Addressing delegates during the opening session ceremony of the 49th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR in The Gambian capital of Banjul on 28 April 2011, the African Unions Commissioner for Political Affairs Julia Dolly Joiner, said the continent faced increased challenges on human abuses.
Commissioner Joiner said this had resulted in growing pessimism with the effectiveness of Africas human rights systems. She said need to expand the purview of the Commissions interventions mechanism and to adopt a more representative approach guided by respect for international human rights laws.
The central message I convey to you at this session coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of its (African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights) adoption therefore is an ardent call for a reaffirmation of faith in the Charter: Faith that indeed the Charter remains our best opportunity for collective responses to human rights promotion and protection in the continent, said Joiner.
Meanwhile, Lindiwe Mokate, a representative of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) , the umbrella body of African National Human Rights Institutions called for establishment of a legal framework and funding for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
We look forward to their (Zimbabwe) national legislation being enacted and the Commission being adequately funded with the necessary resources in order to effectively carry out its functions, said Mokate. She castigated the failure of electoral systems across the African continent resulted in massive human rights violations. Mokate urged member states to sign, ratify and implement the African Unions Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
Hannah Foster, a representative of NGOs in Africa, urged the Commission to express its solidarity, especially with journalists and other marginalised groups. In a statement read on behalf of the government, Mabel Musika, director policy and research in the Ministry of Justice, hailed the licensing of the previously banned national daily The Daily News as a key progress in the exercise of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe.Post published in: Politics