentation of the draft in Lilongwe, Principal Secretary (PS) for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Dalitso Kabambe said the country had its first policy in 2000 and it has never been reviews for 15 years.
“Following the adoption of the policy document in 2000, it provided a context and framework through which Malawi’s foreign interests and positions were anchored.
“Considering the ever changing geopolitical environment in which Malawi lives, the policy document included a framework for regular reviews of the document for every five years so that the policy is able to take into account the emerging changes,” explained Kabambe.
He however said due to other challenges, the policy was not reviewed for 15 years; it is only now that it has been reviewed.
Kabambe added that the policy recognises that, Malawi needs to continuously self-evaluate economically, politically, socially and culturally, in order to strategically position herself to meaningfully benefit from the ever changing dynamic global geopolitics.
He further said they have taken into account the current global development agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the slogan of the policy “A Catalyst for Sustainable Development” to identify five policy priority areas which are; Sovereign and Territorial Integrity,
Sustainable Development; Peace and Security; Democratic Governance and Human Rights; and Environmental Management and Climate Change.
Kabambe said the policy also recognises the foundation set by Malawi’s history and its predecessor policy, which provides an opportunity for learning and improvement for the betterment of all Malawian.
He emphasized that the policy would put in place mechanism to protect the land, water and airspace the country have from neighbouring countries.
According to Kabambe the implementation of the policy will start later this year and a number of changes would likely happen which includes; opening and closure of embassies abroad, further restructuring of offices and redrafting of strategic plans within the ministry headquarters and embassies abroad and a general review of the country’s operating procedures to make them more efficient and cost effective.
Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on International Affairs, Alex Major said the policy will provide improvement on the laws government signs with international co-operations and also brought a change in political environment and climate change.