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Rwanda to implement more 75 UPRs, calls stakeholders’ openness

The government of Rwanda has announced that it will implement the 75 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations on top of the 160 they officially committed to undertake at Geneva in January 2021.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Johnston Busingye said that though the 75 recommendations are not part of the 160 they undertook, the government found the former necessary for its people to enjoy human rights.

“The seventy-five are not part of the commitments we undertook but irrespective of what we support or not support, no rights of Rwandans will not be honoured in accordance with our Constitution and other laws” Busingye told the UPR stakeholders on 20 Tuesday 2021

He added that “the Government of Rwanda is committed to protecting and advancing human rights. We legislate for and deliver on our human rights commitments as obligations the Government owes its citizens”

Busingye also revealed that some organisations conceal what they do instead of openly challenging the government on issues of human rights such that more improvement can be reached for the people to enjoy the rights.

“A few organizations hide what they are doing while UPR aims at bringing changes in the lives of ordinary people in Rwanda which requires dialogue and solutions together here not in Geneva” Busingye disclosed.

Rwanda received a total of 284 recommendations from 99 delegates from UN Member states of which Rwanda adopted to implement 160, noted 75 and did not support 49.

“We have committed to far more recommendations than we did in the last review but no single recommendation is entirely new. Most of them are already part of the country’s commitment and in the focus of different institutions” Busingye assured the meeting.

The virtual meeting involved ambassadors, ONE UN resident Coordinator, UN agencies, the Diplomatic Community, Government Institutions, International Organizations and Civil Society.

UPR is a UN mechanism created in 2006 to review the fulfillment of the human rights commitments and obligations of all 193 UN member states and provide an opportunity for all States to declare what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries.

The first UPR cycle was in 2011, the second in 2015 and the third which is the most recent one, in January 2021

“This process (UPR) has been a learning tool for us Rwandans, an opportunity for self-reflection and dialogue. We are grateful to all, who engage with us on human rights issues” Busingye concluded.

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