Okeil: African human rights mechanisms need to develop
Andrius: The International Alliance will implement an agenda for cooperation with regional mechanisms
Abozer Elmana :Welcomes the cooperation between The Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the International Alliance for Peace and Development
On 29 June 2018, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a seminar at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva on the sidelines of the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council entitled “Strengthening African Mechanisms for Protecting Human Rights”, with the participation of a wide range of African and international experts.
Speaking at the seminar, Ayman Okeil, the Coordinator of the International Alliance for Peace and Development,General Director of the Maat Mr.Andrius Becys, member and advisor to the InternationalAlliance and Director of Kulturos centras “In Actio” in Lithuania, Dr. Abozer Elmana, chairman of the Political Affairs Committee of the Economic and Social Council of the African Union , Ms. Hanaa Nejjar, member ofthe International Alliance and President of Association Femmes des deux rives in Morocco.
Ayman Okeil stated that June is definitely the month of Human Rights in the African continent based on adopting the African Charter and a number of complementary agreements. That’s why Maat and theInternational Alliance were keen to implement this activity which discussed the development of African mechanisms for protecting human rights. Okeil also emphasized on Maat’s interest in the African fields of human rights and development through its chairmanship of the NGO Major Group for Africa affiliated to theUnited Nations High Level Policy Forum on Sustainable Development and through its contribution to supportthe sustainable development agenda in Africa 2063.
Okeil pointed out the challenges facing the world in general, and the African continent in particular, and said that it enforces on all of us to have a critical vision of the current human rights system in Africa, to look at theobstacles and problems and seek solutions to them, and to assist different mechanisms of the African Union in developing the human rights system.
Okeil presented the recommendations of the working paper prepared by the Foundation. The most important of which was the need to amend some articles of the African Charter in relation to some issues related to personal rights such as forced labor, protecting the individual’s Right to Privacy and the importance financial support of the Commission on Human and Peoples’ by providing an independent budget.
Mr. Andreas Becys, member and consultant of the International Alliance and Director of the Kulturos centras “In Actio” in Lithuania, stressed in his speech on the openness of the International Alliance for Peace and Development to all regional organizations, especially the African Union. He pointed out that the Alliance‘s interest in Africa comes in the context of its support for development plans, visions. Also to positively intervene in the prevention and resolution of conflicts , the consolidation of culture of peace and dialogue ,and the cooperation between the various regional groups. He noted that the Alliance is preparing anambitious agenda at the international level during the next phase which will target communication with governments and active civil forces and the legislative bodies of Europe, Africa and the Arab region, Thus , promoting improving policies related to peacemaking and sustainable development.
Dr. Abozer Elmana , Chairman of the Political Affairs Committee of the Economic and Social Council of theAfrican Union, spoke about the role of the Economic and Social Council as the collective framework for African civil society organizations and welcomed the existing cooperation opportunities that are being discussed by the Council on the one hand and the International Alliance for Peace and Development on theother. And declared his support for all efforts aimed at developing the African Union’s human rights mechanisms and enhancing its role in serving the rights of the people of the African continent and helping its governments to adopt responsive approaches to human rights and the goals of sustainable development.
It should be noted that Maat and the International Alliance for Peace and Development are participating in the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva by providing a number of interventions in official sessions, holding parallel events and in-depth interviews with a large number of international experts and missions of Member States of the Council.