The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to include fundamental human rights enforcement requirements in certain bilateral cooperation agreements emanating from states with high rates of abuses.
Speaking in Abuja at a public presentation of a book titled, “Dialectics of Rights, Nigeria’s Engagement with the Universal Periodic Review” the Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama said his ministry has made a remarkable contribution in ensuring that the fundamental human rights of Nigerians in diaspora are protected.
The minister, in a message through Amb. Bolaji Akinremi said, the ministry, through its missions has attended to several petitions from Nigerians in diaspora, concerning human rights abuses.
The minister said the Consular and Legal department of the ministry has been very proactive in ensuring that explanations are provided by diplomatic missions on behalf of their countries and by companies for which Nigerians work are providing services to the public.
The AGF, in his speech, said the Federal Government is committed to improving the quality of lives of all Nigerians.
“It is in this regard that government continue to create an environment in which the social and economic standards of the people will be greatly enhanced,” Malami said.
The government, he said has set up a broad-based national technical working group to develop long term sustainable development agenda (Nigeria Agenda 2020) for the country.
The minister, who was represented by one of his special assistants, Abiodun Aikhomo disclosed that the successor development programmes for the economic recovery and growth plan will soon be unveiled.
He said, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a key promotion and protection mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council, is aimed at improving human rights situation at the national level, sharing of best practices among states and other stakeholders, enhancement of states capacity and providing technical assistance in consultation with and the consent of state concerned.
Also speaking at the launch of the 357-page book, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, who coedited the 357-page book authored by Dr. Uchenna Emelonye said, the publication was put together in fulfilment of the role of his commission to facilitate understanding, research and discuss around human rights issues.
The NHRC boss said the essence is to enable Nigeria to fulfil its international human rights obligations and improve the climate for the enjoyment of human rights in the country.