By PAC Correspondent
As a platforms for collaborative dialogue, advocacy, dialogue facilitation, peace building and conflict prevention, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is a critical civil society organ in Malawi.
This is in line with the constitutional provision in Section 13 (l) of the constitution, which calls for “adoption of mechanisms for peaceful settlement of conflicts through, among other strategies; conciliation, and mediation to ensure that the country is secure and democratically mature”;
And the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy calls on “the CSOs (Civil society organizations) to implement some specific activities in various sectors and complement government’s oversight accountability functions to safeguard the interests of Malawians”.
PAC constitutonal objectives include:
* encouraging religious bodies to fulfill their prophetic and religious roles, and respond to the socio-economic and political affairs of the Republic of Malawi;
* entering into and maintain dialogue with any person, political body or any other institution in the Republic of Malawi regarding any issues of concern to the nation;
* promoting peace and tranquility in the Republic of Malawi;
* promoting respect for the rule of law for human rights in the Republic of Malawi;
* promoting education in principles of democracy, good governance,and respect for human rights and the rule of law;
* encouraging and support the creation of scholarships or bursaries or prizes to be awarded to deserving students of Malawi origin;
* devoting itself to the increase of the knowledge and understanding of Malawians on issues relating to the advancement of status of Malawians culturally, politically and economically;
* developing relationships with religious and other institutions sharing the aims and objectives of PAC; and
*to work with international organizations, governments and institutions with an interest in the promoting and establishment of a common standards of democratic governance and respect for the rule of law, with the purpose of attaining and maintaining the highest standards of excellence, transparency and participation in governance.
The Public Affairs Committee (PAC), among other things, undertakes advocacy and lobbying on constitutional issues, issues of national importance with stakeholders including the head of states.
PAC also undertakes public dialogue on contentious issues of national importance e.g. undertake All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference, conference consultations on specific governance issues.