KIGALI - The Ministry of Justice and the Rwanda National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), yesterday, began preparations for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a unique process that declares what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situation in a country.
The function to took place at the Ministry of Justice in Kimihurura.
“Formulating the UPR is a legal requirement by the UN of all its 192 member states and it is formulated once every four years,” Zainabu Kayitesi the president of NCHR said.
During the stakeholders’ meeting yesterday, Kayitesi explained that the UPR will cover all economic, social and political human rights issues as well as the welfare of children and women, rights of persons with disabilities and elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
Esperance Nyirasafari, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, commended the work the government has done towards promoting equality and freedom in Rwanda and said that formulating a UPR is an opportunity for Rwanda to showcase her progress in this regard.
“Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind like it happened in 1994. However, the Rwandan system has restored peace, dignity and equality to its citizens, making the country one of the UN members that have done well in spurring sustainable development,” Nyirasafari said.
The Human Rights Advisor to the United Nation Country Team (UNCT), Oumar Kane, told the delegates that the ultimate goal of UPR is to improve the human rights situation in all UN member countries and is designed to support the protection of human rights.
“The States that comply with the obligation of formulating a UPR will receive technical and financial assistance from the UN to enhance their capacity to deal effectively with human rights challenges that they face,” Kane noted.
The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries.
It provides an opportunity for all states to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.