HC, OHCHR, SG Thematic Reports:
34th Session, Human Rights Council
Statement of Fiji on Agenda Items 2 and 3
Fiji thanks the Office of the High Commissioner for its comprehensive report on the protection of all human rights including the right to development. The Report is of great interest to all member States of the United Nations because it deals with the Sustainable Development Goals and their relevance to all human rights. In particular the SDG’s are relevant to the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, and acknowledge that unless such rights are realised equitably and fairly, they cannot develop nations and societies.
Fiji understands this now, although it has taken us some time to ensure that racial divisions, religious intolerance, economic status and cultural barriers not only create an unequal society, but they prevent equal access to water, to housing, to sanitation, and to social security. In order to achieve equality, we must ensure equality in the access to all rights.
Yet for many years in many societies, we have neglected equality in the provision of such access. We have given to all the right to vote but we have forgotten that when there are no roads and bridges, there is no access to polling booths. We have forgotten that gender equality means a recognition of cultural barriers which inhibit the ability of women and girls to access education, banks, and hospitals. We have forgotten that racism, gender bias and religious hatred, prevent equality in the access of all goods and services guaranteed by international human rights.
Fiji considers civil and political rights and economic social and cultural rights to be indivisible. They require a commitment, by society and States, to achieve both. In order to achieve a lasting and substantive equality, and therefore to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must all recognise this synergy between sets of rights, and between rights and the SDG’s. The SDG’s represent a recognition that that there is a right to development.