#Article (Archive)

'Human Rights, a Collective Responsibility'

May 15, 2009, 5:37 AM

45th Ordinary Session of African Commission

The 45th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) is underway at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

The two-week session that brought together member states of the African Union, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), International Organisations (IGOs) and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) under the theme 'Human Rights, a Collective Responsibility', with a view to discussing human rights issues confronting the continent as well as to develop systems and strategic solutions to bring to a halt those human rights problems.

The ACHPR called on countries to promote and improve human rights, which the countries are trying to meet.

During the first week, the ACHPR will sit in public session and look at overall human rights situations in the continent through statements from member states NHRIs, IGOs and NGOs.

The ACHPR will also review the human rights situation in individual member states through an examination of human rights reports presented by some of these states, namely; Mauritius, Benin and Uganda.

Members of the ACHPR will also present reports of activities they undertook during the inter-session period.

During its private session, which comes in the second week, the ACHPR will consider matters such as reports of promotional missions to member states, complaints/communication, issues of particular concern to the ACHPR as well as administrative matters.

The Session which started on the 13th May will end on the 27th May with a press conference.

Delivering her opening remarks on behalf of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Ms. Awa Bah said that even though much has been achieved in terms of human rights, there is much more to be done.

The Chairperson of the ACHPR, Justice Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, said that it was a collective responsibility to ensure that various government respect and implement the ideals of the Africa Charter.

For her part, Hannah Foster, the representative the NGOs and also the Executive Director of African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) presented before the Commission a set of resolutions adopted at the NGO forum that preceded the session, for consideration by the Ordinary Session.