The Right to Development
Permanent Mission of Fiji to Geneva
THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
[Fiji Mission to the United Nations in Geneva]
Thank you Mr. President.
The intertwined relationship between development and growing inequality is a dilemma. While Fiji wishes to progress, we are mindful of those that could be left behind as a result and we are doing everything that we can to ensure that this does not happen. We are constantly assessing and exploring ways to break down barriers to equality.
In our Constitution which came into effect on 7 September 2013, the Fijian Government committed to providing free education and has since substantially invested in the education sector to guarantee all persons, regardless of income constraints, with access to education without cost.
Over the last several years, Fiji has also undergone ongoing intense tax reform with a view to substantially alleviate the tax burden on those with less income.
Fiji’s aspiration is not just development but development in a manner that promotes equality and breaks down barriers which cause disparities in opportunities and wealth. Free education and tax reform is just the beginning. We are also breaking down gender barriers and finding ways to promote greater participation of persons with disabilities; a recent example, being the special procedures currently implemented by Fiji Elections Office to facilitate the voting of persons with disabilities at the upcoming elections, in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Fiji commends the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development. We further commend the Special Rapporteur on recognising that “[c]limate instability and extreme weather events tend to have the greatest impact on those with the least resources, including women and girls.” This is something that Fiji has advocated and will continue to advocate. Climate change does and will continue to cause inequalities and development strategies must take a holistic human rights approach to ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind, consistent with the 2030 Agenda.
I thank you Mr President.