NEPAD's vision: NEPAD commits African governments to establish a human rights code of conduct, and to acknowledge the interdependence of all human rights, including economic and social. Further, it commits African governments to develop detailed provisions as to how human rights are to be monitored, inter alia the establishment of a peer review mechanism that is independent and credible; to ensure that human rights protections will be a key element in any peace-keeping and peace-building initiatives; and to create structures and processes to ensure accountability.
NEPAD's failures: In and of themselves, these are positive provisions. However, we note that the document fails to acknowledge the progress made in defining and protecting human rights, shown in the absence of reference to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, to the African Commission, or to the OAU's commitment to the establishment of an African Court. The document lacks clear benchmarks for human rights performance, and it fails to support the ratification of such human rights initiatives as the Additional Protocol on Women's Rights of the African Charter.
US responsibility: To support these human rights aspirations, we note the following indicators for US policy:
- The US government will name human rights abuses wherever they may be found.
- The US government will participate actively in international human rights fora.
- The US government will provide a meaningful contribution to multilateral human rights initiatives, including assistance to aid victims of abuses.
- The US government will participate actively in programs that respect fundamental workers' rights, as defined by the International Labor Organization, both as human rights, and as an avenue toward more equitable economic development and more effective democratic governance.
- The US government will reverse its decision repudiating the International Criminal Court.