25 – 27 July 2018, Arusha, Tanzania.The African Union Commission, Department of Politial Affairs convened a Steering Committee Meeting on the Draft Ten- Year Action Plan of the Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa.The Steering Committee Meeting was organised to make provision for the required space for AU Organs, REC, and other stakeholders to make inputs into the draft 10 – Year Action Plan of Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa; to agree on the roles played by various actors and stakeholders at all levels to ensure effective implementation of the Action Plan and lastly to finalise the Action Plan before its validation by AU Member States. The AU’s Ten – Year Action Plan of Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa seeks to realise an Africa in which there is entrenched understanding and informed practice of the culture of human and people’s rights, in particular the rights of women, and their promotion, protection and popularisation amongst its people by the year 2017.
The Steering Committee was attended by representattives of AU Organs, Institutions and the Regional Economic Communities, Academia and Civil Society organisations. The APRM Secretariat was represented by Ms. Adwoa Coleman and Ms. Delice Zakeyo.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Robert Eno, the Registrar of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights reiterated that “ the Plan must not be viewed in isolation, it has to fit and complement similar initiatives and mechanisms established within Member States, sub-regional and continental levels, such as national judiciaries, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, sub-regional Courts, and continental initiatives such as the African Commission, the Court, the Committee, and above all, complements and/or supports the African Agenda 2063”.
In order to promote effective implementation of the African Shared Values Instruments on human and peoples rights,the Steering Committee Meeting agreed on the following strategic goals : Inculcating a Culture of Human and People’s Rights in Africa, Enhancing the Protection of Human and People’s Rights, Enhancing Coordination, Coherence and Cooperation within the African Human Rights System, Strengthening Instituional Capacity of the African Human Rights System and lastly the Promotion of Flagship Programmes under Agenda 2063.
The Steering Committee highlighted the need to improve synergies between and among instituions responsible for protection and promotion of Human Rights in Africa and further emphasised on the importance of effectively mainstreaming Gender in policy planning and implementation of programmes within the African Human Rights System. The Ten – Year Action Plan of Human and People’s Rights Decade in Africa will however be finalised in the coming weeks and be presented before the Heads of States and Governments for validation.