Human rights in Africa were the focus of discussion at the African Union (AU) Executive Council’s 28th Ordinary Session this week.
This discussion focused on human rights in relation to the Agenda 2063 framework and there was a special focus on women’s rights. The AU is also operating an overarching theme, “2016: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women.” AU Chair, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma stated that it is the aim of the AU to facilitate development in the region that is driven forward by the citizens in each country.
Zuma also noted that countries have improved on matters relating to gender equality since the gender scorecard was implemented. She also states that the scorecard for 2016 will focus on human rights related matters.
Also present was United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopez. In his address, Lopez spoke of structural improvements in order to allow economic advancement in the region. He also called on member states to place the ending of armed conflicts as top priorities.
The people and governments of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were also recognized for resilience during the Ebola outbreak over the course on 2014 and 2015.