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Ambassador Khan Launches ‘Pacific Process’ For Human Rights In The Region

Ambassador Khan said she was “proud to launch the Pacific process”, which will then form the basis for the draft principles for Pacific implementation of human rights.
13 Apr 2019 10:15
Ambassador Khan Launches ‘Pacific Process’ For Human Rights In The Region
Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, speaking at the Regional High Level Dialogue on National Mechanisms for Human Rights, at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi on April 11, 2019. Photo: SPC

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan yesterday concluded the two-day Regional High Level Dialogue on National Mechanisms for Human Rights, by launching the ‘Pacific Process’, at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

The Pacific process will first collate the shared challenges experienced by the Pacific Islands in implementation and reporting of their human rights obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event was co-hosted by the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC RRRT) and the Fijian Government in partnership with the Universal Rights Group, with support from the UK-funded Pacific Common- wealth Equality Project (PCEP), and the Governments of Australia and Sweden.

Ambassador Khan said she was “proud to launch the Pacific process”, which will then form the basis for the draft principles for Pacific implementation of human rights.

According to Ambassador Khan, the process by which countries consider recommendations and implement them is central to the human rights journeys of each individual country.

The Regional High-Level Dialogue is the first of its kind in the region, bringing together 10 Pacific Island countries and international multilateral organisations to share good practice and co-operation on national mechanisms for human rights implementation.

As part of her opening remarks Ambassador Khan highlighted that there remains a sizeable implementation gap between universal norms and local realities when it comes to national human rights implementation.

She told Pacific delegates that in terms of implementation and reporting of human rights“a lack of coherence internationally is often a reflection of lack of coherence between different ministries on the ground domestically.”

In order to address these challenges, states have begun to build a new global implementation agenda, the keystone of which is the evolution of a strong and sustainable state mechanism for implementation, reporting and follow-up.

“Such a mechanism helps to build national resilience, it narrows the implementation gap, contributes to the prevention of human rights violations and it eases the reporting burden for states,” Ambassador Khan added.

She spoke of the need for states to ensure that human rights implementation is contextualised in local realities.

“This is where state mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up plays a central role and why this is so very important and indeed why this dialogue is so very important both for Fiji and the region,” she said.

“I have often said that there is no point in countries having a rarefied conversation in Geneva having an intellectual discourse about what human rights mean and in what context if those conversations and those rights have no meaning to the people of Fiji or to the people of the Pacific.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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