9 Mar 2017

Calls for resignation of Fiji's UN Ambassador

From , 6:04 am on 9 March 2017

The vice president of Fiji's opposition SODELPA party has called for the resignation of the Fijian ambassador to the United Nations, Nazhat Shameem, after she described the past protections of the rights of Indigenous Fijians as institutionalised racism.

Ambassador Shameem's comments were part of an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the 1st of March.

In her comments she said, " ...racism was institutionalised in Fiji to such an extent that it instilled a 'privileged caste'".

And also said, "Rights of the majority in a democracy whether indigenous or not must not be used to suppress the rights of the minority and vulnerable communities..."

The SODELPA vice president, MP Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki says Shameem's comments were misguided and smacked of prejudice.

He told Koroi Hawkins they amounted to a deliberate misunderstanding of the grievances of the indigenous community in Fiji and were contrary to international law on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Fijian ambassador to the UN Nazhat Shameem

Fijian ambassador to the UN Nazhat Shameem Photo: Supplied