3 Mar 2015

Fiji's PM extolls Fiji's human rights record at UN

7:29 am on 3 March 2015

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has told an international gathering Fiji can hold its head high over its human rights record.

He told a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva the people of Fiji have never before enjoyed such a high level of protection through the constitution.

He said the indigenous people of Fiji were well protected and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people did not readily apply in Fiji because they had not been marginalised.

He told the meeting thousands of people had fled after the coups of 1987 and 2000 and said his take-over was to assert the priniciple of equality once and for all.

The prime minister said Fiji planned to improve its human record even further by ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture.

He also admonished the international community for failing to address climate change.

He stopped short of criticising Australia for its asylum seeker camps in the Pacific which have been roundly criticised by human rights groups.

But he said the UN should scrutinise the policy closely.