For­eign Af­fairs urges con­ven­tion ap­proval

Fiji Sun - - Parliament News - ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA Feed­back: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs yes­ter­day high­lighted the ur­gent need to rat­ify with­out reser­va­tion the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties. It made the call be­fore the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on For­eign Af­fairs and De­fence.

Prin­ci­pal For­eign Ser­vice Of­fi­cer, Jo­jiana Cokanasiga told the com­mit­tee the con­ven­tion was an in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights con­ven­tion set­ting out the fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties. Ms Cokanasiga who was stand­ing in for Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Robin Nair said there were many rea­sons why Fiji should rat­ify the con­ven­tion.

“The Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties Bill 2016 which has been tabled in Par­lia­ment al­ready in­cor­po­rates parts of the pro­vi­sions of the Con­ven­tion; the Bill aims to pro­vide, up­hold and en­force the rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties in Fiji and is ex­pected to be tabled in Par­lia­ment,” Ms Cokanasiga said. “The Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties is one of the nine core in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights in­stru­ments with an es­tab­lished com­mit­tee of ex­perts to mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the treat pro­vi­sions.”

She said the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the Con­ven­tion would mean Fiji be­com­ing a State Party to the Con­ven­tion and be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble to take part in the elec­tions of the nine mem­ber com­mit­tee on the rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. “As such the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs will be­come in­stru­men­tal in the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the nom­i­na­tion of can­di­dates for elec­tions; one of the roles of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs is the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of nom­i­na­tions for in­ter­na­tional elec­tions of mul­ti­lat­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions like the United Na­tions.” Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

Photo: Vil­imoni Va­ganalau

For­eign Af­fairs and De­fence Stand­ing Com­mit­tee mem­bers Jilila Ku­mar(left), and Alexan­der O’Con­nor yes­ter­day.

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