1 Jul 2015

Tonga's King and Privy council say "no" to CEDAW

2:35 pm on 1 July 2015

The Tonga Privy Council says the Government's plan to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is unconstitutional.

Tongan women protest against the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, arguing it includes counter-culture clauses such as same sex marriage and abortion.

Tongan women protest against the United Nations CEDAW, arguing it includes counter-culture clauses such as same sex marriage and abortion. Photo: Broadcomfm Broadcasting / Facebook

King Tupou VI, with his Privy Council, was responding to petitions from groups in Tonga who have sought his help to stop the ratification process.

The Government has committed to ratify the document but has put this on hold until after this week's coronation of Tupou VI.

The King, in a statement, says he wants to acknowledge the concerns of 13,048 of his subjects who have sent eight petitions to him.

The statement says the Privy Council is not persuaded that the process followed by the Government is in accord with the constitution.

It says the Council has not authorised ministers to sign the document.

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