The Government of Mozambique, through the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs in partnership with the National Commission on Human Rights and civil society organizations as well as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched a report evaluating the implementation of the Recommendations of the Second Cycle of the UN Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights (2016-2019 /20).
The report, launched on 5 June, was produced under a project which aim is "Improving the Implementation of the Universal Periodic Review Recommendations in Mozambique, through the Strengthening of the Civil Society Monitoring Role", supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Mozambique and implemented through UNDP.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mozambique Justice Minister, Ms. Helena Kida noted that the Government will lead the process of implementing the Recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism, maintaining the partnership with Mozambican civil society. “The Government reiterates its commitment to the cause of the promotion of Human Rights, removing the hindrances identified in our interim evaluation report, some of which are shared by this report that not only recognizes the great achievements, but points out challenges we ought to overcome,” the Minister said.
UNDP-Mozambique Resident Representative a.i. Francisco Roquette, stated that “the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism is not merely a mechanism, as the simple interpretation of the term would suggest. It is a democratic and constructive exercise, through which member states are equally assessed in relation to the situation of the promotion and protection of human rights within and among the United Nations member countries. It is also a voluntary exercise and, therefore, a manifestation of the will and commitment to collectively respond to the ever more demanding and growing human rights concerns.”
Mr. Roquette also affirmed that civil society plays a crucial role both in participating in public consultations for Government. He noted that civil society is paramount as the world deals with COVID -19 pandemic. “The global challenges of COVID-19 again prove the need for a solid network of civil society organizations that support governments and development partners to reach the peripheries and leave no one behind," he said.
In turn, the President of the National Commission on Human Rights, Luis Bitone, considered the participation of Mozambican civil society in the preparation of this report, will enrich the discourse of human rights in Mozambique. “It is no secret that, even though we have made many human rights commitments, at practical level there are formidable challenges in implementation. These issues range from those related to people’s security and safety, education, health, to those related to social security.” He noted, however, that although a small number of recommendations had been implemented, the expectation is that in the short to medium term more will be fulfilled.
The review mechanism was created by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, through Resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council, and in October 2011, it assessed the human rights situation of all 193 Members States of this body (UN), of which Mozambique is a part, in what was marked as the First Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review – UPR.