Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Feb 27, GNA-Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has entreated Africans to demand accountable governance from political leaders and let their voices and choices propel the discourse for expedited development.
He said transcending 2020 into the ‘Decade of Action’ to develop the goals of Agenda 2030, the population of Africa especially women and children must be part of the building blocks.
Mr Whittal, who doubles as the Chair of the working group on the Agendas 2030 and 2063 and Network of African National Human Rights Institutions was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview on the margins of the ongoing Sixth Session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The ARFSD is an intergovernmental platform convened by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations system to review progress, share experiences and lessons learned, and build consensus on recommendations in the form of key messages to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
He said national human rights institutions, civil society entities, the media and other identifiable organisations should show consistency in holding governments to accountability.
He said human rights underpinned the tenets of the17 SDGs grouped into people, peace, planet, prosperity and partnerships or the 5 Ps with only human rights-based approaches delivering on these goals.
Mr Whittal said the development agenda should transcend political tenureship in order not to overly delay the processes for the realisation of the SDGs.
He said the revenues and resources of the continent, which manifest in the form of minerals, timber, fishes and wildlife must be equitably distributed as development projects irrespective of geographical location, status, religion or race.
Mr Whittal, who is again the representative of Africa on the Global Alliance of national human rights institutions working on Agenda 2030 at the global level said rights of people would be abused when amenities for which they were taxed fails to address their needs.
On Ghana as an example, he said government’s efforts to roots out illegal artisan Al mining or ‘galamsey’ should not be seen as a political issue but as an environmental or planet challenge to safeguard the future for posterity.
“In all these the people and governments must have equal positions so that human right as a norm will have been satisfied.