Intersession Activity Report of Commissioner YKJ Yeung Sik Yuen in his joint capacity as Commissioner and Chairperson of the Working Grouup on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa
From 21 February to 1 March 2012, I participated in the 11th Extraordinary Meeting of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held in Banjul. That EOS proved to be one of the most productive with a large number of communications (14) being despatched and one being referred to the Court after having considered a number. The Commission also adopted a number of Resolutions and issued Press Communiqués in respect of three States Parties. More details can be viewed in the Final Communiqué which is on the website of the Commission.
During the EOS, I chaired a Preparatory Committee that was set up in the margins of the impending celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Commission this year. A document prepared by the Secretariat on the possible manifestations that could be organized to mark the event was ably presented by Dr Ogunade and a number of concrete ideas were captured. It is hoped that with the help of each and every stakeholder, including our traditional supporters we would be able to mark that important milestone in the existence of the Commission in a style that is apt and befitting.
From 19 to 22 March 2012, the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities met in Balaclava, Mauritius. The main aim of the meeting was to finalize the Draft Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons and to engage in serious brainstorming of ideas which would justify the drafting of a Draft Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which could be peculiar to Africa.
The meeting benefitted from the support of GIZ and the intellectual input of the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission [AUC] which was represented by its Director, Ambassador Olawale Maiyegun and by its Head, Dr Johan Strijdom.
It was an extremely positive meeting and I am particularly glad to report that the Final Draft Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons prepared by the Working Group has already been circulated among the Commissioners and that it will be presented during the private session with the hope that it will be adopted and sent to the AUC so that the first ever Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons will hopefully be African.
I am also glad to report that one member of the Working Group, Mr Lawrence Mute, presented an excellent concept paper on the Rights of Older Persons with Disabilities in Africa which has persuaded the Working Group that there is definitely need of an Africa specific Protocol on People with Disabilities. The Working Group is therefore set to move on to the next Draft Protocol.
Commissioner Y K J Yeung Sik Yuen
13 April 2012