MEDIA RELEASE: FIJI RECEIVES HIGH PRAISE FROM UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

The Government’s progress in delivering human rights to all Fijians has been warmly praised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
During talks in Geneva with the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, the High Commissioner spoke of the PM’s determined leadership on human rights reforms and said it was a rare pleasure to meet with the Head of Government of a country making such exemplary progress.
As examples, he cited Fiji’s complete abolition of the death penalty – a policy he described as noxious – and the progress it is making in ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture ( UNCAT).
Congratulating the Prime Minister on what he called his fine speech to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the High Commissioner said his office wanted to use Fiji as an example to other countries which had yet to implement the same kind of progressive measures.
He also expressed a desire to visit Fiji to witness the reforms that are being implemented – something the Prime Minister said he would welcome. During their talks, the PM had again highlighted the priority the Government is giving to implementing a range of socio-economic rights, such as the right to clean water. And he repeated his invitation for UN Special Rapporteurs on Water and Education to come to Fiji to examine the progress being made in these areas.
The High Commissioner also praised Fiji for what he termed its enormous contributions to the international community in the area of peace-keeping. He said Fiji had demonstrated clearly that the size of any country was no barrier to the impact it could make in multilateral affairs.
In addition, the High Commissioner said his Office wanted to work more closely with Fiji’s Mission to the UN in Geneva to step up its assistance to the Pacific region.
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PM Bainimarama pictured with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

PM Bainimarama pictured with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein