Position Paper

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Position Paper

Post  Feldman on Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:37 am

Malawi is a member of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology education. The centre, whose mandate is “capacity-building through post-graduate training of educators of the Anglophone African countries and research and development activities in the area of space science and technology application for sustainable development.”

To date the centre has many accomplishments including funding for a space museum, project-based workshops on space education for elementary and junior schools, as well as for the fabrication of mock-ups of space hardware such as satellites and launch vehicles.

Malawi also attended the African Leadership Conference on Space Science and Technology, held in 2005 that stressed regional and international collaboration. Malawi is working with Nigeria in order to launch a satellite to offer tele-education and tele-medicine to the country.

Malawi is a member of UNISPACE III and COPUOS. One of the most important things Malawi stresses on this account is that the technology should be shared with everyone, that the environment comes before greed and profit, and that space is used as a tool to help aid our country.

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SALW

Post  Feldman on Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:40 am

Malawi has, over recent years witnessed an increased and alarming flow into the country of small arms and light weapons from conflict afflicted areas particularly in Africa. The use of small arms and light weapons illegally brought into Malawi has destroyed lives and livelihoods, bred insecurity of the person and property, and caused fear and terror amongst the people in various ways.
This has, in turn, imposed enormous costs on the Government, communities and individuals and caused a profoundly negative impact on socio-economic and human development in the country particularly in the rural areas where economic activities have been greatly affected by armed crime and violence. Ordinary people in rural communities have lost valuable property and lives to criminals armed with small arms or light weapons. Many have been maimed or injured and are no longer able to freely conduct their economic activities without the threat of armed violence.
Freedom from the threat of violence is a basic human right and a precondition for social, economic and human development, and the dignity and well-being of all people. In this regard, in the 2005 World Summit Outcome document, our Heads of State and Government recognized the linkage between development, peace, security and human rights and its impact on the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
Accordingly, Malawi calls upon the international community led by the United Nations to intensify its efforts in assisting to remove illegal arms in African countries and prevent armed violence in order to help Africa achieve the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in a peaceful and secure environment. After all, the vast majority of arms used to commit armed violence and armed conflict come from outside Africa. Africa can no longer afford the cost of armed conflict or allow armed conflict to continue to hold back economic growth and the livelihoods of its people.
Malawi views the unregulated manufacture and supply of small arms and light weapons as a real threat to peace, security and development. It is for these reasons that Malawi endorsed the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development which emerged from a summit hosted by Switzerland and the UNDP in June, 2006.
Furthermore, we also associate ourselves with the efforts of the international community to establish an effective international regime to regulate the manufacture and transfer of small arms and light weapons and their ammunition. We believe that the unregulated availability of small arms and light weapons leads to a breakdown of the rule of law, democracy and legitimate State structures.
Accordingly, we support ongoing efforts towards the elaboration of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) aimed at ending illicit manufacturing and trade in small arms and light weapons and their ammunition. We believe that this is a significant step towards the standardization of international trade in conventional arms and ensuring that small arms and light weapons do not end up in wrong hands or used for illegal activities. It is, therefore, our hope that the ATT will control both the supply of and demand for conventional weapons. In this regard, we call upon African governments, arms-producing countries, and the rest of the international community, to vigorously and proactively support international discussions to achieve a robust ATT to ensure that Africa is protected from armed violence.
In the meantime, we support all the efforts being made in the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects.
~Steve D. Matenje

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