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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Memorandum of Understanding between ACHPR adn UNHCR


The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to strengthen co-operation between the African Commission and UNHCR, with the aim of more effectively promoting and protecting the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN  

THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS AND

THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES

  PREAMBLE

 

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, hereinafter referred to as “African Commission”, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, hereinafter referred to as “UNHCR”;

 Considerinthe 1950 Statute of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which mandates the High Commissioner with the responsibility of providing international protection to refugees and of seeking permanent solutions for their problems;

 Recognisinthat the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugees Problems in Africa plays a fundamental role as the regional framework for the protection of refugees' rights, as well as the effective regional complement to the 1951 UN Convention Related to the Status of Refugees;

 Recallinthe 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which entrusts the African Commission with a treaty monitoring function and a mandate to promote and protect human and peoples' rights, including the right of every individual, when persecuted, to seek a nd obtain asylum in other countries in accordance with the laws of those countries and international conventions;

 Recallinthe 1990 Agreement signed between the OAU and the United Nations System (UN System), encouraging co-operation between the OAU and the UN System and its relevant Specialised Agencies;

 Having regard to the Co-operation Agreement concluded on 13th June 1969, as amended by the Co-operation Agreement of 9 April 2001, which defines the spheres and framework of co- operation between the Orga nisation of African Unity (OAU) and UNHCR;

 Notinthat the OAU/UNHCR Meeting of Government and Non-Government Technical

Experts held in Conakry, Guinea, in March 2000, to commemorate the 30th  Anniversary of the

1969 OAU Convention adopted a Comprehensive Implementation Plan (CIP) aimed at ensuring the effective protection of refugees, asylum seekers and returnees in Africa, as well as the identification of durable solutions to the refugee problem;

 Notinfurthethat the CIP was endorsed by the 72nd  Session of the OAU Council of Ministers meeting in Lome, Togo, and by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of Member States of the OAU at their 37th  Session in Lusaka, Zambia from 9th  to 11th  July 2001;

 Desirouof strengthening co-operation between the African Commission and UNHCR, as mandated in Action 15 of the Comprehensive Implementation Plan (CIP), with the aim of more

 

effectively promoting and protecting the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates;

 HAVE AGREED as follows-:

 ARTICLE I Objective

The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to strengthen co-operation between the African Commission and UNHCR, with the aim of more effectively promoting and protecting the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates.

 ARTICLE II Areas of Co-operation

UNHCR and the African Commission shall co-operate in the following areas-:

 1. Share relevant information relating to the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates;

2. Jointly promote dissemination, awareness of, and training in international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law;

3. Undertake joint research and publications with emphasis on the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates, including comparative studies on the experience of human rights monitoring bodies in different continents, in order to identify and promote best practices aimed at enhancing refugee protection in Africa;

4. Support and promote the use of the different procedures and mechanisms available within the African Commission, such as missions, submission of communications, State reporting procedures and Special Rapporteurs, to address violations of the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates;

5. Undertake joint actions to encourage African States to implement Resolutions, Recommendations and Decisions relevant to refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates, adopted by the African Commission;

6. Pursuant to Article 60 of the African Charter, draw inspiration from the Resolutions, Recommendations and Decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Monitoring and Charter-Based Bodies, the Executive Committee of UNHCR and the relevant Organs of the African Union, in undertaking joint actions with the aim of more effectively promoting and protecting the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, returnees and other persons of concern under their respective mandates;

7. Encourage closer co-operation between the African Commission, UNHCR and the relevant organs of the African Union, such as the Commission on Refugees and the Division for Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons, with a view to exchanging reports and fostering the complementarity of their respective mandates;

8. Maintain regular communication in order to identify other areas of co-operation and mutual interest.

 

ARTICLE III

Modalities for implementation

1.   The Parties shall establish such procedures and mechanisms as deemed appropriate for the development and implementation of strategies, programmes and activities necessary to attain the objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding.

2.  Either Party shall participate at meetings convened by the other upon invitation.

3.  UNHCR and the African Commission shall exchange information, studies, reports, data- bases and documents on matters of mutual interest, and shall collaborate in the collection, analysis and dissemination thereof, subject to such arrangements as may be necessary to safeguard the confidentiality and restricted character of such documents and information.

4. The Africa Bureau at UNHCR Headquarters and the Secretariat of the African Commission shall, in close cooperation with the UNHCR’s Regional Liaison Office in Addis Ababa and with the Division of Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons of the African Union, co-ordinate activities aimed at implementing this Memorandum of Understanding.

 ARTICLE IV Financial provision

Each Party is responsible for mobilising the resources necessary to implement the activities set out in this Memorandum of Understanding. Should sufficient resources not be available for immediate action by one Party, the other shall be consulted. The parties shall explore the possibility of joint mobilisation of resources in relation to specifi c activities.

 ARTICLE V Resolution of disputes

Any dispute arising from the interpretation or application of this Memorandum of Understanding shall be settled by mutual agreement between the two Parties, with a view always to ensuring its successful realisation.

 ARTICLE VI Amendments

This Memorandum of Understanding may only be amended by mutual written consent between the Parties.

 

ARTICLE VII Termination

Either Party may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by giving notice to the other Party of its intention to do so. Such termination shall become effective ninety days from the date of receipt of such notification by the other Party. The Parties shall consult to ensure that any ongoing activities are not affected by such termination.

 ARTICLE VIII

Entry into force

This Memorandum of Understanding shall enter into force upon signature and shall remain in force unless terminated under the provisions of Article VII hereof.

 IN FAITH WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorised for this purpose by the respective Parties hereto, have signed the two original copies of this Memorandum of Understanding drawn up in the English and French languages.

  

For the African Commission                               For the United Nations

on Human and Peoples' Rights                         High Commissioner for Refugees

 

 

 

 

 

Name………………………..                                   Name…………………………….. Title………………………….                                   Title………………………………. Date………………………….                                  Date………………………………