Pan-African Parliament and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding

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Pan-African Parliament and African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today in Nairobi, Kenya. The signing took place during the African Union 5th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, aiming to enhance cooperation and collaboration in areas of mutual interest. Notable attendees included esteemed figures such as Hon. Remy Ngoy Lumbu, Chairperson of the ACHPR, Lady Justice Iman Daud Aboud, President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, and Hon. Professor Messouda Mohamed Laghdaf, Vice President of the Pan-African Parliament.

GROUP PHOTO: Among the distinguished guests present were the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), Hon. Remy Ngoy Lumbu; the President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Lady Justice Iman Daud Aboud; the Vice President of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Professor Messouda Mohamed Laghdaf; the Pesding Officer of the African Union Economic, Cultural and Social Council (ECOSOCC), Hon. Khalid Boudali; and the Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), Hon. Joseph Ndayisenga. Image courtesy of BGC Agency

The MOU signed after the AGA-SP stakeholders engaged with the AGA Strategy 2024-2029 on Friday, signifies a strategic and cost-cutting measure to establish bilateral relations between various organs within the African Union. President Fortune Z. Charumbira of the Pan-African Parliament commended the Chairperson of the ACHPR for capitalizing on the presence of multiple organs in Nairobi to solidify such agreements. President Charumbira stressed the importance of this approach, highlighting its potential to address resource limitations while fostering stronger relationships.

President Charumbira also urged the African Union Commission (AUC) to emulate this initiative by convening inter-organ meetings during AU Summits. Such gatherings, which bring together different organs, agencies, and institutions, can enhance coordination and effectiveness in their collective work.

Expressing regret for the delay in signing the MOU, President Charumbira apologized for the postponement, initially scheduled for December 2022. Nonetheless, he reassured the ACHPR of the Pan-African Parliament’s commitment to strengthening bilateral collaboration, particularly in the areas of human rights promotion and conflict prevention. President Charumbira emphasized their dedication to initiatives such as ratifying, domesticating, and implementing African human rights instruments, as well as sharing expertise on addressing human rights issues.

In a call to action, President Charumbira challenged the secretariats and political leadership of both institutions to translate the MOU into tangible joint programs and initiatives. He emphasized that their collaboration must extend beyond ceremonial activities to have a significant impact on the lives of African citizens.

President Charumbira underscored the value of the Pan-African Parliament and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights joining forces and leveraging their respective strengths and expertise. Referring to the acronym TEAM, which stands for “Together Each Achieves More,” he emphasized the power of their collective strength exceeding individual capacities. This strength should be harnessed for the benefit of the African people.

President Fortune Z. Charumbira of the Pan-African Parliament signing with the Chairperson of the ACHPR Hon. Remy Ngoy Lumbu. Image courtesy go BGC Agency

Furthermore, the President stressed that this partnership must strengthen human rights-related legislation and improve the observance of human rights throughout the continent. He specifically highlighted the need to focus on the rights of individuals in conflict situations, citing ongoing conflicts in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Concluding his remarks, President Charumbira expressed confidence in the cooperative potential between the Pan-African Parliament and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He announced the appointment of Mme Lindiwe Khumalo, Acting Executive Secretary of the ACHPR, as the first female Clerk of the Pan African Parliament. This move ensures sustained and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two institutions, as Mme Khumalo holds both entities close to her heart.

The signing of the MOU represents a significant stride towards strengthening collaboration and joint efforts between the Pan-African Parliament and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This partnership holds the promise of promoting human rights, fostering good governance, and advancing democracy across Africa. Ultimately, it aspires to create a continent where the rights and dignity of all citizens are respected and protected.

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