Nigeria And Switzerland Agree to Strengthen Relations in the Areas of Security And the Implementation of Human Rights
Nigeria and Switzerland have agreed to strengthen relations in the areas of security and the implementation of human rights.
The third round of the Nigeria-Switzerland Human Rights Consultations in Abuja on Wednesday, focused on the need for both countries to intensify cooperation in multilateral areas.
Dr Martin Uhomoibhi, the Permanent Secretary, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who read the communiqué at the end of the meeting, said that it focused on the need for both countries to enhance cooperation.
According to him, the cooperation includes the implementation of human rights as well as the training of security forces.
Uhomoibhi, who was represented by Mr Mark Egbe, Director, International Organisations Department in the ministry, said that the meeting also discussed other issues, such as the criminal justice system, minority rights, migration, discrimination and the relationship between business and human rights.
“We are moving from discussions to concrete projects and this will continue. New projects will come on board as we evolve in these consultations. Most of these projects are funded by the Swiss Government.
“So as long as these consultations and our bilateral relations continue to evolve and develop, such projects will be sustained,’’ he said.
“The point that we want to make here is to find a way of institutionalizing these consultations.
“This is to ensure that when either of the current crop of leadership in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Swiss side are not there, this becomes a practice, an annual event in our bilateral relations with Switzerland,’’ Uhomoibhi said.
He said that the both countries had commenced the implementation of specific projects, such as the training of the Nigerian Police Force on human rights and security.
“There is also the project on a skills acquisition center for migrants who are being returned to Nigeria.
“This is to enable them acquire skills that will eliminate the push factors that will make them want to leave Nigeria for Switzerland,’’ Uhomoibhi said.
In his remarks, Mr Paul Koller, the Swiss Special Envoy for Human Rights, said that the cooperation in the areas of human rights between both countries was aimed at producing quality results.
Koller reiterated the commitment of the Swiss Government to ensure that projects carried out were sustained and enhanced national development.
“In human rights issues, it is more about quality and what is really interesting is the kind of expert exchange that we are putting in place.
“One example mentioned here in the communiqué is a manual for the police force that we did together in cooperation with some civil society organization.
“So these are the kinds of small projects that can move a lot of things in our bilateral cooperation,’’ Koller said.
The next meeting is expected to hold in Bern, Switzerland, in the first quarter of 2014.
The Nigeria-Switzerland Political Dialogue on Human Rights was established in 2011 with the aim of providing a platform for discussing human rights issues.
The first and second round of the meeting held in 2011 and 2012 in Abuja and Bern, Switzerland, respectively.
Source African Press Agency
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