HR-Kiribati_webA high-level delegation from Kiribati has taken part in a mock human rights reporting session in Suva, Fiji, to prepare for the country’s second Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations in Geneva.

Kiribati will be reviewed on 19 January 2015 by the Human Rights Council to assess the Pacific nation’s performance in protecting and promoting human rights, including progress made in implementing recommendations from its first review in 2010.

The Kiribati delegation, led by the Minister for Women, Youth and Social Affairs, the Hon Tangariki Reete, and the Attorney General, the Hon Titabu Tabane, attended the mock session yesterday which was staged by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC RRRT) in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Universal Periodic Review is a key mechanism which allows all UN Member States to declare action taken to improve human rights in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

‘Through the mock session, we’ve realised that we need more information, especially statistics and other facts to support our presentation in Geneva,’ Minister Reete said.

‘We are grateful to SPC and OHCHR for supporting us in this process, as well as other development partners such as UNICEF, UN Women and the UN Population Fund. We were guided on how to better articulate our responses during the interactive dialogue,’ the Minister said.

SPC RRRT Senior Trainer, Romulo Nayacalevu, said the review is important because it exposes countries to best practice and enables them to seek technical assistance from organisations such as SPC to meet their commitments and obligations under international human rights treaties.

‘Positive developments and challenges are discussed among countries while dialogue with civil society and the international community is enhanced, often resulting in prioritising action to address the crucial human rights issues on the ground,’ Mr Nayacalevu said.

SPC RRRT supports all 22 Pacific countries and territories to build a culture of human rights, and assists nation states to commit to, and observe, international human rights standards. This work is funded by the Australian Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For more information, please contact Jilda Shem, SPC RRRT Communications Officer, on +679 330 5994 or email [email protected].