SI universal periodic review (UPR) underway

AS PART of the Solomon Islands Government’s work towards preparing a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on its Human Rights record, a second two day national consultation workshop is currently underway at the Iron Bottom Sound Hotel in Honiara.

The consultation is to get the views of Civil Society Organizations on the progress made from the first UPR cycle before a Solomon Islands National UPR report is produced for the current second cycle and submitted to the Human Rights Council Working Group in October this year in Geneva.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.

It is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries and provides an opportunity for all States to declare actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges faced.

The UPR also includes the sharing of best human rights practices around the globe. Solomon Islands presented its first cycle report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 4th May 2011.

During the interactive dialogue in the first cycle in 2011, Solomon Islands was given a set of 115 recommendations from UN member states, of which only two were not accepted.

Solomon Islands will be expected to report on its progress in implementing these recommendations in this second cycle this year.

Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, William Soaki said Solomon Islands has made remarkable progress over the past four years with its Human Rights situation through national policy designs, law reform and reviews, private and public partnerships and a liberal multi-stake holder approach in national cross-cutting issues in a number of ways.

Mr Soaki also note the important progress made by many organizations in collaboration with government and other development partners in the scheme of promoting and protecting human rights through various programs and projects that brought essential services in health, education, access to justice, infrastructure, human resources and building capacity.

Mr. Soaki said Solomon Islands will be expected to report on the progress of how the government had strived in its best endeavour in implementing these recommendations in this second cycle against a backdrop of challenges such as changing governments since the first reporting, turn-over of staffing in various government departments, resource and funding constraints and competing government priorities.

This is the second national consultation that the Solomon Islands National Working Committee on the Universal Periodic Review has undertaken in its efforts to gather vital information and data that will go towards the drafting of Solomon Islands National Report for the second cycle under the UPR.

The first one was held in May this year for government stakeholders.

The Solomon Islands report will be submitted in the month of October 2015 and will be presented at the Human Right Council in early 2016.

Source: GCU, press release