Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Kicks off Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Human Rights

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): February 18, 2010 - Kolonia, Pohnpei - A workshop was held at the Yvonne's Conference Room from 8 - 12 February 2010, to commence FSM's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights. As called for by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), countries including the FSM are to be reviewed on their status of human rights. Accordingly, FSM will appear before the Council in the last week of November, 2010.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), along with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), hosted the initial workshop for the purpose of the review, in collaboration with the FSM National Government.

In his opening statement at the workshop, the Honorable Robert Nakasone, Pohnpei State Senator, highlighted provisions of the FSM Constitution relating to cultural diversity and how our differences enrich us as fellow Micronesians. He quoted the manual of the UPR process that calls for countries to subject themselves to honest and genuine self-assessment during the review.

The Human Rights Council expected three reports to be filed on FSM for the purpose of the review - one from the Government, another from the non-government organizations (NGO) and civil societies (CSO), and another from the United Nations through the OHCHR.

For the Government, a series of activities are necessary in order to carry out the review and produce the report. Broad consultation through workshops, interviews, meetings, researches, etc., is needed to ensure inclusiveness of the process as called for by the HRC.

The process will review human rights in the context of culture, tradition, religion, health, education, environment, climate change, law and order, social affairs including issues on women, children, freedom of expression, gender, etc. It will be necessary to take stock of the relevant laws and policies of the FSM National Government as well as the respective State Governments for the purpose of the review.

In anticipation of the review, President Mori has designated a Task Force to be led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and including the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Social Services, among others. The workshop is one of the activities taken by the Task Force.

The discussions at the workshop were frank and often elicited a wide range of views. It will be an opportunity to showcase FSM's achievements and challenges on human rights.

Participants at the workshop included relevant FSM National Government officials such as members of the Task Force, State and local officials, and NGOs that are involved in the area of environment, women, gender, and government transparency.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356