The 20-page Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Fiji was released over the weekend.
The United Nation' working party meets every four years to review the human rights records of all of its 192 United Nations member states.
Below are some of the 103 recommendations made by member countries; they show that New Zealand and Australia are not the only countries watching and urging the interim government of Voreqe Bainimarama to restore democracy.
11. To make every effort to achieve a sustainable return to democracy andconstitutional rule at the earliest time possible (Republic of Korea);
12. To uphold the rule of law, including human rights in domestic law, by immediately reinstating the 1997 Constitution (Israel);
13. To consider establishing, as soon as possible in 2010, a full constitutional assembly that will shape the future of Fiji for Fijians and by Fijians (Maldives);
14. To take the appropriate measures to reinstate the legitimate authority, as this is crucial for the strengthening of the country’s ability to guarantee human rights (Algeria);
16. To accord the utmost importance, in the formulation of the new Constitution, to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (Philippines);
17. To ensure that human rights are explicitly protected in domestic law, including by reinstating the 1997 Constitution and immediately restoring the judges, magistrates and other judicial officers removed by President Iloilo on 10 April 2009 (United States of America);
18. To strive to move forward its reform programme in order to restore democracy as soon as possible (Maldives);
20. To re-establish, peacefully and without further delay, the constitutional order in the country, engaging in a genuine dialogue with all ethnic communities, through free and fair democratic elections as the only means for the Government’s legitimacy, the return of the rule of law and respect for human rights. The underlying issues that have led to Fiji’s political instability should be duly addressed (Slovakia);
21. To return to constitutional rule, to restore a democratic form of Government, to reinstate an independent judiciary, to repeal the Public Emergency Regulations and to reinstate the full independence of the Human Rights Commission (Norway);
22. To instigate an open and inclusive national dialogue leading to early and credible elections (United Kingdom);
23. To hold free elections, given the importance of democracy for the full realization of human rights (Brazil);
24. To take immediate steps towards holding democratic elections before the end of 2010, in order to restore democratic institutions and processes in Fiji (Canada);
26. To guarantee the right to universal suffrage with a view to holding genuinely free, competitive and democratic elections as soon as possible, and to extend a standing invitation to international electoral observers (Spain);
27. To reconsider the need to maintain the current state of emergency, given its implications for human rights, with a view to lifting it as soon as possible, and to ensure that as long as it is still in force, all human rights and fundamental freedoms that cannot be derogated under international law are respected (Mexico);
29. To put an end to the state of emergency in force since 2009 (Chile);
30. To rescind the Public Emergency Regulations 2009 and not replace them with equivalent measures (New Zealand);
31. To repeal immediately the Public Emergency Regulations in force since 10 April 2009 (United States);
32. To ensure the elaboration, in full transparency, of a new constitution guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of each individual, and to lift the state of emergency to allow the re-establishment of civil and political rights (France);
33. To repeal the Public Emergency Regulations and to establish conditions allowing for freedom of expression, assembly and democratic dialogue, including by ensuring protection from harassment and freedom for political activists and human rights defenders (Canada);
34. To lift the Public Emergency Regulations and to restore an environment in which all of Fiji’s citizens can meet freely and express political opinions without fear or retribution (Australia);
35. To lift the state of emergency and to take the measures necessary to reestablish a constitutional order complying with the rule of law, before the date indicated recently by the Government (Switzerland);
36. To revoke the Fiji Human Rights Commission Decree, to lift restrictions on investigations and to take other measures to ensure that the National Human Rights Commission can operate in accordance with the Paris Principles (United Kingdom).