via Govt reviews human rights’ implementation progress | The Herald June 11, 2015
Government and stakeholders this week held a workshop here to review progress made in the implementation of a wide range of human rights issues the Government presented to the Human Rights Council four years ago.
A total of 177 recommendations were made on various human rights issues, 130 of which were accepted by Government. Zimbabwe is now obligated to implement the recommendations.
Government and the stakeholders, who include civil society, independent commissions and development partners, identified measures and strategies required to implement the recommendations.
The Universal Periodic Review workshop, which ended yesterday, was officially opened by Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamantary Affairs Permanent Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza.
Addressing participants, Mrs Mabhiza said the workshop was convened to allow Government and other stakeholders an opportunity to review progress made so far in the implementation of the UPR National Plan of Action formulated in 2012.
She said the National Plan of Action sought to provide a mechanism for the implementation of the recommendations that the Government accepted when it presented its initial UPR Report to the Human Rights Council in 2011.
The recommendations include ratification of outstanding human rights instruments and strengthening independent institutions by guaranteeing their legal and political independence, transparency and impartiality, among many others. Zimbabwe is due to report to the Human Rights Council under the second cycle of the UPR in 2016.
“Government will be expected to report mainly on progress made in the implementation of the accepted recommendations,” said Mrs Mabhiza.
She said while Government had made tremendous progress in the implementation of the UPR recommendations, there was still more to be done. Mrs Mabhiza urged stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to remain committed to the UPR processes to achieve full human rights in the country.
“The UPR process has been proven to be an effective tool in monitoring the human rights situations of UN member states,” said Mrs Mabhiza. “Our Government is therefore committed to the UPR and has reiterated on various occasions that it will continue to participate in this important process.”
Mrs Mabhiza also said the UPR process was crucial because it created an opportunity for Government to meet stakeholders that have an interest in the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights in Zimbabwe.
“Cooperation between Government and the UPR stakeholders ensures that a common objective is developed and this should lead to an improvement of the human rights situation in the country,” she said.