UN commends bringing into operation of the Access to Information Act

With this milestone, Malawi becomes a role model to other countries in the region and beyond.

The United Nations in Malawi appreciates Malawi Government’s swift gazetting of the date to operationalise the Access to Information Act from 30th September this year.

The Act represents an important step forward on good governance and human rights. After about 17 years of advocacy for the Act by key stakeholders, the operationalisation of the law is a significant step towards achieving the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (SDGs), namely target number 10 of SDG 16 which seeks to ensure public access to information. With this milestone, Malawi becomes a role model to other countries in the region and beyond.

“Accessing information is a human right, which means that ordinary citizens should be able to get information as an entitlement and not as a favour,” said the UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres. “Moreover, the right to information in accessible formats, including for persons with disabilities, linguistic minorities and the rural poor is important to ensure an inclusive democracy and governance for all persons in Malawi.”

The Act will also be essential in the fight against corruption. In this regard, the UN commends the Whistle-Blower provisions in the Act, which protect disclosure of confidential information where it is in the public interest, particularly where it exposes corruption, abuse of public office and human rights violations.

The UN also recognizes the role of the Malawi Human Rights Commission to independently monitor the implementation of the Act and to raise awareness on its effective use. The UN calls upon the Government to ensure adequate funding for the Commission to be able to fulfill this role.

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Currently, there are more than 20 Agencies and specialized organizations of the United Nations active in Malawi which, through their work, contribute to ensuring a better life for the people of Malawi.

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO
International Labor Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OCHA
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNDSS
United Nations Department of Safety and Security
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization