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APF takes part in 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting

Graphic: Participants during the PIF Leaders' Forum Meeting side event

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The APF participated in a side event during the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on 7 November, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent.

The event, organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Office of the Ombudsman of Cook Islands, the Pacific Community (SPC), and the APF, identified how national accountability mechanisms, particularly National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), have contributed to ensuring people-centred development, gender equality, and children’s rights in Pacific Island countries.

Additionally, the event mobilised support for action pledges by Pacific nations in the UDHR 75th anniversary year, including commitments to establish or strengthen NHRIs, promote gender equality, and implement the 2050 Strategy.

The event also aimed to build momentum towards the establishment of the Cook Islands Ombudsman’s Office as an independent NHRI, following the Pacific Regional Forum held in Nadi, Fiji, in February 2023.

Distinguished panelists at the Leaders' Meeting included the Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa; Cook Islands Member of Parliament, Hon. Ms. Akaitiiti O Te Rangi Puna; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Honorable Jack Ading; and UN Resident Coordinator in Micronesia, Mr. Jaap Van Hierden.

Specific examples of NHRI good practices were shared during the event, emphasising contributions of NHRIs to advancing people-centred development. Facilitated by OHCHR Pacific Regional Representative Ms. Heike Alefsen, the session explored a range of modalities and practices related to national accountability mechanisms, which play a crucial role in fostering equitable development, gender equality and the protection of children's rights.

Date: 20 November 2023

Image credits

  1. Participants during the PIF Leaders' Forum Meeting side event - SPC