By Raymond Baguma
A Ugandan diplomat, Ambassador Duncan Muhumuza Laki, has been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
The human rights committee is a separate body to the UN Human Rights Council and monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The committee reviews regular reports of State parties on how the rights are being implemented. States are required to report initially one year after acceding to the covenant and then every four years.
The ICCPR is a multilateral treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and commits state parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. As of May last year, the ICCPR had 74 signatories and 167 parties, including Uganda.
Muhumuza is a lawyer with over 28 years of legal and public service experience at national and international level. Duncan has in the past led Uganda’s delegations at various international, regional, and sub-regional engagements. He is the legal advisor at the Uganda Mission to the UN in New York.
During Uganda’s tenure in the Security Council in 2009, he was the legal adviser of the Security Council Team; a member of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict; as well as the Informal Working Group on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.
Elections were held last month, on June 24. There were 13 candidates elected. Of these, three were from Africa and included Uganda, Malawi and Tunisia. Others included USA, Japan, Montenegro, France, Greece, Suriname, Italy, Chile, Netherlands and Afghanistan.