16 Jun 2006

Calls for a regional rapid response team

8:37 am on 16 June 2006

There's been a call for a Regional Rapid Response Team which can be deployed in times of conflict and violations of human rights in regional countries.

The call has come form the director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, Dr Shaista Shameem, while opening a regional workshop on gender, conflict, peace and security now under way in Nadi.

Dr Shameem says a pre-arranged bilateral or multi-lateral agreement is necessary for quick intervention before conflicts get out of hand.

She says until now intervention has only been sought after conflict and human rights violations have already occurred.

Dr Shameem has also called on civil society groups not to lose their independence in return for financial support from the state.

She says civil society groups have incredible human resources at their command, are tireless fighters for truth and passionate human rights advocates, and are relentless not only in their pursuit of peace but also of justice.