Rwanda's UPR Report Approved By UN

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a report on Rwanda's third Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Ministry of Justice said on Friday, July 9.

Rwanda was reviewed in January this year, where it received a total of 284 recommendations on the improvement of its human rights situation.

The report on Rwanda's third UPR assessment was presented Thursday, July 8 by Ambassador Marie Chantal Rwakazina, the country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

"The Government of Rwanda has thoroughly reviewed all the 284 recommendations formulated during the January UPR review. The Government supported and accepted a total of 160 recommendations," Rwakazina said during the adoption of the report on Thursday.

The Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, which evaluates human rights situations in all 193 member-states of the United Nations every four to five years.

Rwanda has been reviewed three times, since 2011.

Of all the 284 recommendations received in January, 160 (or 56%) were accepted. There's a 34% increase, compared with the previous review.

In 2015, Rwanda had supported 22% of the received recommendations, Rwakazina said.

She added: "The Government of Rwanda is proud of this high rate of acceptance."

Of all the 284 recommendations, 75 were noted and, according to the Rwandan representative, they will be implemented because they are already part of the government programs.

Rwakazina said that the remaining 49 recommendations which were not supported happened to be "either unrealistic, not reflecting the reality on the ground, repeating unfounded allegations, irrelevant or based on wrong information."

The UPR review was established in 2006 by the UN General Assembly. It takes place every four to five years.

Rwakazina commended the role played by different stakeholders, including the Office of the OneUN in Rwanda, development partners and the National Commission for Human Rights.

While stressing Rwanda's commitment to the UPR, Ambassador Rwakazina said the country welcomed "constructive engagement" with any stakeholder.

"The Government of Rwandan wishes to reiterate its commitment to an open and constructive engagement with any interested party acting in good faith to discuss any issues that would contribute to the further advancement of human rights in our country," Rwakazina said.

The fourth cycle begins

The adoption of the report formally marks the beginning of the fourth cycle of the UPR process, which will end in the next four years. During that period Rwanda will work on the implementation of the accepted recommendations.

"As we are embarking on the new cycle, we look forward to continuing working with all of you and count on your great contribution in the implementation of the recommendations that Rwanda committed to during the next cycle," Rwakazina said, concluding that Rwanda will continue to support the UPR mechanism.

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