Kiir signs 4 international treaties into law

By William Madouk

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Friday acceded four international covenants that were passed by the national parliament last year into law.

The assented treaties are; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It also includes the Protocol to The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The bills were passed by the transitional national legislative assembly in 2022 and were forwarded to the president for signing into law as required under the country’s transitional constitution.

Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Jemma Nunu Kumba said President Kiir acceding to these Treaties is an indication of his commitment to people with special needs and women’s rights.

The national parliament has been on recess, however, speaker Nunu revealed that the House will resume work on March 27, 2023.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr Martin Elia Lomuro during a press conference early this week said president Kiir will assent into law seven conventions, however, it’s not clear if there are still remaining treaties that need to be signed by the president soon.

“The following seven conventions or treaties are due to be signed by President this week, the week commencing 20th February 2023,” Lomuro said during the press conference on Tuesday.

Both the Maputo protocol and the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) were the document that ‘got lost’ in parliament, just to be recovered after years of search.

In July 2022, the Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Esther Ikere, told the press that the document for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability got lost in the parliament.

Dr Stephen Dhieu, Director-General for Disability Affairs, stated that it took a lot of effort to recover the documents from members of parliament in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA).

The Maputo Protocol has not been ratified by a group of countries, such as Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Sudan. The Protocol has been ratified by the vast majority of countries, although three nations have not done either. The likes of Morocco, Egypt, and Botswana are yet to nod.

On July 11, 2003, in Maputo, the AU Assembly passed the protocol in an effort to eradicate the persisting gender inequalities and anti-woman behaviours that exist throughout the continent.

Also, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities along with its Protocol was adopted on December 13, 2006, in New York and signed on March 30, 2007.

The convention advocates for fair treatment of PWD by granting them equal rights and freedoms. When it is ratified, it will enable persons with disability to have access to assistive technology such as braille, and speech-language pathology, among others.

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