Dear Colleagues and distinguished Participants,
On behalf of the SADC-PF and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to thank you for your active participation today and yesterday.
Without doubt, we have been further enriched by the deliberations held, both by knowledge sharing and the sharing of peer experiences.
As Nelson Mandela rightly said "To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity".
Indeed, a democracy cannot prevail without human dignity of individuals as well as collective groups. It is with this perspective in mind that we must continue to move forward.
I think we have come a long way in distilling reflections around the guiding principles for the promotion of human rights by national Parliaments and your comments have been duly taken on board by the presenters.
Following the deliberations today, we are also cognisant that there is much progress to be accomplished in implementing human rights, especially socio-economic human rights which are not normally enshrined in national constitutions or the Bill of rights. Yet, we are confident that the 8 Principles and Guidelines will provide a facilitative pathway to implement all human rights, without distinction, as envisaged by the Banjul Charter.
We are also appreciative of the fact that the implementation of human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals should be looked upon as complementary initiatives, instead of separate projects as they are closely linked.
Going forward from this meeting, I invite you to consult the validated version of the Principles and Guidelines which will be processed by the TWG of the Democracy and Human Rights Committee in the days to follow.
The validated version will be circulated by email to stakeholders present today. For your inputs no later than 6th March, 2023
I wish to reiterate my gratitude to you as we close this meeting.
Thank you and have a nice evening.
Ms B.Sekgoma, SG, SADC-PF
7th February 2023
CLOSING REMARKS BY SECRETARY GENERAL – HUMAN RIGHTS TOOL - 7TH FEBRUARY 2023