The Herald (Harare)

11 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Nation Marks Human Rights Day

ZIMBABWE yesterday joined the world to commemorate Human Rights Day with a firm pledge to address all human rights issues. Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr David Mangota, called for the lifting of the West's economic sanctions regime to enable Zimbabwe to enjoy its full rights like other sovereign countries.

"In order to fully enjoy our rights we need to be economically stable, as countries celebrate Human Rights Day our call goes to those that imposed illegal sanctions on us to lift them," said Mr Mangota speaking at the Human Rights Day celebrations in Harare yesterday.

Government held its first joint Human Rights commemorations with other stakeholders including civil society yesterday.

"We have achieved great milestones on the human rights discourse in our quest to comply with accepted International best practices and standards," he said.

"We are a free people who liberated themselves from colonialism through our own determination as well as resilience and we celebrate this day without fear."

Mr Mangota said Zimbabwe had come up with a National Plan of Action after presenting its Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council's Working Group. He said Zimbabwe accepted 130 recommendations and this saw the country coming up with a National Plan of Action to ensure the implementation of the recommendation. Zimbabwe, Mr Mangota said, had also presented its report on the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to the CEDAW committee.

"Since 2001 the country has sent delegations to sessions of Treaty bodies like the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council and Banjul-based African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights," said Mr Mangota.

"Various commissions have been set up and the country continues to enjoy political, social and economic stability."

Mr Mangota extended an invitation to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake another visit to Zimbabwe.

UN Resident Co-ordinator Mr Alain Noudehou said Zimbabwe joined the world in celebrating the common value for human dignity for every person.

"These celebrations serve as a testimony that we are all bound by the timeless power of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . . to uphold the ideas and aspirations embodied in this Declaration.

"Article 21 of the Declaration specifically exhorts states to support their citizens' participation in elections, electoral process and access to public services," he said.

Chief Fortune Charumbira was among the guests who attended the celebrations held under the theme, "Inclusion and the Right to Participate in Public Life."

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