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African Commission on
Human and Peoples' Rights

Remarks on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders Coalition By Honourable Commissioner Rémy Ngoy Lumbu, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Focal Point on Reprisals in Africa


- Your Excellency Mrs. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;,

- Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Government;

- Honourable Members of the National Assembly;

- Excellencies representatives of the AU human rights organs;

- Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps;

- Mr Onesmo Olengurumwa, National Coordinator of the THRDC;

- Representatives of international organisations, national human rights institutions and civil society

- Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocols observed.

 

Good morning

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to address the 10th anniversary commemoration of the Tanzanian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders.  

Allow me, on behalf of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Commission), and on my own behalf, to congratulate the National Coordinator of the THRDC and his team for the successful organization of the 10th anniversary of the Coalition whose theme is: "10 Years of the THRDC: A Foundation for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Tanzania."  

This commemoration provides us with an opportunity to exchange on different issues related to human rights in general, and the promotion and protection of human rights defenders in particular, especially in the current context where the restriction of civic space and the protection of human rights defenders has become, in some countries of the Continent, more worrying than ever.

Your Excellency, Madam President,

Esteemed participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

We are witnessing an upsurge in violations of the rights of human rights defenders everywhere.  There is an urgent need to find ways and means to bring States Parties to recognize the status of human rights defenders in order to guarantee them effective protection. Additional commitment and efforts are needed from all stakeholders for effective synergies and strategic alliances, in order to promote and defend the rights of human rights defenders who sacrifice themselves to make the voice of the voiceless heard.

It is only in this way that our continent will be able to equip itself, overcome and face the emerging challenges that await it; so that together we can effectively build and construct the Africa we want for future generations and for ourselves, in line with the AU Agenda 2063 which aspires in particular, an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.

Agenda 2063 provides an opportunity for human rights defenders to actively participate in creating the conditions for making human rights a reality, for example by working on peace building and human rights awareness at national, regional and international levels. We are therefore invited to seize this opportunity to discuss and reflect together on innovative strategies to play our part in building a united and prosperous Africa, where there is lasting peace and security.

Your Excellency Madam President,

Esteemed participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is certainly a time for celebration; however this forum also serves as an opportunity for the THRDC to carry out, together with other stakeholders, a sincere introspection and evaluation of its weaknesses and strengths, with a view to identifying new strategies to optimize its efforts, which will inevitably involve synergy and coordination of Tanzanian civil society's actions in favour of human rights and human rights defenders.   

My wish is therefore that these meetings, organized within the framework of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the THRDC, may give it a new impetus in its mission of promotion and protection of human rights, the fruits of which will spring up in the country, the sub-region and beyond.  

Let me at this point commend and congratulate the THRDC and other human rights defenders, their networks and associations for their continued contribution to the work of the African Commission for the advancement of human rights in Africa. I encourage you to always be guided in your daily work by values such as impartiality, integrity, professionalism, commitment, and courage to better accomplish your vocation.

I would like to conclude by wishing the THRDC a very happy anniversary and full success in its future actions.

 

Thank you for your kind attention!

Asante sana!