[Press Release] Forging a Consensus on Human Rights in Zimbabwe

Kadoma 5 July, 2012: As a follow up to its recent participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Government of Zimbabwe under the leadership of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs organized a workshop to develop a National Action Plan in response to accepted recommendations.

The event took place in Kadoma from 4-6 July, 2012 and brought together nearly 100 participants, drawn from the Government, independent commissions, civil society, private sector, and the UN.

Speaking at the occasion, the UN Resident Coordinator (UN-RC), Mr. Alain Noudehou said that the implementation of the UPR recommendations needs to continue in the same spirit of inclusive cooperation and information sharing that have so far characterised the UPR process. He further noted that the consultative and participatory nature of this process will further enhance national ownership of the planned goals and encourage stakeholders in working towards a common goal.

The UN-RC added that the UN takes “ guidance from national development plans such as Zimbabwe’s Medium Term Plan, to support national efforts to achieve the human rights in their entirety—including civic rights as well economic, social, and cultural rights.” The Resident Coordinator emphasized that through this approach, “we can aspire to societies and communities that are safer, more resilient, and more productive.” 

In a key note address read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs (Mr. Obert.C. Gutu), the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr. Patrick Chinamasa said: “We all have a critical role to play to ensure that we enhance the human rights situation in our country. With the same diligence exhibited during the drafting of the UPR National Report, let us all actively participate and share best practices, skills and resources in implementing the UPR recommendations we have accepted as a country.”

Created by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process involving the review of the human rights situations of all 192 UN Members States once every four years. As a State driven process, it provides the opportunity for each State to identify key human rights issues and challenges as well as to periodically declare what actions it has taken to improve human rights situations and fulfil human rights obligations.