Distinguished partners and colleagues,
I wish to welcome you all to today’s strategic engagement on Uganda’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Iam encouraged by the diverse and inclusive representation today. And for us at the coalition, it’s what we aim for-that the UPR process is as inclusive and robust as it can get.
We have representatives from grassroot organisations who bring actual lived realities to this conversation.
The charter-based mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review are a core component of our advocacy work at the coalition. Between July and October,2019, the NCHRD-U commissioned a study on an assessment of the state’s implementation of recommendations that directly affect Human Rights Defenders in Uganda. It was launched on 8th October,2020
Our focus then was on Uganda’s mid-term and we were aiming to make a contribution to the National CSO mid-term Report. At that time, we realized that Human Rights Network (HURINET) that was responsible for steering us under the CSO National Stakeholders’ Forum on the UPR had management challenges that were not to be solved soon. This meant that there was a vacuum.
We held a series of stakeholder meetings with the support of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to revive the CSO National Stakeholders’ Forum on 6th and 30th October,2020.
The steering committee meetings agreed to;
- Appoint the coalition as the Co-ordinating entity for CSO/UPR consortium for the Third cycle
- Retain and re-align UPR clusters whose conveners and co-conveners constitute the steering committee
- Develop a roadmap for the CSO UPR Third cycle roadmap.
- Present the roadmap for approval by the Stakeholders forum on the UPR.
In this respect, the coalition has been able to;
- Undertake a three-day stakeholders’ forum on the UPR with over 150 Human Rights Defenders with the support of UN-OHCHR Uganda.
- Design e a roadmap for approval and launch by the Stakeholders’ Forum.
- Re-aligned clusters to provide for 16 main clusters and 7 sub-clusters; introduced 4 new clusters. Notified all cluster heads of expectations.
- Liaised with Defend Defenders to initiate trainings for cluster heads in generation of the reports.
- Currently supporting clusters through their constitution and coordination process.
- Interacted with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the process.
- Interacted with UPR Africa on possible collaboration
Today, we will share the very roadmap and we have already identified areas that require support. We are hoping that the development partners can find this process a good opportunity to support civil society’s meaningful engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process.
Time isn’t our side but I recognize the commitment of all the conveners and co-conveners of the clusters and I can only assure them that we are committed to play our part as the coordinating entity to ensure smooth Third Cycle process.
We thank LWF, Defend Defenders and Office of the UN-OHCHR for their support thus far towards this process. I also thank Mr. Gilbert Cathal for the support in mobilizing development partners on this process because they are critical allies in such processes.
We would also like to thank Mr. James Nkuubi and the Secretariat team for their efforts and confidence to revive the conversations on the UPR-I believe the 1st July deadline is in sight.
I thank you all for listening to me and wish you good deliberations.
For God and My Country