1 Oct 2015

Fiji seeks UN Human Rights Council seat

2:23 pm on 1 October 2015

Fiji has joined Australia in bidding for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama has told the UN General Assembly that Fiji will continue to champion the cause of the Pacific Islands Developing States, if elected to the Council.

He says Fiji has a unique perspective of the world to share with the international human rights community, highlighting the detrimental effects of climate change.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Mr Bainimarama says it is not acceptable for advanced economies to build a high standard of living on the degradation of the earth and the seas.

Australia has also made a bid for Council membership from 2018 to 2020.

Its foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says Australia is an international leader in advancing the rights of women and girls, strengthening governance and democratic institutions, and promoting freedom of expression.

However, Canberra has been at loggerheads with UN agencies for violating conventions it has signed up to, such as the jailing of asylum seeker children abroad.