Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

Statement 149

9th Session of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review

Statement by Australia

Statement on the Republic of the Marshall Islands
by Ms Sally Dawkins
1 November 2010


Australia welcomes the delegation from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process, particularly given the challenges it faces in participating.

We welcome the Marshall Islands’ commitment to fulfilling its human rights obligations, particularly under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). We commend the inclusion of NGOs on the recently established Resource Development Committee which will help the Marshall Islands achieve the aims of these Conventions.

We are, however, concerned at continuing reports of violence against women. We urge the Marshall Islands to give priority to aligning existing laws, and where required to create new ones, to help the Marshall Islands meet its obligations under CEDAW and CRC. We also urge the Marshall Islands to submit its outstanding reports to these Conventions.

We appreciate the limitations facing the Marshall Islands, as explained in the National Report and by His Excellency Minister Silk today. We welcome Marshall Islands’ commitment to meet its obligations to help people with disabilities. We encourage Marshall Islands as a first step to ratify the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

We note the many challenges faced by the Marshall Islands in attaining its development goals as set out in the National Report. Australia is pleased to be working in partnership with the RMI on approaches to these challenges that are inclusive and that respect the right of every Marshallese to contribute to, and benefit from, the country’s development.

Australia recommends the Republic of the Marshall Islands:

1. Ensure human rights are afforded full legal protection in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

2. Prioritise legislation on women’s rights and domestic violence, and implement domestic policies aimed at eliminating violence against women.

3. Ratify the convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and work to implement the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability.