Human Rights Council adopted the UPR outcomes of Tuvalu

Ese Apinelu, Attorney General of Tuvalu, speaking via video conferencing, said that a lot had happened in Tuvalu since its last Universal Periodic Review.  The country was engaging in a high-level dialogue on the new Government’s road map, which outlined key priority measures to be implemented.  Tuvalu called upon the international community to provide the necessary assistance so that it would continue to implement the approved recommendations.  Assistance was needed for the provision of citizen training on human rights and in combating the severe effects of climate change.  Legal and technical assistance with the amendment of citizenship and statelessness laws was also needed.

In the discussion on Tuvalu, delegates noted the capacity constraints of Tuvalu, which was a small State that faced various challenges related to climate change.  Speakers encouraged Tuvalu to request technical assistance if needed to uphold its national efforts to improve the protection of human rights.  Delegations called upon Tuvalu to create awareness and advocate the promotion of human rights, particularly on the rights of women.

Speaking in the discussion were Algeria, Cuba, Djibouti, Estonia, Maldives, Morocco, New-Zealand, Philippines and Viet Nam.  Franciscans International also spoke.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Tuvalu.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Review of Tuvalu

Tuvalu, speaking via video conferencing, said that a lot had happened in Tuvalu since its last Universal Periodic Review.  The country was engaging in a high-level dialogue on the new Government’s road map, which outlined key priority measures to be implemented.  Eighteen of the recommendations which had not been accepted by Tuvalu were now part of the new Government’s road map.  The two recommendations concerning Tuvaluan nationality and measures to eliminate statelessness had also been accepted.  Meanwhile, implementation of all recommendations accepted was already underway:  a by-election for Nukufetau was held on 28 June and the successful candidate had been sworn into office; the Department of Women had held its first community consultation in the capital on the family protection and domestic violence bill, while consultations in the outer islands had also been held; the Police Department had progressed to implement the Police Powers and Duties Act, with the assistance of the New Zealand Police force; and Tuvalu had arranged for a high-level dialogue with its donor partners to fulfill its goals under the National Strategy for Sustainable Development.  Tuvalu called upon the international community to provide the necessary assistance so that it would continue to implement the approved recommendations.  Assistance was needed for the provision of citizen training on human rights and in combating the severe effects of climate change.  Legal and technical assistance with the amendment of citizenship and statelessness laws was also needed.

Algeria thanked Tuvalu for the additional information it had provided in the second cycle of its Universal Periodic Review.  Algeria was pleased that the majority of recommendations had been taken up, particularly those pertaining to the rights of women and children.

Cuba said Tuvalu was a developing country which faced economic challenges but this had not proved a barrier for the implementation of its human rights programme.  Cuba noted the progress made in the promotion of the rights of people with HIV/AIDS and persons with disabilities.

Djibouti commended Tuvalu for utilising the means available to it in implementing human rights reforms.  Despite the challenges created by climate change, Tuvalu’s participation in the Universal Periodic Review was exemplary.

Estonia commended Tuvalu for its active and constructive participation in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review process.  Estonia noted with satisfaction Tuvalu’s strong commitment to justice and the rule of law.  Estonia encouraged Tuvalu to request technical assistance if needed to uphold its national efforts to improve the protection of human rights.

Maldives took positive note of Tuvalu’s acceptance to increase efforts to ratify core human rights instruments.  Given the capacity constraints of a small State, the Maldives understood the challenges faced in treaty reporting obligations.  The Maldives encouraged Tuvalu to create awareness and advocate the promotion of human rights, particularly on the rights of women.

Morocco said that despite the difficulties faced by Tuvalu with regard to climate change, Tuvalu continued to take steps to ensure that its legislation was in line with international standards.  Morocco was pleased that Tuvalu had accepted the three recommendations made by Morocco concerning awareness-raising on human rights and human rights training.

New Zealand said that it encouraged Tuvalu to continue efforts to extend public awareness about the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Bill to the Outer Islands.  It also encouraged Tuvalu to continue to make progress in the area of financial governance and to manage effectively public expenditure.

Philippines said that it recognized that Tuvalu was facing significant resource constraints and was vulnerable to natural, geographic and climate challenges, and called on the international community to respond to Tuvalu’s appeal for concrete technical and financial assistance to help it implement its programmes.

Viet Nam commended Tuvalu’s engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process despite facing significant challenges, and said Tuvalu was committed to implementing accepted recommendations, including the two recommendations made by Viet Nam on strengthening national priorities for vulnerable groups.

Franciscans International commended Tuvalu for establishing an action plan on climate change.  While the negative consequences of global warming would not be felt so much in the developed countries that caused it, human rights in small island states such as Tuvalu were under threat from the natural catastrophes climate change would wreak.

The Council then adopted the outcome report of the Universal Periodic Review of Tuvalu.

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