In a remarkable address during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, Uganda’s Vice President, Jessica Alupo, called upon the global community to uphold the principle of sovereignty while promoting and observing human rights.
Alupo highlighted Uganda’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and freedoms of its citizens, as preserved in its constitution. She also noted the importance of respecting cultural values and called for mutual respect of sovereignty among nations. She said that human rights considerations should not undermine long-term relationships with development partners, with whom Uganda intends to engage proactively.
The theme of this year’s UN summit, “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: accelerating action on the 2030 agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals toward peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all,” resonated with the discussions.
Uganda drew international attention when President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Law, which garnered comments from various world leaders. Vice President Alupo maintained Uganda’s stance on mutual respect among nations despite this.
Alupo reiterated Uganda’s dedication to addressing the refugee crisis, as the country hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and the third largest globally. She explained Uganda’s collaboration with the UN and partners to tackle the root causes of displacement. She called on Member States and stakeholders to continue their commitment to initiatives supporting burden and responsibility sharing, central to the Compact adopted during the forthcoming Global Refugee Forum.
On the issue of gender equality, Vice President Alupo commended Uganda’s progress, with 34.9% of executive and parliamentary seats held by women. She emphasized Uganda’s poverty alleviation programs targeting women and youth participation in the economy.
Alupo also urged developed countries to fulfil their commitment to provide USD100 billion annually to developing countries through 2025, as outlined in the Paris Agreement—an international treaty addressing climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
Looking ahead, Uganda is set to host the Non-Aligned Movement and G77 summits in January 2024. In her capacity as chair, Vice President Alupo pledged Uganda’s commitment to strengthening the values and principles of the organization within the United Nations and other international forums.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions at the summit primarily revolved around Sustainable Development Goals and the efforts of nations to achieve them. Alupo highlighted Uganda’s determination to reinforce its commitment to healthcare and the Sustainable Development Goals in response to the pandemic’s setbacks.