Posted by: africanpressorganization | 12 March 2010

Gambia / Formulation of a human rights strategy for Africa under discussion at Banjul meeting





Gambia / Formulation of a human rights strategy for Africa under discussion at Banjul meeting



BANJUL, Gambia, March 12, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Africa has developed many human rights institutions, charters and protocols and there has been notable progress in observance of human rights on the continent. Human rights are universal and indivisible, and they are at the heart of good governance, democracy and sustainable development. Further, there is no doubt that the African human rights agenda provides a robust basis for the continent’s renewal.


However, 60 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and three decades after the adoption of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Africa is still grappling with the gap that exists between the human rights vision that it seeks to establish and the reality that confronts it.


In this regard, there is need for coordination, collaboration and coherence among the different actors in the human rights sphere and to develop a human rights strategy for Africa. Africa must now move to domesticate and implement the adopted instruments.


These were the accepted views at a meeting of African Union organs, which is being held in Banjul Gambia, with a view to; develop modalities for enhancing the Human Rights Strategy for Africa; establish the practice and focus action on moving forward the collective Human Rights Strategy; and make recommendations for building synergies between the strategy and other governance initiatives in Africa.


Dr Mamadou Dia- Head of the African Union Division of Governance, Human Rights and Elections informed the meeting at the opening ceremony that the theme of the January 2011 AU Summit is “Shared Values”.


“We must not lose sight of the shift towards a shared values approach in the protection and promotion of human rights in Articles 3 and 4 of the AU Constitutive Act, which emphasizes the significance of good governance, the rule of law and human rights”, he urged the delegates. The meeting must therefore take the human rights agenda “from being a mosaic of good intentions to a shared value or a common denominator that binds our common destiny”, he added. Dr Dia also emphasised the need for other institutions to work together with the African Union in order to usher in a new order of global shared values.


Other speakers at the opening ceremony of the meeting included; Mrs. Reine Alapini Gansou- Chairperson of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR); Mr Mahamane Cisse Gouro- Regional Director of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and Dr Said Adejumobi- Chief of Governance and Public Administration of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The opening session was chaired by the Legal Counsel of the AU Mr. Ben Kioko.


Participants are drawn from AU organs with a human rights mandate and Regional Economic Communities such as the AU Commission, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and ECOWAS.  The United Nations and other development partners, international institutions, civil society and other stakeholders are also represented. The meeting concludes on Saturday 13th of March.



African Union Commission (AUC)


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