Fiji ‘finally’ approves UN request for visit
Fiji has agreed to allow a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, two years after the request was made.
At the sixty-third UN General Assembly Third Committee meeting last Friday, Despouy said a request for a visit to Fiji had been sent in 2006 and had been repeated over subsequent years. But, there still had not been a positive response to those requests, he said.
Despouy reminded all Governments that country visits allowed Special Rapporteurs to speak with all stakeholders and could result in significant improvements. However, according to the UN website, a Fiji representative informed the Committee that the Rapporteur’s request to visit the country had been approved for November.
“Referring to the assertion that the international bar association had not been allowed to visit Fiji, he asked if there were any more organizations that the country needed to be aware of, in order to facilitate the Rapporteur’s mandate. “To that end, he thanked the representative of Fiji for his response and said, if possible, he would visit that country at the end of November.”
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met to continue its wide-ranging discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights, and to engage in a dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, its causes and consequences; the situation of human rights defenders; the independence of judges and lawyers; on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; on the right to education.