On Monday 22 August 2011 and at the request of the Flemish Government, the Centre for Human Rights was privileged to host HE Mr Kris Peeters, Minister-President of Flanders as part of his official visit to South Africa. Mr Peeters was accompanied by the Representative of the Flemish Government in Southern Africa, Mr David Maenaut, and HE Ambassador Johan Maricou of the Belgian Embassy in Pretoria.
As the leading institution for human rights education in Africa, Minister-President Peeters said he was keen to visit the Centre for Human Rights to learn more about our work and to discuss the possibilities of collaboration and cooperation with Flemish universities. The visit consisted of a short working session around the Centre's round table, which included a mutual presentation of staff members and an introduction to the Centre's leading programmes by the respective programme managers.
After an exchange of gifts and a commemorative photograph, the Minister-President and his party were treated to a cocktail lunch in the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (IICLA) at which Prof Anthony Melck, Executive Director of the University of Pretoria and representative of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, officially welcomed Mr Peeters to the campus. Mr Peeters also enjoyed speaking with Prof Christof Heyns (formerly Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Dean of the Faculty of Law) in his capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Co-Director of IICLA. In attendance were past and current Deans and the previous Ambassador of Belgium.
The Centre for Human Rights is proud to have hosted Minister-President Peeters; we are grateful for the Flemish Government's support to our programmes which we trust will contribute to strengthening the links between the University of Pretoria and the Flemish universities of Antwerp and Ghent and, ultimately, between South Africa and Flanders.