Respect for Human Rights in Cameroon: UN To Support All Efforts

President Paul Biya last Friday, May 03, received in audience, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Peace, Security and Human Rights. These are the three key issues on which discussions between the Head of State, President Paul Biya and the visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet hinged on last Friday, May 03, 2019 at the Unity Palace.

It took almost one hour for the two dignitaries to thrash the issues at hand. The Friday audience opened the floodgate of clarification on the real issues on the field as well as an assessment of the challenges of handling a problem as sensitive as human rights.

As stated by the President's guest, Michelle Bachelet, who spoke to reporters after the audience, the Unity Palace meeting hammered on "all the situation that the country is facing on peace, security and human rights." As would have been expected, their attention was far from being limited to simply observing the issue at stake but going a step ahead to see what can be done to reinforce efforts already deployed on the field to scale down actions that negate respect of human rights in Cameroon.

"We had a conversation on how and in which way the UN and my office can support efforts to continue respecting, promoting and protecting human rights", Bachelet said, stating inter alia that it was a "very good conversation." The UN official said, she spoke to the President as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights but also as former President of the Republic that has experienced such issues in government.

The Unity Palace audience was equally occasion for the High Commissioner to openly express the concern her organization has been having on Cameroon since the outbreak of insecurity in the Far North Region perpetrated by the Islamist activist group, Boko Haram and most especially the three-year old escalation of socio-political upheavals in the North West and South West Regions.

In effect, the issue at hand was to see what kind of support the UN can offer to the Cameroon government in its drive to promote the respect of human rights in the whole gamut of actions geared at scaling down the present crises.

The audience granted Michelle Bachelet who arrived in the country on May 01, was in effect, the summit in the series of meetings she had with members of government, those of the civil society, political actors as well as the media. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights), it should be recalled, is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people.

UN Human Rights provides assistance in the form of technical expertise and capacity-development in order to support the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground. It assists governments, which bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights, to fulfill their obligations and supports individuals to claim their rights.

Moreover, it speaks out objectively on human rights violations. Bachelet left the Unity Palace last Friday not exactly as she came in. She was decorated with the medal of the Grand Officer of the Order of Valor.

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