Rwanda: Busingye Rallies Civil Society on Participation in Rights Review

The Minister of Justice Johnston Busingye has called on both local and international non-governmental organisations to be more open and engaging to share insights into their work towards the advancement of human rights.

He said this in his opening remarks while opening a stakeholders' dialogue on Rwanda's 4th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle.

UPR is a mechanism created by the UN General Assembly to review the fulfilment of the human rights commitments and obligations of all 193 its member states.

It provides an opportunity for all States to declare the actions they have taken to improve human rights situations in their countries and the challenges that they face.

In his remarks, Busingye pointed out that a few organisations continue to choose keeping the government in the dark about their activities saying that the decision is counterproductive.

"For these organisations, I want to remind them that UPR aims at bringing changes in the lives of ordinary people in Rwanda. Dialogue should be held here, issues raised here, and solutions found together here and not in Geneva," he said.

However, he reiterated the government's commitment and readiness to constructively engage with any stakeholders on any issues pertaining to the advancement of human rights in the country.

He reminded that at the last review in January this year, Rwanda had received a total of 284 recommendations. Among these recommendations Rwanda supported 160 and noted 75.

A total of 49 others did not enjoy government support.

However, he pointed out that the 75 recommendations that were noted will still be implemented in the next five years but will not be part of those that it committed to.

He reminded that the country is now three months into the 5th UPR cycle and the work that awaits is much more since this time round, the government has committed to far more recommendations than it did in the last review.

"They remain 160 recommendations. We will give each and every one of them due consideration in the planning phase, implementation phase, monitoring phase and reporting phase. This means that more is required from us," he said.

Busingye has previously said that Rwanda only accepts recommendations whose implementation is possible within the next four years in line with the national Constitution, national laws as well as international obligations.

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