Tonga’s delegation to the 43rd session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (UPR-WG)
The Tonga Statistics Department joined Tonga’s delegation to the 43rd session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group (UPR-WG) of the Human Rights Council, which is currently held from the 1st to the 12th of May 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The delegation was led by Honorable Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Tourism, and comprised members from Tonga’s UPR-WG, including Ms. ‘Ilaisipa ‘Alipate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Ma’u Leha from the National Planning Division, Ms. ‘Akanesi Katoa from the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. ‘Ana Lutua Laulaupea’alu from the Ministry of Justice, and Ms. Mele Sikimeti Manitisa from the Tonga Statistics Department.
Tonga’s UPR-WG played a critical role in the preparation and compilation of Tonga’s National UPR Report, which was submitted on the 16th of February 2023. On the 1st of May 2023, Honorable Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu presented the report to the Human Rights Councils UPR-WG, and it was successfully adopted by the Council on the 5th of May 2023.
The adoption received 173 recommendations from 59 countries, which is an increase from the previous cycle’s 110 recommendations. The UPR Report is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights situations of all 193 UN Member States, and allowed them to report on the actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries to fulfil their human rights obligations.
This cycle marks Tonga’s fourth UPR, providing the country with the opportunity to report on all the efforts and progress made in promoting and implementing human rights activities within the country. The Tonga Statistics Department is pleased to continue supporting Tonga’s UPR-WG in identifying areas where data can be used to track progress on human rights activities in Tonga and to prepare for the next UPR cycle. Tonga’s UPR reports can be downloaded from the United Nations Human Rights Council’s website or via this link https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/upr/to-index.
Prior to Tonga’s review, a mock session was held in Fiji, facilitated by the Human Rights and Social Development Division of the Pacific Community (SPC). Tonga’s delegation actively participated in this session, aiming to enhance their readiness for the upcoming review.
The Tonga Statistics Department extends its gratitude to the Government of Tonga and its esteemed Development Partners for the financial support, which has been instrumental in ensuring the success of this endeavor.