You are here

Commonwealth must not give up on Human Rights

Friends of Rwandan Greens (FoRG) express their disappointment that CHOGM ruled out the recommendation of the Eminent Persons Group to set up a Human Rights Commissioner.

"We are saddened that despite the almost unanimous support of the Commonwealth civil society and particular nations – including Australia – CHOGM could not reach consensus to appoint a Human Rights Commissioner," said Frank Habineza, President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda.

"It appears that despite the grandiose statements from member nations about their commitment to the Commonwealth principles they still have much to hide" said Mr Habineza.

"We commend CHOGM for committing to strengthen the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). CMAG is a critical body in the Commonwealth as it is empowered to take action if member groups fail to meet the principles of the Commonwealth. We look forward to seeing greater detail on this proposal and hope that there aren't hidden devils that allow for too many loopholes," said Mr Habineza.

"Back in 2009 Commonwealth members like Australia said that granting Rwanda membership would help to entrench the rule of law and support democracy. FoRG is now calling on Australia to come good on this assurance and use its influence as Chair of the Commonwealth to bring about the broad commitments made by CHOGM in Perth this year – otherwise Australia will only be remembered for leading a Commonwealth of nations into further disrepute and irrelevance," said Amy Tyler, Spokesperson for Friends of Rwandan Greens.

"The Rwandan people deserve democracy and the Commonwealth can help deliver this with their commitment to technical and electoral support as well as through the strengthening of CMAG," said Ms Tyler.

FoRG looks forward to future meetings with representatives from the Australian government as well as the Commonwealth to ensure that Rwanda's membership in the Commonwealth is not used as a public relations cover for the Rwandan Government while they engage in extremely undemocratic behaviour at home," said Ms Tyler.

 

For further details, please contact :

Amy Tyler, Spokesperson, Friends of Rwandan Greens

Tel : +61 400 550 140, Email : 22tyler@gmail.com