Home | News    Monday 27 December 2010

Great Lakes symposium calls for urgent ratification of AU and UN protocols

By Julius N. Uma

December 25, 2010 (GULU) - Member countries from the Great Lakes region have strongly advocated for urgent ratification of both domestic and international legal instruments essential for addressing sexual gender-based forms of violence in the region.

The call was the outcome of a three-day international conference on the great lakes region (ICGLR) which was held in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, which attracted 55 attendants from the 10 member countries.

Cited as key during the high level capacity development convention on women, peace and security in the region were legal instruments such as UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325, the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other African Union (AU) protocols.

Betty Aol Ocan, a Ugandan legislator who attended the symposium told journalists during a media briefing at Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) premises that the specially convened summit was a clear manifestation that women remain the most marginalized vulnerable groups in society.

“Women too have fundamental human rights and that’s why we need to develop systematic actions plans that will help to address issues affecting women in general,” Ocan, also Uganda’s women forum representative in the great lakes region remarked.

The three-day international conference, she added, further lobbied the inter-ministerial committee of the Great Lakes region to institutionalize representation and participation of women in specialized bodies.

Also on the agenda, said the Ugandan lawmaker, were natural resource issues with specific focus on how illegal exploitation of these resources can be minimized and promotion of civil society activities in the Great Lakes region.

The ICGLR is an annually-held event that brings together various representatives from all the 10 member countries to deliberate on matters affecting the region, as member countries seek remedies to address them.

The member states of the ICGLR are: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

(ST)