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“COVID-19 deepened vulnerabilities and inequalities”- Mthimkhulu

The Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Honourable Meshack Dumezweni Mthimkhulu reduced vulnerabilities and inequalities are a dream for Botswana.
Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day recently, Honourable Mthimkhulu said this year’s theme โ€œEQUALITY โ€“ Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.โ€ came at the right time considering vulnerabilities and inequalities which Botswana is currently subjected to.

“This yearโ€™s theme is โ€œEQUALITY โ€“ Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.โ€ The theme relates to Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that โ€œAll human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.โ€

Ladies and Gentlemen, this commemoration is held at a time when Botswana like the rest of the world, is experiencing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without doubt, COVID-19 has deepened vulnerabilities and inequalities prevalent in our societies.” said Mthimkhulu

However, Mthimkhulu says Botswana continues to lobby for the lifting of the bans which amongst other things, hinder importation of COVID-19 vaccines thereby widening inequalities between citizens and residents of developed and developing countries in terms of equitable access to the vaccines. This, Mthimkhulu says, is a human rights issue of concern.

According to the Assistant Minister, the impact of this pandemic has not only extended to the economic and social frontiers but is also felt on multilateral cooperation, following the recent discovery of the Omicron Variant by Botswana, which led to travel bans imposed on Botswana and her Southern African counterparts.

On the contrary, despite the highlighted challenges posed by COVID-19, Mthimkhulu says Botswana continues to demonstrate commitment to the promotion, protection and realisation of human rights.

“Notable country achievements at an international level include the increase in the number of core international human rights instruments ratified. The ratification the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in July 2021 brought the total number of the United Nations core human rights treaties which the country has ratified to six (6).” highlighted Mthimkhulu.

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