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