Greeting to you all

1.       It give me great pleasure to extend to you all a very warm welcome on behalf of the Government and people of Vanuatu. I am sure that our fellow delegates and peers from the Pacific Legislatures represented here today share with me our gratefulness for the invitation to participate in this event.

2.       I acknowledge and thank the Pacific Community ( SPC) and its partners for considering Vanuatu as the venue for this event and to also acknowledge the efforts and time invested by our Department of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Community Development in facilitating the convening of this event.

3.       Vanuatu, through  its current National Sustainable Development Plan ( 2016-2030) envisions an " an inclusive society which upholds human dignity and where the right of all Ni-Vanuatu including women, youth the elderly and vulnerable groups are supported, protect and promoted in our legislation and institutions". I believe, that each of the countries represented here today, have in their own way, considered the value that human rights brings to enable the attainment of their development goals.

4.       Earlier this year, Vanuatu participated in the UN Human rights System through our reporting obligations to the UN Human Council under its Universal Periodic Review process and to Human Rights Treaty Bodies such as the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Our engagement with these processes continues to inform how we can better articulate the application human rights standards to achieve or national development goals.

5.       Our NSDP also call on us to take steps to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women, children and vulnerable groups. Programs are in place under the Ministry of Justice and Community Development to build the Capabilities of key service providers, such as Police and Authorized persons, on the application of humans rights and gender based approach when responding to incidents of Family violence.

6.       We further recognize that the enabling environment for the implementation of human rights standards in Vanuatu requires reaching communities and Civil Society Organizations and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills on human rights. Current programmes under the Ministry of Justice and community Development provide technical assistance, mentoring and funding support to selected Civil Society Organizations in Vanuatu for Human rights related campaigns.

7.       Last week i had the opportunity  to launched a new radio station for women, call femme pawa 99FM is Vanuatu's first 24-hour gender specialist radio station. It will provide an inclusive broadcast platform for the voice for Ni-Vanuatu Woman to share their recommendations to realize the commitments of the Vanuatu National Sustainable Development Plan.

8.       I believe that we, as members of Pacific Legislature/Parliaments, have an important role to promote the national implementation of human rights standards through the work that we do. And I am confident that  the themes that will inform the content  and context of the deliberations over the next couple of days will encourage a contractive dialogue on the value of human rights as essential building blocks for the betterment of the lives of our people.

 

In concluding, I  wish us all the success in the deliberation ahead-and to our peer from the Pacific - a very pleasant  stay in Vanuatu.

 

welcome to Vanuatu

 

Thank you .

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