16 August , 2011
Concerned with the challenges facing the country and in the spirit of promoting peace and unity in Malawi , representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Presidential Committee on Contact and Dialogue held a preliminary dialogue meeting on 16 August, 2011 at Capital Hotel facilitated by the United Nations Representatives from both headquarters and Malawi Office.
The objective of the meeting was to explore modalities on dialogue following the presentation of a petition to the Head of State on 20 July, 2011.
The parties agreed on the following:
1. That there was need to develop common principles to guide the dialogue process. Mutual respect , transparency, confidentiality and integrity were some of the shared values that emerged from the meeting. This would include , inter alia, issuing of a Joint Communique after each session as the only means of communication to the nation as well as any other stakeholder. These would be outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding to be developed in due course. Both parties recognized that dialogue must be pursued for the common good of Malawi.
2. That a written roadmap should be developed to provide a framework for the forthcoming dialogue process .
3. Parties agreed that a Vigil could be held within a period of four weeks . The parties further resolved that the date may be reviewed in due course depending on the progress on the initiative on dialogue.
4. Members agreed that the Presidential Committee on Contact and Dialogue is the negotiating team on behalf of government. It was agreed that each team will have a maximum number of 6 members .
5. On content issues surrounding dialogue , it was agreed that the discussion should focus on the above mentioned petition .
6.For genuine dialogue to proceed , parties resolved that a monitoring mechanism should be put in place coupled with regular meetings with UN .
7.Both parties agreed request the UN to remain the facilitator of the process
8.Both parties underscored their genuine commitment to creating an enabling environment for constructive dialogue.
9.Members finally agreed that the next meeting on this initiative should be held on 25 August, 2011
On behalf of Presidential Committee on Contact and Dialogue
2. Civil Society Representatives
PAC, Executive Director
Civic and Political Space, Chairperson