The Gambia will host the 61st African Commission has unilaterally decided to hold its 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in November 2017 despite requests by other States to host it, says Justice Minister Abubakar Tambedou announced on Monday during a press briefing in Banjul.

As part of efforts to restore The Gambia’s international image, prestige and respectability in the area of respect for human rights, a Gambian delegation attended the 60th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held in Niamey, Republic of Niger from 8 May. They shared with the Commission The Gambia’s desire to resume its regional leadership role in the human rights crusade on the African continent.

“This also means that our own standards for human rights and justice must be beyond reproach. The Commissioners commended the laudable and positive strides The Gambia has made in the field of respect for and observance of human rights in this short time since the installation of the new government. As a matter of fact, the African Commission has unilaterally decided to hold its 61st Ordinary Session here in The Gambia in November 2017 despite requests by other States to host it. This is welcome news for our country” he announced.

Stakeholder’s conference

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has kick start a national stakeholder’s conference on human rights and justice at the Kairaba Beach Hotel from 23-25 May in partnership with the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and the UNDP.

The conference Minister Tambadou said will bring together various national players from a cross section of the legal, social and political communities in the country as well as international partners from around the world including international human rights organizations and experts in various fields to discuss topical issues on the key priority areas identified by the government for immediate reform.

“These include topics on constitutional review, institutional reform, criminal justice and media law reform etc. Recommendations from these discussions will feed into the broader transitional justice strategic plan already designed and developed by the Ministry” he concluded.