Mr. Minister of Justice and Human Rights;
Ladies and Gentlemen, participating Ministers and Heads of Delegation;
Excellencies the Ambassadors;
Excellency AU Commissioner for Political Affairs;
Excellency Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights ;
Ladies and Gentlemen. Members of the Commission;
Ladies and Gentlemen, State Delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of National Human Rights Institutions ;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of International and Regional Organizations ;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of Civil Society Organizations ;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
The convocation of the 55th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights offers a favorable opportunity to express in the name of participating State Delegates sincerest wishes for our august Commission in tribute to the high-quality noble action it undertakes for the purpose of leveraging and protecting human rights in the African Continent. I therefore seize this opportunity to admit in the first place it is to our entire satisfaction to bear witness to the distinctive level of cooperation with the Commission and its respective mechanisms.
It also gives me pleasure to extend deepest thanks for and appreciation to the Angolan Government for hosting this Session and for the warm reception and hospitality accorded us ever since we landed in the beautiful capital Luanda.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Similar to the rest of the continents and human masses in the world, our Continent, by virtue of its potential and specificities, is facing a series of challenges and phenomena. For better elaboration, I would like in this respect to recall as a proof the words of His Excellency Mohammed Weld Abdul Aziz, the President of the Republic and Chairperson of the African Union, regarding how imperative it is to enhance the role of the regional organization when he was quoted as saying: “In response to local and international challenges led by issues relating to security inasmuch as to economic and social development, and despite gross efforts made by individual countries to live up to challenges of the age, the trans-national nature of some of these challenges renders it incumbent upon us to find out continental approaches with a view to espouse our efforts with those of our international partners.”
This situation necessitates that action must be taken to confront such challenges spearheaded by poverty with marginalization and exclusion as its consequences. Further, terrorism, trans-national organized crime, armed conflicts and migration with its negative implications on African economies and communities and countries of destination do constitute a substantial obsession.
To avert the growing danger of migration in Africa, His Excellency has called for an international conference on this phenomenon that involves a noticeable tragic dimension which can be addressed through a common approach to examine all its aspects and envisage perceptions and solutions to help redress its negative impacts and repercussions.
Concerning the climate changes phenomenon and the degraded environment resulting from it plus the negative effects on the peoples’ life in the form of scarce resources in general, shrinking means of production and dwindling farm and animal wealth considered to be the main source of income for the majority of our continent’s countryside population, His Excellency has observed that “Conservation of the environment and the realization of food security are no longer viewed as a mere legitimate aspiration of our countries but rather have developed into a pressing necessity, given the repeated food crises and the negative reflections of climate changes.”
I seize this opportunity to applaud the effective role of the civil society organizations in our countries respectively in addressing challenges and working on the fulfillment of development goals in our continent.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Following up on the human rights situation in Mauritania, a tangible transformation in recent years can be certainly touched to the credit of crucial steps taken in this direction, providing an appropriate atmosphere for exercising different rights and freedoms.
The adoption of consultation, dialogue and open-door policy as mediums and the positive dealing with international human rights mechanisms have presented a clear-cut indicator that a new technique and will are becoming operative since the election and taking office of His Excellency Mohammed Weld Abdul Aziz as President.
Action is now pinned on the achievement of the millennium development goals and the consolidation of achievements in the area of laying the foundation for the infrastructure in general alongside giving priority to sectors of health and education for all as well as mother and child care within the framework of family affairs, promotion of women and their integration into all activities, not to mention care devoted to persons with special needs. Mauritanian youth care also was attended to as a strategic goal that was lately embodied in the establishment of a higher council for youth where His Excellency the President of the Republic had issued directives for the incorporation of this category in all sector-driven policies.
With regard to constitutional and political reforms incarnating the spirit and values of new Mauritania, we come across the inclusion of a provision in the Constitution citing the incrimination of slavery and its rating as a crime against humanity, the assertion of the independence of the judiciary and recognition of the cultural diversity of the country in addition to other reforms as far as political practices were concerned, including but not limited to, broadening women participation in electoral posts, fostering political party-based participation and the renewal of the political strata.
These efforts in the field of information were crowned by freeing the audio-visual space as represented in issuing licenses for launching several satellite channels and radio stations that were manned openly and professionally. To this effect, His Excellency the President of the Republic has often reiterated that freedom of the press is an irreversible option.
Moreover, improving the living conditions of most needy population has moved to the forefront of the government’s priorities at the national level, thus leading at the same time to the conduct of an overall reform of public administration, with the aim of its modernization, the facilitation of its services and bringing it closer to the citizen. These priorities were accompanied by the declaration of a relentless war on corruption and the corrupt.
In this perspective, the Amal Program for the provision of basic foodstuffs at lower prices all over the country was developed and implemented since 2012 and is still going on. These orientations were made effective by establishing the National Agency called “The Solidarity” to obliterate effects of slavery, boost integration and fight against poverty among vulnerable categories and which will enable diversified and comprehensive programs intended for different regions not only to narrow differences between various sectors of the Mauritanian people but rather strengthen their national unity.
These procedures will be further promoted through the development of a national action plan for the implementation of the roadmap recommendations on the effacement of slavery vestiges, which were ratified by the Cabinet during its meeting on 6 March 2014 and presented by the UN Rapporteur with regard to modern forms of slavery.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Our African continent, boasting of and holding in esteem its human and cultural diversity being a unity factor nurturing the association of its human components, is persistent in its respect for and abidance by its commitments vis-à-vis human rights and the positive and effective response to any and all mechanisms operating in this domain. In this connection, our country will be submitting its reports on the implementation of the articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the other African agreements to which it is a party.
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is looking forward with utmost interest to actively participating in all efforts slated to protect and leverage human and peoples’ rights on the continental plane. Along this line, it will have the honor to host one of the upcoming sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Concluding, it should not fail me in this regard to personally express profound thanks to all of you and to all distinguished Commission members for your dedicated concern and unswerving commitment to serve just issues of human and peoples’ rights in Africa as well as for your continued support to advocates who tirelessly uphold respect for human freedom and dignity.
Thank you all for your kind attention;
May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all;
Walsalam Alaykom wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakato