Pacific Regional MPs meet in Vanuatu
Pacific Regional MPs meet in Vanuatu to build capacity in advancing human rights agenda
4 November, Port Vila – The Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC RRRT) will facilitate a three-day dialogue with Pacific Members of Parliament from 5 – 7 November at Ramada Resort on human rights, good governance and development.
The event is an initiative of the UK-funded Pacific Commonwealth Equality Project, implemented by RRRT, with programme support from Australia and Sweden.
According to RRRT’s Senior Human Rights Advisor, Mr Albert Seluka, Members and Senior Officials from eight Pacific Legislatures will be part of this Dialogue including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
In 2015, a regional consultation on ‘Human rights for Good Governance and Development’ culminated in the signing of the Denarau Declaration 2015, whereby MPs acknowledged the need to embrace the opportunity to draw upon, and contextualise the international human rights treaties, conventions and laws as important tools for policy, legislative and community level change to improve governance and the realisation of human rights for all Pacific peoples; and called upon SPC RRRT to “build upon the success of this Regional Consultation with further MP consultations at the national level to progress human rights, good governance and sustainable development”.
Mr Seluka highlighted that the potential role of MPs in advancing the domestic human rights agenda is well understood and SPC RRRT has and continues to explore avenues for national dialogues with Parliamentarians.
“Members of Parliament play and important role in promoting the implementation of human rights standards in their respective countries. Incorporating human rights standards into the content of new laws and through the process of lawmaking will in turn strengthen the enabling environment for States to progress the implementation of their human rights obligations whether it be at the international or national level” he said.
Director of RRRT, Mr Miles Young believes the upcoming Regional MPs dialogue is an opportunity to enhance understanding among Parliamentarians of human rights and how they can be integrated into parliamentary processes and the value of doing so.
He added that engaging MPs in constructive dialogue on the link between human rights and development will bring great value in terms of progress and growth for countries in the Pacific region.
As part of the three-day event, MPs will get an opportunity to explore national benefits of establishing National Mechanisms on Implementation, Reporting and Follow-Ups, National Human Rights Institutions and human rights legislative screening processes.
The event’s official opening will be attended by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Honourable Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas on 5 November.