Regional Consultation of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa
Closing remarks by Acting RC at the Regional Consultation of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa
Thank you for the invitation to make these few remarks at the end of your 2-day regional meeting to review the compliance level of your member countries to international human rights treaties.
I would like to thank the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR, and also the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa, ECOWAS and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) for coming together to arrange this important meeting.
You will agree with me that much of our work is centred on Human Rights. The Global Development Agenda is a human rights agenda which is grounded in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Human Rights are therefore key to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Throughout your programme, much emphasis has been placed on the role of National Human Rights Institutions in protecting the rights of the child and migrant’s rights, achieving gender equality and peace and security - all contributing to the overall achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.
For the UN Country Team in Ghana, Human Rights is a cross-cutting priority for our collaboration with the government as set out in our harmonized One Programme, the UN Sustainable Development Partnership. Consistent with the development aspirations of Ghana’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies which cites the 2030 Agenda and African Union’s Agenda 2063, this development partnership guides the work of the 24 UN Agencies in Ghana through 2022.
In applying a human rights-based approach, the UN Country Team in Ghana and the Government of Ghana are dependent on our National Human Rights Institution and on the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to ensure meaningful participation and to make sure that no one is left behind.
In July this year, Ghana will take part in the Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the High-Level Political Forum in New York. As part of this process the National Development Planning Commission has gone through a series of consultations to include inputs from several stakeholders including the UN and CSOs on the main challenges and opportunities that Ghana faces on the path towards the the attainment of the SDGs. This inclusive and collaborative approach is what is needed to accelerate SDG progress and contribute to the advancement of human rights in the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The UN recognizes the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice’s (CHRAJ’s) contribution to Ghana’s human rights review under various human rights mechanisms. Notable is the Universal Periodic Review in 2017, as a result of which the government committed to continue to make progress across a broad range of human rights issues, including recommendations to:
- Promote gender equality and combat domestic and gender-based violence;
- Ensure sustainability of national health insurance schemes and Intensify response to the spread of HIV infections
- End child marriage, child labour and human trafficking;
- and protect the rights of migrants, refugees, persons with disabilities, detainees and prisoners.
The United Nations in Ghana is collaborating with CHRAJ in a number of areas including in the promotion and protection of the human rights of people living with HIV and AIDS and in the development and implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan. We remain committed to work with the Government of Ghana and CSOs to support the implementation of Ghana’s human rights commitments.
I understand that your two-day meeting has been fruitful, and I am confident that the discussions and consultation will contribute to increased partnership and commitment of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa to strengthen human rights in the sub-region.