The National National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has explained the reason for organising in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) the first ever Presidential Town Hall on Human Rights to mark the International Human Rights Day.
Speaking at the Second United Nations – Government of Nigeria Human Rights Dialogue in Abuja, the Chairperson of the Governing Council, National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman said she was happy thankful to the UN Resident Coordinator and the entire UN Country Team for believing in this partnership with Nigeria and National Human Rights Commission to host this year’s dialogue.
She said: “I am delighted to note that the Human Rights Dialogue which started last year as an initiative of the UN Resident Coordinator’s office representing the UN System and the National Human Rights Commission representing the Government of Nigeria has entered its second year and is poised to become a major convening of policy makers and development partners, shaping the face of partnerships and commitments in the field of human rights in Nigeria.”
She noted that: “This Human Rights Dialogue is coming on the heels of the recently released Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index survey by the National Bureau of Statistics indicating that despite efforts by Government, we are failing in fulfilling most human rights and development obligations that are essential for survival.”
She also said: “The Human Rights Dialogue also follows the recent signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the Government of Nigeria and the United Nations. It is my hope that cooperation framework serves as a vehicle to advance partnership to work together for the realisation of all human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural for all Nigerians as human rights is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and there can never be development without human rights.”
She however said: “As we approach the 2023 General Elections, the National Human Rights Commission is working with various partners to advocate for issue-based campaigns anchored on the realisation of human rights and an electoral process that is peaceful and guarantees the right to participation of political parties and electorates.
“I cannot emphasise enough about the unique joint mandates of the United Nations and the Commission to serve as independent voices and gate keepers in ensuring that human rights are integrated and sustained in the process leading to the election and even beyond by supporting the next administration to continue to place human rights as a major priority on it political, social and economic agendas.
“It is following this that the both the Commission and the United Nations are proud to be collaborating to organise the first ever Presidential Town Hall on Human Rights to mark the International Human Rights Day.”
Suleiman said: “I therefore welcome the programme of this year’s dialogue as the beginning of an agenda-focusing consultation and discussions aimed at defining a human rights-based agenda for Nigeria. I want to thank all our speakers who have made their valuable time and expertise available to us today.”
She noted that the second edition of the Human Rights Dialogue has been convened in order to appraise the implementation of the outcome document of the first UN-Government of Nigeria human rights dialogue; evaluate the current state of human rights in Nigeria in the light of the upcoming 2023 General Elections and to discuss Human Rights priorities for Nigeria for 2023 and Beyond.”
The Minister of Women Affairs, Madame Pauline Tallen in her message tasked everyone to place priority on the issues of women and children.
She insisted that the issues of women should be given thought to always and by everyone.