DRC to implement recommendations under Human Rights review

June 1, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

alexis-tambwe-muamba

 

By

Sylvain Muyali

Congolese Minister of Justice and Human Rights Alexis Thambwe Mwamba recently chaired a meeting on the DRC’s implementation of recommendations under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), in line with the United Nations and Human Rights Council.

From the outset, the Minister recalled that the Universal Periodic Review is a process established by resolution 60/251 adopted in March 2006 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

In this resolution, the General Assembly decided that the Council of Human Rights has, among other vocations, to undertake a Universal Periodic Review on the basis of objective and reliable information, of the fulfillment by each State of its obligations and commitments to human rights so as to ensure the universality of coverage and equal treatment of all States.

The UPR is a UN mechanism under the auspices of the Council of Human Rights in which all states of the world are reviewed by their peers as part of an exercise held every four and a half years in Geneva.

It is said that the countries review measures taken by the State under review to protect and promote human rights and make recommendations to improve this situation. The State under review then can accept these recommendations and undertake to apply, or not to accept.

The Minister of Justice focused on the fact that the DRC has been reviewed as part of the UPR of 29 April 2014 in Geneva. The 2014 Review was second only to that of 2009.

“On this occasion, an overview of the implementation of the recommendations from the first Review cycle could be made. 94 States made new recommendations to the DRC so that the country is able to improve in respect of human rights within its territory” Alexis Tambwe Mwamba stated, indicating also that the Congolese government had accepted 190 recommendations that had been made to him, rejecting 37.

The Review of the DRC last year in Geneva should not mean the end of the process but, instead, mark the beginning of a joint working partnership to improve the country’s human rights record.

For the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, it is the whole of the country that should begin the most important phase, that of the ownership of recommendations and their implementation as, in 2018, the DRC will have to be examined for the 3rd time by peers in the UPR’s third cycle.

As the DRC bears primary responsibility for implementing the recommendations, Minister of Justice Alexis Thambwe Mwamba confirmed that a number of people have a major role to play in helping the State in achieving these aims; Ministers, MPs, magistrates, members of civil society, trade unionists, lawyers, auditors within the National Commission on Human Rights, Development partners, all being essential in this respect.

Anxious to implement all recommendations, the Minister told media professionals that the Congolese government, through its Ministry, has developed an implementation plan for such recommendations, and that plan was validated during the recent meeting with experts of the Congolese Government, members of civil society and development partners.

Alex Thambwe Mwamba stated that this plan brings together the different recommendations according to the following themes: sexual violence, child protection, reform of the justice and security sector, torture and prison conditions, protection of vulnerable populations, elections, impunity, the Rome Statute and mixed Chambers, the National Commission for Human Rights, defenders of human rights, discrimination against women, economic, social and cultural rights, etc.

In its conclusion, the Minister said on behalf of the Congolese government that the tasks for each have been clearly divided and defined in terms of responsibilities, and that they wish to honor their international commitments by implementing the recommendations.

We venture to say that the material developed from the Minister’s meeting effectively continuous news given that it is an outreach campaign with multiple implications. For the Congolese to actually appropriate these recommendations can only result in a positive future.

 

 

 

 

sylvain muyali

Sylvain Muyali

Sylvain Muyali is a Journalist, Photographer and Filmmaker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has reported previously for the Associated Press and his words and images can also be found at ‘Vivons Positivement

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