Rwanda to implement 50 UN rights recommendations

Rwanda will implement up to 50 of 83 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council.

The government has, however, declined to support seven recommendations that were found not compatible with domestic laws and the Constitution.

The recommendations were proposed by the UN council during last year’s universal periodic review on human rights.

Among the recommendations rejected include becoming a signatory of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.

While presenting Rwanda’s second Universal Periodic Preview adoption statement on Wednesday, Johnston Busingye, the minister for justice and attorney-general, said seven recommendations were not supported by Rwanda as they are not compatible with the domestic law and Constitution.

“In accordance with our Constitution, national laws as well as international obligations already undertaken, Rwanda accepts only recommendations whose implementation is possible within the next four years.

Recommendations that enjoy the support of Rwanda in full are those where we support both the spirit and principle behind the recommendation and are able to implement it in practice,” the ministry’s statement reads.

“Of the 83 recommendations received, 50 have been accepted and the government will endeavour to ensure their implementation before our next review.”

However, Busingye said 26 recommendations enjoy the support of Rwanda in principle but could not be accepted for implementation at this time because it is not possible to guarantee that the requirements necessary for their implementation will be readily available within the reporting period.

“The government is constantly engaging with the population in order to jointly deliver on what is right and legal as well as in the best interest of the present and the future of our country,” Busingye said.

Members of civil society contributed constructively to Rwanda’s Second Universal Periodic Review.

Speaking to The New Times, Epimack Kwokwo, the executive secretary of the Defence of Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region, called on the media and civil society to do more regarding the implementation of the recommendations.

“With the 2011 review recommendations, government played its role by improving its legal framework by reviewing most of the laws in harmony with the universal standards. Civil society and the media had a role to play and their task was to sensitize, inform, and educate the society about the reformed laws which was not extensively done,” Kwokwo said.

Universal Periodic Review is a unique process that involves a review of human rights records of all UN member states.

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