Fifth AU dialogue on democracy opens

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Arusha (Tanzania), Nov. 22, GNA – The Fifth Annual African Union (AU) Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa opens in Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania from November 23 to November 26.

Mrs Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice President of Tanzania is expected to open the Dialogue, which also forms part the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

 The Dialogue will also assess the 13 years of the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women; 15 years of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; 29 years of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; and 35 years of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

 The AU has declared 2016 the African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women.

 Working document obtained by the Ghana News Agency at Arusha, indicates that the overall objective of the Dialogue is to provide a forum to Member States, inter-governmental, semi-governmental and non-state actors, to brainstorm and reflect on the human rights situation on the continent.

 It will also serve as an opportunity for frank discussions and constructive dialogue involving all the relevant human rights stakeholders, with a view to carving a long term action plan to promote and protect human and peoples rights, and instil a culture of human rights on the continent.

 Participants will brainstorm and reflect on the human rights situation on the continent; share lessons and experiences on how to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent; and assess the challenges facing the effective implementation of human rights instruments, decisions, declaration and action plans.

 The dialogue will also seek to enhance coordination, partnerships and networks among human rights actors on the continent; and develop a concrete and realistic Action Plan for the promotion and protection of human rights.

 In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Justice Sylvain Orě President of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights underscored that the Dialogue would provide an opportunity to consolidate the gains already made over the years and ensure better coordination of human rights bodies on the continent, based on the ideals encapsulated in AU’s Agenda 2063.

 He said: “It is hoped that the celebrations will initiate an advocacy and coordinating campaigns that will effectively reach out to African stakeholders and partners at all levels”.

 He said the AU has dedicated 2016 as African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the rights of women.

It therefore provides an opportunity for the peoples of Africa, to mark, commemorate and celebrate the significant milestones in Africa’s continental human rights progression.

 “It also gives Africans the chance to tell their story – not only to raise awareness about the great work they have been doing to uplift their communities, but also to inspire future generations to emulate innovative and exciting approaches to making a difference through human rights based approaches.

 “This will provide further opportunity to consolidate the gains already made over the years, ensure better coordination of human rights bodies on the continent, and move towards the establishment of a true human rights culture on the continent, based on the ideals encapsulated in Africa Agenda 2063,” he said.

 The Dialogue is expected to be attended by about 300 delegates, including the representatives of AU Member States; Members of the African Governance Platform; Academia, Researchers, Distinguished African statesmen/women; Civil Society Organisations, Media, International Partners and Youth Organisations, among others.

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