Honorable Minister of Justice, Excellencies Ambassadors and heads of development Cooperation

Heads of UN agencies, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, all protocols observed

  • Permit me to begin with conveying my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Justice and particularly the Honorable Minister – readiness to engage, and frank discussions today.

  • Thank the RC for continued leadership of the UN on these topics of human rights. In the past, the UN has not always acquitted itself with distinction in the face of Human Rights violations, and this has of course led to a series of reforms in the UN aimed at ensuring that issues of human rights are addressed up front, and form an integral part of the work of all UN agencies on the ground, under the leadership of the RC.
  • Also wish to thank my team. Event organized jointly by the Ministry of Justice and UNDP, and didn’t materialize without a lot of work behind the scenes.

  • I wish also to thank all of you, as development partners – happy to see that so many of you responded to the invitation. Needless to say, many of you are also very much engaged either in the justice sector or on the promotion of human rights. We appreciate your taking the time to be here and provide your frank and constructive feedback during today’s meeting.
  • Before I conclude, let me highlight that the UN has been partnering with the GoR on many key programmes aimed at promoting and protecting human rights and expanding access to justice for citizens. By way of example, we can cite the IECMs which the Government has put in place to make justice more accessible and less costly to citizens. Similarly, the work done on championing gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as the protection of the rights of children, or refugees, and other groups.
  • One area in which we are ramping up our efforts relates to the protection of the rights of vulnerable people including persons with disabilities. Aim to do for PwDs what has been done for GEWE – mainstream, with tools, methodologies, laws, budget statements. Change in public and private institutions. Very pleased that the Ministry of Justice and the Rwanda Law Reform Commission are currently working on assessing areas of gap in laws and policies, and updating national laws to be consistent with the UNCRPD. All these efforts are responding to some of the 2015 UPR recommendations that the country accepted and that we discussed today. We want to invite everyone to join this movement.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, as Nelson Mandela once said, “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” The UPR is a tool that can help governments to fulfil their obligations to their people and to build a peaceful, just and harmonious society.
  • On this note let me again thank you all, the Hon. Minister, RC, and everyone for your presence and invaluable contributions to the meeting.

Thank you very much. MURAKOZE CYANE.


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