The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has invited over 30 organisations including UN organisations , civil society groups and the media for a validation workshop today, on the country’s first ever Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report.
Created through the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, the UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States, once every four years.
Margaret Mbabazi, one of the officials who have been working on the country’s UPR draft report told The New Times on Sunday that the invited organisations will review the draft report before it is submitted to cabinet, and later on to the UN.
“It is a report on what has been achieved by the country in terms of human rights and it is the first time Rwanda is doing it,” Mbabazi said, revealing that the usually one-month work must first be approved by cabinet before it is submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.
Once finalised and approved, it is scheduled to be submitted to the Council in February next year.
As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.
It is a cooperative process which, by 2011, will have reviewed the human rights records of every country.
The ultimate aim of this new mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.