Justice Minister Alfred Carlot,launching the UPR National Action Plan watched by DG Mark Bebe

Justice Minister Alfred Carlot launching the UPR National Action Plan recommendations watched by DG Mark Bebe, of the Justice Ministry

By Godwin Ligo

Vanuatu has successfully completed the second cycle review under the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and additionally developing a national framework under which the recommendations will be mainstreamed into Government planning and development programs.

Last Friday, Vanuatu launched the National Implementation Action Plan of the Recommendations that were accepted in June,2014 after Vanuatu presented its second National Universal Periodic Report in January 2014.

In his speech during the launching of the National Implementation Action Plan, the Justice and Community Services Minister Alfred Carlot, said the work that has been undertaken by the UPR Committee is producing the action plan is commendable but is also a small step in the journey as Vanuatu defines and tells its Human Rights story to the world: “The recommendations that Vanuatu accepted are cross -cutting issues that should be included in all planning processes across Government and Non-Government Sectors. It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step,this is true of Vanuatu’s UPR process. The plan is a step in along journey to protect our most vulnerable groups (women, children, persons with disabilities and elderly). It indeed requires a multi-stakeholder’s approach and continued commitment from all involved in the process for the development of our nation.

“I appreciate the continued support from the Ministries and Departments (made possible by Director Generals), Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector and our funding and development partners.

“Finally recognition goes to the members of the UPR Committee who worked beyond the call of duty to meet, conduct consultations, draft and produce the report and finally develop a map of how the recommendations can be mainstreamed intro existing plans and policies by different stakeholders.

“It is my hope that the newly established National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) many of whom are also members of the UPR team, will carry the torch and continue to drive the discussion on human rights in Vanuatu,” Minister for Justice and Community Services said as he officially launched the National Implementation Action Plan of the recommendations that were accepted in June, 2014 after Vanuatu presented its second National Universal Periodic Report in January 2014. The launching took place at the Melanesian Hotel in Port Vila on Friday of last week.

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