Human Rights are a fundamental component of the vision of the Pacific Island Leaders which states that “We see a Pacific region that is respected for the quality of its governance…the full observance of democratic values, and for its defence and promotion of human rights.” Initiative12.5 of the Pacific Plan supports the “appropriate ratification and implementation of international and regional human rights conventions, covenants and agreements, and support for reporting and other requirements”.
At their 2006 meeting, Leaders agreed, “…that greater attention be given to …. implementing international conventions on human rights (Pacific Plan Initiative 12.5) as essential tools to underpin improvements in institutional governance.”
Human rights activities of the Political Governance and Security Programme have included:
A Pacific regional workshop which identified strategies to address some of the issues impeding ratification of core international human rights treaties;
Collaboration with the New Zealand Law Reform Commission, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on three important research papers on the interface between custom and human rights in the Pacific, forms of national human rights institutions for Pacific states, and the added value of ratification of those human right treaties for those states;
The facilitation, in collaboration with our partners, of in-country dialogue (Tuvalu, Niue and Palau) on these issues;
Supporting, including financially, a regional consultation by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) for Members of Parliament on the Pacific Plan; and
Collaboration with RRRT on exploring regional human rights mechanisms.