A seminar looking into South Africa’s international human rights Treaty Monitoring System is currently underway in Pretoria.
Hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the seminar is looking at innovative proposals in terms of how the country can impact, influence and provide leadership on the African Union and United Nation’s human rights treaty monitoring system.
The session, attended by senior government officials and industry expects, will reflect on the role played by South African nationals in the global human rights system and how this can contribute to enhancing the country’s international human rights image, Dirco Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers said in his opening address.
“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation decided on the convening of this important seminar primarily to obtain insights into the working methods of these bodies and learn how the country can best improve on its reporting obligations to these important bodies, as well as deal with the cumulative backlog in this regard.
“It will also enhance professional relations between experts and government officials, in order to ensure that South Africa is better positioned within the human right rights framework, while bearing in mind the imperative need for the independence of our experts.”
The Deputy Minister said the South African narrative is that all human rights should be mainstreamed into development and development into human rights.
“The challenge with advocacy for promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights in an environment which is devoid of development, is in itself a contradiction in terms and an impediment towards the practical realisation of the Right to Development.”
However, South Africa has, in recent times, come under criticism, both at home and internationally, for its performance on the international human rights stage.
This seminar, Deputy Minister Landers says, provides an opportunity to reflect on the country’s challenges and to chart a way forward in an effort to reverse the negative perceptions about South Africa’s commitment to human rights.
[Source: South African Government News Agency-Media Relations]
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