SG congratulates Palau on treaty signing event

[New York City] The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, joined the President of the Republic of Palau H.E Mr Johnson Toribiong and his delegation on Tuesday, 20 September as the President signed eight international human rights instruments at the UN Headquarters in New York:

i) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);
ii) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR);
iii) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
iv) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture);
v) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD);
vi) International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (MWC);
vii) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); and
viii) International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

Secretary General Slade offered warms congratulations to the President of Palau and commended the people and Government of the Republic of Palau in expressing their support and commitment to relevant international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general.

“I applaud and commend the Government and people of Palau for their demonstrated commitment and proactive efforts in the promotion of human rights, particularly after the review of its human rights situation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in May of this year. Palau has now established for the Pacific region a new benchmark and direction on the promotion, respect for and protection of human rights,” said the Secretary General.

“Universal expressions of respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms is already recognised in the Forum Leaders’ Pacific Plan Vision of 2004. As framed by Forum Leaders “we seek for the Pacific a region of peace, harmony, security and economic prosperity, so that all of its people can lead free and worthwhile lives”,” said Mr Slade.

The Leaders’ Vision seeks a Pacific region that is “… respected for the quality of its governance…the full observance of democratic values, and for its defence and promotion of human rights.”

Initiative12.5 of the Pacific Plan supports the “appropriate ratification and implementation of international and regional human rights conventions, covenants and agreements, and support for reporting and other requirements”.

“At their meeting held in Nadi in 2006, Forum Leaders agreed that greater attention be given to implementing international conventions on human rights (Pacific Plan Initiative 12.5) as essential tools to underpin improvements in institutional governance,” explained the Secretary General.

Palau also signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya, 29 October 2010) on 20 September at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Palau and several other United Nations Member States signed, ratified or acceded to various international treaties during the annual treaty event held at this year’s sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly. The President of Palau addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday, 22 September.

(Ends)
For further information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Communications Officer, Mue Bentley Fisher, via email mueb@forumsec.org.fj.