Supporting Human Rights in Zimbabwe through the UPR Process

Dec 2, 2016

Zimbabwe is committed to upholding human rights, fundamental freedoms of its people, and fulfilling its international human rights obligations, Vice-President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa has stated. The VP was speaking on the occasion of the presentation and adoption of the report of Zimbabwe’s second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN’s Human Rights Council held in Geneva from 2-4 November, 2016.

The event marked another milestone in Zimbabwe’s human rights history.

“Indeed, out of the 260 recommendations tabled, my delegation has supported 142 and noted 18, while the rest have been deferred for further consideration” said the VP.

“We are grateful for the support we are getting from the United Nations human rights machinery, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Zimbabwe and other development partners in the implementation of our human rights obligations” explained the VP adding that Zimbabwe is committed to “cooperating with the entire UN family to advance the overall global human rights agenda”.

During the UPR process, UNDP and the UN Country Team assisted the Universal Periodic Review National Steering Committee through skills and capacity development on the second cycle modalities, the dissemination of information including important guidelines, information alerts and dates from the UN Human Rights Council or the UPR section in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This also entailed information sharing with other stakeholders sensitising the State on the importance of this process, as well as reaching out to National Human Rights Institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders to explain the process and its significance to Zimbabwe.

“Throughout this process UNDP has extended technical and advisory support to the Government of Zimbabwe. In particular support was extended for nationwide consultation processes involving various stakeholders to solicit inputs for the national report as well as validation” UNDP Programme Specialist on Justice and Human Rights, Ms Tafadzwa Muvingi, related.

“In addition, a mock session was convened for the government’s delegation to provide them with knowledge and capacities on the review processes and this was appreciated by the Permanent Secretary for Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as very pertinent. As we look ahead, I believe we can do more to support the implementation process of the recommendations accepted by Zimbabwe,” noted Ms Muvingi.

UNDP’s support to the UPR process was channelled through the five-year USD 4.5 million project on Consolidation of Justice Delivery for Enhanced Voice and ParticipationImplemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the project seeks to expand the delivery of justice as well as protection and promotion of human rights in the country.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years.