The Fiji Civil Society Universal Periodic Review Group (the CSO UPR Group), applauds the Fijian government for accepting 112 of the 138 recommendations and noting the remaining 26 recommendations. This commitment made at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council, is a positive step in Fiji’s path towards sustainable democracy.
Fijian civil society groups made a joint statement during Fiji’s adoption of the UPR in Geneva on 18 March. Civil society has an important role to play in expressing the concerns of the people, speaking for the voiceless and holding government accountable for the fulfilment of their human rights commitments. The Human Rights Council recognises civil society organisations and their contributions as an important and legitimate part of the Universal Periodic Review process.
In its brief statement before the Human Rights Council, the civil society group expressed concern that the government has yet to restore a fully functional Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, that the 2013 Constitution was not introduced in a fully participatory manner and it is questionable whether it reflects the will of the people, and that the decrees are yet to be reviewed to ensure they are in line with the Bill of Rights and international standards of human rights. The CSO UPR Group recognises the progress made towards human rights in Fiji, and introduced the statement to the Council outlining so, however, the purpose of the forum is to remind the international community of work still to be done.
The Coalition raised these concerns in order to support and strengthen the promotion and realisation of human rights in Fiji. We call for genuine and meaningful participation of civil society in the implementation of these essential principles of human rights in Fiji.