Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fijians are no longer spectators to the workings of global leadership in protecting and promoting human rights.
While addressing the United Nations 40th Session of Human Rights Council in Geneva this morning, Bainimarama says he carries with him the pride of Fijians everywhere; pride in this global recognition of Fiji’s progress in realizing their human rights and dignity, rights long denied to many of the people in darker, painful chapters in our history.
Addressing the opening session Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says the Fijian story is one which he has gone over in explicit detail before at the High‑Level Segment adding many of the challenges our nation and people have overcome were unique to Fiji.
“But Fiji is not the only nation which has had to first reckon with a colonial history before working to create a society that better respects the human rights of all people. We are no stranger to the systemic inequities that can snuff out efforts to an engrain a culture of human rights protections before they can ever take form.
In our case, we had inherited laws and systems that were inherently at odds with the human dignity of thousands of our rightful citizens, including an electoral system that determined the weight of votes based on ethnicity.”- Prime Minister Voreqe Bainmarama.
Bainimarama adds Fiji’s been placed on fast-track trajectory in ratifying the “Big Nine” Human Rights conventions, already ratifying seven of the conventions, with plans to complete the ratification of the remaining two this year.
Fiji is the first Pacific island nation to be elected into the Human Rights Council.