He elaborated on Rwanda’s extensive efforts to protect human rights, leading to remarkable milestones that offer valuable insights to the world after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
These achievements encompass the establishment of unity and reconciliation programs, decentralized justice systems, and the promotion of gender equality, among other initiatives.
Dr. Ugirashebuja reflected on these efforts on Monday 13th November 2023, at the National Dialogue Council on Human Rights aimed at discussing national priorities to uphold human rights principles in Rwanda.
The dialogue, organized by the Ministry of Justice, National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), and One UN Rwanda, is part of the preparations for International Human Rights Day, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
Key figures at the event include Providence Umurungi, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights, and Mama Keita, Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Eastern Africa.
Mama Keita acknowledged Rwanda’s significant progress in human rights, attributing it to home-grown solutions and unwavering commitment at the highest levels.
While welcoming Rwanda’s efforts in monitoring UPR recommendations and Sustainable Development Goals, Mama Keita emphasized the potential for greater achievements through collaborative action, placing human rights at the core of all initiatives.
Rwanda and other UN member countries will gather recommendations from such dialogues for discussion at celebrations in Geneva on December 13, 2023.
NCHR Chairperson Umurungi highlighted the importance of citizens’ enlightenment about their rights through collaborative efforts with relevant partners, making it easier to pinpoint areas of priority. Additionally, she emphasized the diligent follow-up of government recommendations to ensure their smooth and effective implementation.
Rwanda faced criticisms from Western countries at various times, with reports and publications accusing the nation of human rights violations. Minister Ugirashebuja contends that these nations are not exempt from imperfections, urging them to refrain from teaching human rights lessons to African countries.
Explaining Rwanda’s commitment to safeguarding human rights, he highlighted the establishment of mechanisms and institutions such as investigation bodies, courts, and the National Commission for Human Rights.
Minister Ugirashebuja revealed that Rwanda’s unique approach involves providing a platform to different organizations, including the civil society platform, fostering consultations between universities and the government to identify and address existing problems.
He underscored the ongoing nature of this journey, emphasizing the integral role of human rights in achieving sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the Civil Society Platform recommends reinforcing leaders’ proficiencies to enhance their familiarity with human rights issues and improve service delivery.