Fiji plans to ratify two more articles under the Human Rights convention
February 26, 2019 1:55 pm
Fiji has plans to ratify the final two remaining articles of the “Big Nine” Human Rights convention this year.
While speaking at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the universal declaration of human rights is transforming lives in the country through an agenda of effective and innovative policies.
Bainimarama says Fiji’s international advocacy in defense of the rights of all vulnerable people continues to be amplified from the highest level of global leadership.
“I carry with me the pride of Fijians everywhere; pride in this global recognition of our progress in realizing their human rights and dignity, rights long denied too many of our people in darker, painful chapters in our history.”
He says Fiji is no stranger to the systemic inequities that can snuff out efforts to engrain a culture of human rights protections before they can ever take form.
Bainimarama adds that Fiji has inherited laws and systems that were inherently at odds with the human dignity of thousands of rightful citizens, including an electoral system that determined the weight of votes based on ethnicity.
“Our economy was rigged in favor of a societal elite, while the socioeconomic rights of our people remained an afterthought. And the basic building blocks necessary to foster a culture that promoted human rights were weak and crumbling under the strain of socio-political and economic upheaval, which, amongst other things, manifested in communal divisions.”
He says there was no building a new and better Fiji on such a tenuous foundation.
The Prime Minister adds these have been addressed in the 2013 Constitution which established a common national identity among Fijians and enshrined a vast array of rights guaranteed to everyone, for all time.