26 Mar 2003

Fiji government reprimanded by UN body

11:25 am on 26 March 2003

A United Nations committee has told the Fiji government that dissemination of doctrines of indigenous Fijian supremacy is socially unjust, dangerous and in breach of the constitution.

The recommendation has come from the UN Committe on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, (CERD), which this month considered a report on Fiji from local NGOs as well as the government.

The Committee said it was concerned that "hate speech and assertions of the supremacy of indigenous Fijians occurred regularly".

It also expressed its concern on the under-representation of Indo-Fijians in the police, the army and the public service.

The committe recommended that specific programmes be adopted to ensure appropriate representation of all ethnic communities in these services.

The National Farmers Union, which also made representations to the committee, says by urging the government to address specific areas of its racially discriminatory policies, CERD has accepted the validity of the reports against the government.