THE Universal Periodic Review (UPR), whose validation is currently underway, will be submitted to the cabinet this week for approval, after which it will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.
This was announced yesterday during the final validation of the first UPR draft which was being conducted by officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, together with the private sector and the UN Country team.
According to Eugene Rusanganwa, the Principle State Attorney in the Ministry of Justice, it is a race against time to meet the deadline by which the report must be submitted to HRC.
“Currently, the UPR is inadequate with only 17 pages, yet we are required to make it 20 pages before we submit it to cabinet. So we are getting the final input from various stakeholders so that it can be updated, consistent and complete,” Rusanganwa said.
“After submission of the report to UN Human Rights Council, in October, it will be officially examined next year on January 24 in Geneva.”
In his presentation, Etienne Nkerabigwi, the Coordinator of Treaty Reporting Projects in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said that the UPR draft report was forwarded to parliament and several ministries for a deeper review.
“The general public also participated in the process through a call-in discussion that was organized on TV and radio. The contributions, critiques and suggestions made were incorporated into the report to reflect the views of all stakeholders,” Nkerabigwi said.
In his remarks, Eugene Munyakayanza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Rwanda had achieved great milestones in the promotion of human rights and that the UPR provided Rwanda with an opportunity to internationally showcase its achievements.
“As the draft report states, we still have major challenges, especially high population growth, poverty and a heavy backlog of pending court cases. We must therefore include in the UPR adequate solutions to those challenges,” Munyakazi said.
The Universal Periodic Review was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 as a process through which the human rights records of the United Nations’ 192 Member States could be reviewed and assessed.