The UK and the Government of Rwanda have announced the appointment of a new panel consisting of eight experts, who will provide independent oversight of the Migration and Economic Development Partnership between the UK and Rwanda. The committee was announced on September 2.
According to an announcement released by the UK’s Home Office, the Independent Monitoring Committee is made up of members with a diverse range of expertise, including within the human rights, migration, asylum, international law and business sectors. They will be responsible for reviewing and reporting on the delivery of the partnership, including monitoring the end-to-end operations from the UK to Rwanda.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, on Friday held talks with his British counterpart, Priti Patel, on the partnership in what appears like the two countries are looking to forge ahead with the plan, despite several challenges it has faced since it was announced at the end of April.
“Always a pleasure to speak to my counterpart in Rwanda @VBiruta. On a call we discussed our countries’ steadfast commitment to the Migration & Economic Development Partnership. Rwanda and UK stand together in promoting a fairer, more effective global asylum system & we won’t be deterred,” the UK Minister tweeted.
The newly appointed committee will, among other things, be reviewing and reporting on the implementation of the commitments made in the arrangement between the two governments, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Our world-first migration partnership will help to stop dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys being made to the UK, while giving people the opportunity to claim asylum in Rwanda and rebuild their lives,”
“I am proud to be working with the Rwandan government on this world-leading policy, and our new Monitoring Committee will play a key role in holding both governments to account so we can deliver on our commitments to the British public and save lives,” Patel said
Dr. Biruta reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to work with the UK in the implementation of the partnership which is expected to address the challenge of assylum seekers who illegally arrive in the UK.
“Rwanda looks forward to working with the UK to implement the innovative Migration and Economic Development Partnership, which will offer a safe, secure home for people seeking protection, as well as a chance for migrants to live, work and develop alongside Rwandans,” Dr. Biruta said.
The members of the Monitoring Committee are experienced and highly committed individuals who will ensure that the programme is delivered to high standards and becomes a sustainable solution to the global imbalance in human capital opportunities, a major factor that is driving irregular and dangerous migration.
The Monitoring Committee will highlight any areas of concern immediately to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee, a panel of senior officials from both governments.
It includes experts from around the world, who have a wealth of experience across migration policy, international law and academia.
Members appointed by the UK Government
Harish Salve QC
Harish Salve is internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading legal counsels, who formerly served as Solicitor General of India and is a senior advocate at the Indian Bar. He is an experienced and senior immigration lawyer whose practice includes public international law and human rights. A highly experienced senior lawyer. He has built a global reputation for international commercial arbitration and litigation. His practice also encompasses public international law and human rights.
Karina Kielbinska is an international business management and marketing expert with a wealth of experience across the private and public sector. Most recently she served as Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre, which plays a crucial role in giving independent oversight of prisons and places of immigration detention, to ensure the conditions and humane treatment of people in detention. Previously she has worked as a global marketing director for GlaxoSmithKline and held marketing director roles at Cadbury both in the UK and Australia.
Morten Lisborg is a Danish independent migration and policy advisor with over 20 years’ experience across the sector in various roles. He has worked with migration and refugee issues for numerous agencies and organizations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and in Europe. Morten has published several reports and articles on challenges related to the current European asylum system and provides policy advice to Danish political parties. In 2020 Morten was appointed as a member of the Danish Council for Development Policy.
Alexander Downer is an immigration expert currently serving as Executive Chair at the International School for Government, King’s College London. He was appointed in February 2022 to lead a wide-ranging, independent review of Border Force to assess its structure, powers, funding and priorities to ensure it can keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and continue to protect the border.
Members appointed by the Rwandan Government
Diko Mukete is the Vice Chair of the Board of Rwanda Finance Limited. He is on the Management Board of the African Legal Support Facility in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He is an experienced economist and lawyer with a 25-year career at the African Development Bank (AfDB), where he led several successful economic and financial policy dialogues with governments across Africa. He is a Barrister-at-Law of Gray’s Inn, London, and a member of the Cameroon Bar Association.
Julien Kavaruganda is founder and senior partner of K-Solutions & Partners, a corporate law firm in Kigali in Rwanda, and an experienced lawyer who has held various leadership posts in regional bar associations. He practiced at the Brussels Bar Association in Belgium, before joining the Rwanda Bar Association where he is the immediate past president. He is also Vice Chairman of the Kigali International Arbitration Centre, and on the Board of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
John P Sendanyoye
John P Sendanyoye is a retired senior official of the International Labour Organization (ILO), where he headed the Service Sectors Team and previously served as Regional Programming Officer for Africa and Asia and the Pacific in Cote d’Ivoire and Thailand respectively. He has vast experienced in international labour activities including global dialogue on the impact of financial crisis on workers and has published numerous papers and articles related to his work in ILO.
Marie Sylvie Kawera
Marie Sylvie Kawera has been a commissioner of Rwanda’s National Commission for Human Rights since 2017, where she is actively involved in the monitoring, evaluation and investigation of diverse human rights issues. Previously, she has been a lawyer and adviser to civil society organizations and political parties.
The candidates were chosen following a rigorous selection process led by the Joint Committee. Appointments were jointly agreed by the co-chairs of the Joint Committee.