Niamey- 8th May 2017.- The 60th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights commenced on the 8th of May 2017 in Niamey, Niger. The session will take place from the 8th to 22nd May, 2017. The APRM at the Session was represented by the Vice Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon Brigitte Mabandla, the CEO of the APRM Continental Secretariat, Prof Eddy Maloka, and the APRM Legal Officer, Ms Mary Agbebaku-Izobo.
On the 8th of May 2017, the opening session had statements presented to various high delegates from His Excellency, President of the Republic of Niger, Elhadj Issoufou Mahamadou; Honourable Governor of the City of Niamey; Honourable Faith Pansy Tlakula, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Honourable Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Andrea Ori; Honourable Representative of AU Member States, Honorable Abubacarr Tambadou, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of The Gambia; Honourable Representative of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Mr Gilbert Sebihogo; Honourable Representative of NGOs Steering Committee, Mrs. Hannah Forster.
In the statement of the Chairperson of the Commission, she stated that with the entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the commission was established in 1987 for the implementation of the African Charter. The Commission held its First Ordinary Session on the same day, thus, the Commission will be celebrating 30 years of its inauguration in November 2017. She further added that for the first time, the APRM will be tabling a global report of the APRM as well as Country Review reports of Uganda and Senegal in accordance with para 25 of the APRM Base Document NEPAD/HSGIC/03-2003/APRM/MOU/Annex II where it states that ‘Six months after the report has been considered by the Heads of State and Government of the participating member countries, it should be formally and publicly tabled in key regional and sub-regional structures such as the Pan African Parliament, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the envisaged Peace and Security Council and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union.’ She concluded by a profound statement ‘let us all be guided by the Motto of the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights which is ‘‘Human rights are our collective responsibility’’.
In the statement of the Vice Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon. Brigitte Mabandla, highlighted that the APRM’s collaboration with the African Commission with regards to the presentation and tabling of its report, is a powerful network with a dynamic force for change.
On the 9th of May 2017, the session started with Hon. Brigitte Mabandla giving a Global report on the APRM Member states particularly in the areas of Socio-economic development, Democracy and Political Governance. Prof Eddy Maloka, then went ahead to give a presentation on Senegal, highlighting the best practices as well as the challenges. Mr Adou Karim Lo, the Permanent Secretary of the APRM National Secretariat as well as the Representative of Senegal at the Session gave a concise and lucid speech on the state of governance and human rights in Senegal, in the context of the APRM country review that the country had undergone.
On the 10th of May 2017, the session started with Prof Eddie Maloka giving a presentation on Uganda, highlighting the cross-cutting issues, the best practices, the challenges and the implementation of the recommendations by the APRM. The delegation of Uganda, led by Col. Charles Wacha Angulo, Director – Human Rights Affairs (Uganda Peoples Defence Forces), updated the meeting on Uganda’s implementation of APRM recommendations, and the country’s state of readiness towards the 2nd APRM review. For their part, the Commissioners responded comprehensively to the APRM presentations in line with the mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
On Uganda, the APRM Secretariat offered to prepare an aide memoire capturing feedback from the Commissioners to share with the Ugandan side to assist the current preparations for the 2nd APRM review, especially the preparation of the Country Self-Assessment Report.