UN Scribe Tasks African leaders On Human Rights, Women Empowerment

UN Secretary General Ban Ki -Moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki -Moon

Pix Courtesy: teimun.org

United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has called on African Union (AU) to build on the progress they have made in the areas of human rights and women empowerment.
According to him African leaders should to move from setting standards to what he called “the three I’s” Implementation, Institution-building and Investment in real change and set a shining example for the world.
The encouragement is coming on the heels of the achievements the African Union (AU) has made on human rights and women’s rights
He said this during his final visit as UN Secretary-General to the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
To buttress his point, the Secretary General cited the critical steps forward to include: the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the protocol creating the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
According to him, “I encourage you to make these real by ratifying them where necessary,” he said urging the gathered leaders to move on from setting standards towards implementation, institution-building and investment in real change, all of which would be a fitting legacy of the African Year of Human Rights.”
He continued, “Human rights are crucial to the maintenance of peace and security, the fight against violent extremism and promoting sustainable development.”
He pointed out that women need to participate fully in the life of society, including the highest levels of state structures and in the framework of the peace talks, adding that the era of excluding women from participating were over.
In his words, “The era of exclusion is over. To change the dynamic, we must resolutely invest in empowering women and expanding opportunities available to them.”
Speaking further Ban noted that the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan was a particularly significant step, urging all parties to act on its recommendations and to make greater use of these inquiries to address abuses.
African governments were instrumental in establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC), which according to him is the ultimate guarantor of accountability for the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He commended countries actively supporting the Court’s vital work, urging them to maintain their commitment to the ICC’s founding Rome Statute, adding that strengthening the court will strengthen accountability for victims in Africa and in the world.
According to him, “Leaders who stand by while civilians are slaughtered in their name must be held responsible. I am particularly concerned that leaders in South Sudan have again failed to meet the deadline to form a transitional government.”
The UN boss stated that instead of enjoying the fruits of independence, their people have endured more than two years of unimaginable suffering.
Speaking on the crisis in Burundi, he commended AU’s proposal to deploy human rights observers and to establish a prevention and protection mission.
In his words, “This crisis requires the most serious and urgent commitment from all of us. The United Nations stands ready to support your efforts.”
He stated the Universal Declaration of human rights says that everyone, without distinction of any kind, is entitled to human rights, adding that Africa as a continent has witnessed a lot of discriminations but he hoped Africa would be a shining example for other parts of the world.
“This continent has endured discrimination of the worst kind. My dream is that Africa will provide a shining example to the world of tolerance, understanding and respect for human rights.” He stated.