P.M. Tuilaepa welcomes U.N. Right of the Child Committee delegates

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has welcomed delegates attending the 84th Extraordinary Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which got underway in Apia Monday morning.

In an address to the United Nations Committee members, delegates, representatives of human rights organisations as well as member states invited to make presentations, the Prime Minister applauded the decision of the Committee to meet in Apia outside of Geneva and New York.

“Likewise I hope the pleasure of being away from Geneva resonates with the Committee members and that you will allow yourselves to work hard and revel in the warmth of the Pacific away from the wintry temperatures of Geneva,” he said.

Briefly giving Samoa’s report card on human rights to the Committee, Tuilaepa said Samoa presented its sixth periodic report under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2018 using video conferencing.

“These milestone events are consistent with Samoa’s commitment to deepen and strengthen the important engagement between treaty parties and the treaty bodies,” he said. “The ultimate goal is for deepened and more meaningful engagement to lead to more effective implementation of human rights conventions such as the C.R.C., so that together we can all deliver on the promise for our children, provided under the Convention.”

However, he cautioned that the “one-size fits all” approach to addressing human rights would not work, and emphasised that the March 2-6 conference in Samoa should enhance engagement between the Committee and stakeholders.

“We must recognize that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not possible. Thus opportunities such as this extraordinary meeting of the CRC in Samoa are critical to enhancing engagement of the Committee and key stakeholders in contextualized settings essential for implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

The Prime Minister assured the Committee that the country continues to maintain its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and made reference to the use of regional and international forums to continue to raise the issue.

“We continue to advocate for the importance of ensuring, Samoan, the Blue Pacific and also Small island Developing States (SIDS) perspectives, challenges and opportunities, are clearly articulated and understood,” he added.

The 84th Extraordinary Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child ends on Friday. 

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