By DOH JAMES SONKEY
Officials from major political parties in Cameroon and civil society organizations last May 28 and 29, 2019 at the Yaounde Mont Febe Hotel participated at a high level roundtable discussion on the role of political parties in the promotion of human rights, consolidation of peace and democracy in Cameroon.
After serious brainstorming in groups, participants recommended that a law be adopted against hate speech users, that the electoral code be amended, that a law be adopted to guarantee independence of the judiciary from the executive and that discussion on the form of state ought to feature at the all inclusive dialogue to solve the Anglophone crisis etc.
Organized by the UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa under the distinguished patronage of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, the one day brainstorming was an opportunity for officials from key political parties to adopt an action plan expected to lessen the present political tension in the country.
In his speech, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms, Dr Chemuta Divine Banda underlined that the respect of human rights is prerequisite for peace consolidation because when people feel offended, peace is automatically compromised.
The acting representative of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, Abdoulaye Traore said the interest which government manifested towards the promotion of human rights during the recent visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet and Cameroon’s wilful manifestation to play host to the UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa is an indication that human rights issues are taken very seriously at top levels.
He stressed that “human rights, peace and democracy are complementary and are fundamental values in a democratic society and nurture each other. Democracy is rooted in the respect of human rights. The existence of a multiparty system with political parties with different views, trade unions, and civil society organizations which can freely organise themselves in compliance and respect of the international human rights standards, the enjoyment of the liberty of public gathering, the respect of the freedom of expression, free and independent medias, the organization of periodic and transparent elections, the rights of citizens to exercise the power through their representatives in a transparent and free election are some of the manifestations of democracy. These rights would not be protected in the absence of rule of law with a strong judiciary system. In return, the governance based on democracy is respectful to the role of the human rights, establishes trust between citizens, security and defence bodies and national institutions.”
Present at the brainstorming were an ELECAM representative, the Vice National Coordinator of CPDM Academy, the Secretary General of the SDF, the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, UPC, CPP etc.