By Sanna Camara
Reports reaching Gambia Beat has indicated that The Association of NGOs in The Gambia (TANGO) hve been successfully obtained Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at its 53rd Ordinary Session currently taking place at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
According to reports, this milestone comes “after a year and a half of application processes. “We are extremely glad that TANGO now joins the group of NGOs who are privileged to engage with the Commission officially,” the program manager of TANGO confirms.
“We wish to call on our members and indeed partners to make this new status relevant and beneficial to the cause of human rights and development in the Gambia and Africa,” he added.
Some of the rules of engagement and participation of NGOs with Observer Status in the proceedings of the Commission include:
· All observers shall be invited to be present at the opening and closing sessions of all Sessions of the African Commission.
· An observer accredited by the Commission shall not participate in its proceedings in any manner other than as provided for in the Rules of Procedure governing the conduct of sessions of the African Commission.
· All observers shall have access to the documents of the Commission subject to the condition that such documents:
1. shall not be of a confidential nature; 2. deal with issues that are of relevance to their interests.
· The distribution of general information documents of the African Commission shall be free of charge; the distribution of specialised documents shall be on a paid-for basis, except where reciprocal arrangements are in place.
· Observers may be invited specially to be present at closed sessions dealing with issues of particular interest to them.
· Observers may be authorised by the Chairman of the African Commission to make a statement on an issue that concerns them, subject to the text of the statement having been provided, with sufficient lead-time, to the Chairman of the Commission through the Secretary to the Commission.
· The Chairman of the Commission may give the floor to observers to respond to questions directed at them by participants.
· Observers may request to have issues of a particular interest to them included in the provisional agenda of the African Commission, in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure.