Civil Society Collation on UPR General Assembly.Published on: 31/05/2019

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On 28th May 2019 at Portofino Hotel, located in Gasabo District, Kigali held Civil Society collation on UPR General Assembly.

Group Photo of the participants.

On Agenda:
-  Presentation and approval of new applications for membership
-  Presentation and approval of 2019-2020 action plan
-  Upcoming regional conference
-  Strengthening the coalition on UPR, backward and forward looking assessment

The meeting started with welcome remarks by the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Forum, the current convener of the coalition.

Agenda 1: Approval of the new members of the coalition.

LAF Executive Director introduced the applicants stating that they applied to be members by applying in writing. They are organisations that are working in human rights related areas.

Me Andrews KANANGA , LAF Executive Director introducing all Applicants.

The applicants are:
1. Ihorere Munyarwanda Organisation (IMRO)
2. Journal Imanzi, represented
3. Rwanda NGO forum
4. Strive Foundation Organisation
5. Faith Victory Foundation
6. Never Again Rwanda (NAR)

The representatives of each applicant organisation briefly introduced his/her organisation and all 6 applicants were approved and welcomed to the coalition by the general assembly.

The coalition is now made of 38 member organisations.
Agenda 2: Presentation and approval of 2019-2020 action plan
The Executive Director of LAF started the presentation giving short introduction of UPR mechanism and the UPR and Rwanda.

Me Andrews KANANDA , LAF Executive Director doing introduction on UPR .

Presenting on the 2019-2020 action plan, he said it is part and integral of the overall LAF strategic plan 2017 - 2021.

Planned activities:
1. Convening a three-day workshop for technical Committee members to elaborate appropriate tools and templates for data collection and reporting
2. Conducting a two days’ workshop for all representatives of the coalition members to endorse the tools as well as the roadmap for the evaluation.
3. Elaborate reports on the findings of each thematic working group and submit them to the lead expert.
4. Collecting and documenting existing primary and secondary data on the progress in realising the various recommendations.
5. Organize a consultative meeting of Government institutions and CSOs to present the roadmap of the alternative report 2019 – 2021
6. Organize a workshop with relevant government institutions to present the findings of the alternative report
7. Elaboration of thematic working group reports under the guidance of each team leader of the thematic group;
8. Compilation of the final draft report from thematic reports by the lead expert.
9. Organize a two days workshop to review the draft report by the Technical team.
10. Presentation of the final report to the general assembly made of heads of all organisations members of the coalition for approval and validation
11. Submission of the final Report to the Human Rights Council.
12. Present the Coalition’s alternative Report in Geneva
13. Organising two media breakfast convening together 35 journalists from different media outlets about the evaluation of UPR recommendations
14. Running of articles, radio and TV news broadcasts featuring the UPR evaluation status and UPR recommendations in general by invited media outlets
15. Conducting four radio and TV talk shows on the UPR process in general and recommendations as well as the evaluation process

After presentation of the planned activities, the director said that LAF on behalf of the coalition is mobilising the budget to implement them as they were estimated to cost 1,489,157 USD for 2017-2021 timeframe, i.e including those already conducted and planned after 2020. The funds were from the Swiss cooperation, UNDP, and Belgium Embassy to Rwanda.

The action plan was adopted accordingly by the general assembly.
The Legal Aid Forum’s Executive Director, Me Andrews Kananga addressing the participants to the General Assembly.

Agenda 3. Upcoming regional conference

The Conference Director John MUDAKIKWA briefed the general assembly about the UPR regional conference to be hosted by Rwanda. The conference is jointly organised by coalition on UPR and the UNDP. 100 participants are expected to attend.

Mr John MUDAKIKWA briefing the general assembly

Participants to the conference are from Rwanda and the East African countries plus Democratic republic of Congo and Somalia. Thus, eight countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Democratic Rep of Congo and Somalia) are expected to attend.

Each country will be represent by, 1 delegate from government institution having UPR under its responsibilities and 1 delegate from civil society organisation working on UPR among its activities.

Also are expected to the conference: OHCHR office/Geneva, African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, National Human Rights Commission and the UPR Info. The guest of Honor will be Hon Minister of Justice/ Rwanda.

The general assembly was presented the conference program from day 1 to Day three and approved it after providing their inputs and comments.
A number of strategies for the successful conference were adopted by the members.

The members of the collation are expected to:
1. Send Seniors from their organisation to attend the conference not ordinary/junior staff
2. Bear in mind the Gender aspect when sending participants
3. Time keeping
4. Signing up for Gisozi visit schedules for the day two of the conference
5. Explore the partnerships and networking
6. Hold their Business cards, flyers
7. Have warm hospitality as Rwanda is known for this
8. Assist in communication of the conference.

Agenda 4: Strengthening the CSO coalition on UPR: A background and forward looking assessment

Mr John MUDAKIKWA, introduced to the participants that there is a need to discuss on coalition leadership, administrative committee of the coalition so the work be very easy.

The space was open to participants to share their ideas and the following recommendations were adopted accordingly:
1. The coalition shall have steering committee made of 5 members (4 from clusters 1 per each) plus the convener;
2. Thematic groups/clusters should meet regularly and they will select their representatives made of three people, chair/vice and secretary;
3. It is not mandatory that the meeting should take place at LAF premises,
4. Each cluster to develop its action plan referring to the general action plan,
5. While collecting the data, there shall be supporting evidences;
6. LAF to convene a meeting with all institutions that will provide information during data collection for the UPR final report,
7. There shall be development of clusters and steering meeting’s terms of reference.
8. The convener will coordinate all the activities in collaboration with the steering committee.


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