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Speech for Human Rights Council


Permanent Mission of Fiji to Geneva

Speech at Human Rights Council 37


Mr President

Fiji is proud of its engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner, and was honoured to have hosted the High Commissioner on the first ever visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Fiji last month.

This important visit allowed us to facilitate open and frank discussions with a host of State institutions, the National Human Rights Institution and civil society groups to discuss Fiji’s achievements, gaps and challenges in advancing the human rights of all Fijians.

The High Commissioner highlighted the synergy between Climate Change and Human Rights and how these impact the lives of ordinary people of Fiji. This is an important conversation that we continue to have, especially in our capacity as the President of COP23.

The High Commissioner welcomed Fiji’s UPR commitment to ratify all nine core human rights instruments by 2020, and we recognise the important role international Conventions and Treaties have in driving national reform, particularly through the UN human rights recommendations of the special procedures and treaty bodies. In addition to this, we are also conscious of the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the aim of leaving no one behind.

The High Commissioner highlighted Fiji’s successful creation of spaces to include all stakeholders including civil society organisations and development partners in our call for action during the international climate negotiations. We remain committed to maintaining these spaces both internationally and domestically so that all Fijians have an opportunity to take part in matters of national interest and engage in the human rights discourse.

We also acknowledge and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and remain steadfast in our course to protect, promote and preserve the human rights and more importantly human dignity for all Fijians.

We thank the High Commissioner for his leadership, passion, dedication and hard work in the protection of human rights for all people, helping empower people to realize their rights, and assisting those responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented. It has been an honour to have experienced his able leadership and we look forward to our continuous support and engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner.



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Fijian COP23 Chief Negotiator speaks about Integration between Climate Change, Environmental and Migration Policies




30 November 2017 – Geneva, Switzerland: The nexus between climate change, environment and migration was the topic for a High-level panel at the 108th session of the Council of the International Organization on Migration (IOM), which took place from 28 November to 1 December 2017. Almost 600 delegates representing IOM Member States and Observers, UN representatives, academia, private sector, migrants and civil society attended the event.

press release

“People should be at the center of every climate change solution.”

Ambassador Shameem Nazhat Khan, 108th IOM Council.

The Fijian COP23 Chief Negotiator and Head of Mission to the United Nations based in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, spoke at the High-level panel about the importance of an integrated approach for climate change, environment and migration for an effective response to these global challenges. She informed that Fiji is preparing to face unprecedented migration waves expected in the Pacific region due to climate change and emphasized the need for a regional approach.

Ambassador Khan also briefed the delegates on the relevant outcomes of COP23, in particular those, which were people-centered. Breakthroughs in the multilateral negotiations at COP23 in areas, such as agriculture, finance for climate adaptation, gender, education and local communities and indigenous peoples led to strengthening of the peoples dimension. She said: “People should be at the center of every climate change solution”.

The delegates applauded a video fragment of 12-years old Timoci Naulusala of Navicula in Wainibuka, telling about how climate change affected his village. Timoci won a speech competition for children in Fiji and addressed the climate leaders at the opening of the High-level segment of COP23.  

Fiji is designing national relocation guidelines to ensure that internally displaced people are treated in a way that protects their rights and upholds their dignity, as those who need to leave their homes become exposed to additional risks and become even more vulnerable.

The discussions made clear that climate change is becoming a leading driver for forced migration and recognized the sad reality that the most vulnerable, who have contributed least to climate change, are impacted the worst. As neighboring states have to bear with most of the consequences of climate-related migration, migration management will benefit strongly from international and regional cooperation.


Fijian President attends State Funeral in Vanuatu


His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote is currently in Vanuatu representing Fiji at the State funeral for Vanuatu’s late President, His Excellency Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

President Lonsdale passed away on Saturday and the State funeral is scheduled for Wednesday 21 June.

His Excellency President Konrote’s condolence message was as follows:

“I wish to express on behalf of the Fijian Government and all Fijians, as well as my own, our profound and sincere condolences and sympathies on the passing away of the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, His Excellency the late Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

We were all shocked and equally saddened to learn of his passing. His Excellency the President Reverend Lonsdale had built a strong and admirable reputation as a man of high principles and integrity, who was willing to take a stand for what he believed to be right and proper, for the greater good of his country.

His death will be a huge loss to the Republic of Vanuatu, as indeed to the Pacific, and we are all the poorer with his passing.

Our deepest sympathies go to his family and to all our Wantok in Vanuatu.

With the deep bond of friendship as members of Melanesia and the wider Pacific community, Fiji and all Fijians today join Vanuatu in mourning the passing of a paragon of virtue.”

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Commodore Esala Teleni is accompanying the President.

The Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Anthony Gates is acting as President until Thursday 22 June.

Fiji Deposits Ratification Documents for UN Convention on Rights of the Disabled


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has deposited the instrument of ratification for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, formally committing Fiji before the international body to guarantee equal rights and dignity to people with disabilities.

The Prime Minister deposited the instruments at the UN Headquarters in New York during a ceremony at which he spoke of Fiji’s commitment to full equality for all citizens.

"Today marks another historic chapter for my government in our pursuit of creating equal opportunities and rights for every Fijian especially those Fijians living with disabilities,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

"We cannot have a progressive Fiji if one section of our community is unable to participate in this process because of their disability. We must always be inclusive if we want to progress together as a nation and today's event is a step further in realising that."








Suva, Fiji