22 Apr 2015

Fijian chiefs take concerns to UN forum on indigenous issues

11:24 am on 22 April 2015

Indigenous chiefs from Fiji are calling on UN experts and agencies to step in over international treaty breaches by the Fiji government.

Their claims that indigenous people's group rights are being violated are contained in a submission signed by the paramount chiefs Ro Teimumu Kepa and Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

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Ro Teimumu Kepa Photo: RNZ / Republika

The submission and a petition are part of a presentation by Fiji NGOs at the 14th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN's headquarters in New York.

One of the delegates, Niko Nawaikula, says they want the spotlight on the breaches and lack of consultation which have been noted by UN bodies in the past few years.

"Since the concerns were noted Fiji has not done anything but has in fact continued with its programme of what it calls mainstreaming to purposely remove the group rights of indigenous people. That's an aim of this regime to achieve what it calls equality."

Mr Nawaikula says the delegation also hopes to meet the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and deliver petitions to the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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