Source: VP Mnangagwa in Geneva for human rights meeting | The Herald October 31, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo in GENEVA, Switzerland
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived here yesterday for the Universal Periodic Review meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council where countries in the UN periodically review each other on actions they have taken to improve human rights every four and a half years.In an interview with Zimbabwean Press on his arrival, the Vice President, who is in charge of the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, said that Zimbabwe was ready for the review set for Wednesday this week.
Preliminary meetings and consultations start today. VP Mnangagwa is accompanied by Minister of State in his office Mr Clifford Sibanda, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza and other senior Government officials.
The VP and his delegation were welcomed at the Geneva International Airport, by Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, Ambassador Taonga Mushayavanhu, and other embassy staffers.
“This is mainly meant to assist the State that is being reviewed to improve and honour its commitments in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights Conventions within the UN systems,” said Ambassador Mushayavanhu in his briefing.
“All countries that are members of the United Nations are subject to this peer review system. It covers all the 193 countries. Each year, about 42 countries are reviewed and once a review has taken place, a country then indicates what recommendations they are able to take up and which ones they are not.”
Ambassador Mushayavanhu said Zimbabwe’s review will be based on the country’s national report, reports from the UN systems and those from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and other non-governmental organisations.
In his remarks, VP Mnangagwa said the 130 out of 177 recommendations that Zimbabwe adopted were under implementation.
“For the next two days, we will have meetings and consultations and as the ambassador said on the day, which is two days from now, Zimbabwe will take the floor for review. Already we have 89 countries that have fielded questions against Zimbabwe.
“Not that they are hostile, but some of the questions are seeking explanations while some seek information and we are ready for that. “Fortunately, we have had very useful preparation back home under the inter-ministerial consultative meetings, which we have been holding, which has provided us with huge and comprehensive research into the field. We believe that we will be able to represent Zimbabwe very well on Wednesday when we appear before the council,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said some of the critical success factors in the implementation of the recommendations was alignment of existing laws to the Constitution, which culminated in the establishment of independent commissions, among others.