Executive Director, Peter Lundberg Strengthens Ties with African Union Commission to Advance Human Rights in Africa

 In a significant step towards enhancing cooperation between the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) and the African Union (AU), Mr. Peter Lundberg, Executive Director of RWI, visited the African Union Commission on June 7, 2024. Being Mr Lundberg’s inaugural engagement with the AU as head of RWI, this visit heralds a new chapter of collaboration, with the timing of his visit coinciding with the design phase of RWI’s new Regional Africa Programme, which anticipates an intensified partnership between the two institutions.

Since the early 1990s, RWI has been deeply involved and committed to enhancing human rights capacities across Africa. This involvement spans various African countries and includes regional and sub-regional collaborations focused on justice, security, academic institutions, and national human rights bodies. RWI’s efforts also encompass specialized initiatives, engaging civil society organizations and bar associations in the continent. With established offices in Nairobi since 2002 and Harare since 2019, RWI has cultivated unique and extensive networks, strategic partnerships and a deep awareness of human rights practices in the region.

These efforts have led to significant achievements, including the establishment of human rights education programmes, the adoption of international human rights standards, and the development of a strong community of human rights professionals. Currently, RWI continues its cooperative programmes in several African nations, largely supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The Regional Africa Programme, drawing on RWI’s extensive experience and established networks, emphasizes collaboration with key partners to promote access to justice and implementation of human rights commitments.

During his visit, Mr. Lundberg held a meeting with Ambassador Salah S. Hammad, the Head of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat at the AU. Their discussions focused on further deepening bilateral cooperation, particularly concerning the AUC’s role in supporting the mandates of AU human rights bodies and promoting the implementation of human rights decisions at the national level.

Mr. Lundberg’s visit aligns with RWI’s new strategy, which aims to broaden and deepen cooperation with African institutions at regional, sub-regional, and national levels while acknowledging the varied, complex, and dynamic environment of the region. The visit and ensuing discussions underscore RWI’s commitment to fostering strong partnerships and leveraging synergies to promote human rights and justice across Africa.

For more information, contact Gilford Kimathi, RWI Programme Officer via gilford.kimathi@rwi.lu.se

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