Opening Speech by Hon. Kwame Osei Prempeh, Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister for Justice

41st Ordinary Session of the African
Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights held at
the Accra International Conference Centre on 16th May 2007

Madam Chairperson, Your Excellencies Commissioners of The African
Commission on Human and Peoples, Rights, Members of the Diplomatic
Corps, Honourable Ministers of State and Members of Parliament, your
Lordship Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, Distinguished
Delegates, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of His Excellency John Agyakum Kuffuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, the government and people of Ghana, I am honoured to welcome you all to this 41st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, this occasion has brought us together from across continents and across oceans to engage in a dialogue that will lead to finding solutions to the violations of human and peoples rights on our continent. This forum presents us with a unique opportunity to share experiences, share new bonds of partnership,
strengthen old ones and renew our commitment to the cause for which we have traveled several miles, namely, the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies And Gentlemen, Ghana is proud to host the 41st ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights which happens to coincide with her 50th anniversary celebrations. Indeed Ghana is committed to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law and we believe that the holding of this ordinary session will bring the activities of their commission closer to our people and enhance our commitment to deepening the rule of law and democratization in this country.

As you all know, Ghana was the first country to submit herself to the African Peer Mechanism, thereby opening her doors for other African countries to assess her performance in the area of human rights protection and other key pillars of good governance. Ghana thereby exhibited her commitment to abide by and promote the principles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Again, Distinguished Ladies And Gentlemen, our human rights record is known to you all. Since independence, Ghana has come a long way in the struggle to preserve the
rule of law and to protect human rights.

As a nation, we have overcome the post independence challenges that nearly saw to the destruction of the rule of law and the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. We have had to come to terms with our history and to address past violations in all the aim of reconciling the country through the national Reconciliation Process. we have made all these efforts as a nation to chart a course that will lead not only to the total liberation of Ghanaians but Africans as a whole.

Today, we pride ourselves in the Constitution of 1992, the fundamental law of the land which comparatively meets well with the seven core international human rights instruments and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Our constitution guarantees among others the right to life, the right to non discrimination and equality; it promotes respect for the dignity of the individual; guarantees the liberty and security of the person; freedom of speech and freedom of association, the right to hold and enjoy property, universal adult suffrage; the right to a fair trial and the right of individuals to partake in the political process. It is no doubt that these rights are core and their guarantee and enjoyment create a conducive environment for the growth of the rule of law, democratization and accelerated economic and social development. In order to avoid conflicts, the Constitution also guides decision makers in carving out and  implementing socio economic rights and policies for the for the benefit of all and for the development of the country.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies And Gentlemen, there is no doubt that the Agenda for this session is important and appropriate especially in these times when the African union has embarked on a number of processes to deepen human rights and democratization in Africa. I will therefore urge you to take advantage of this session to effectively engage in
the deliberations so as to come out with concrete and concerted decisions and policies both for the enhancement of the work of the African Commission and the promotion of human right on the African continent as a whole.

With these words I cordially welcome you to this session and I wish you fruitful and successful deliberations through out these two weeks. For those who have traveled from afar I hope that you enjoy this country, take time out of your busy schedules to explore our beautiful country and go back home with good memories you will never forget.

Thank you.


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