PM Sogavare addresses historical injustices and ratifies Convention on Disability Rights at UNGA

By EDDIE OSIFELO

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare delivered a powerful address at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA, addressing historical injustices and highlighting the country’s commitment to disability rights.

Sogavare emphasized that the Pacific had been a victim of power politics long before becoming a member of the United Nations.

He cited the Battle of Guadalcanal, a fierce World War II battle that was not of their making, as an example of the conflicts that affected the region.

He lamented the lack of urgency eight decades ago to remove unexploded ordnance (UXOs), which continues to threaten the Solomon Islands, both in terms of finances and lives lost.

In recognition of the ongoing assistance from the United States in UXO removal efforts, Sogavare expressed gratitude but also called for further action.

He urged responsible nations to contribute to the removal of UXOs and provide compensation to the affected and bereaved families

Prime Minister Sogavare also addressed the historical issue of nuclear testing in the Pacific, revealing that approximately 300 nuclear devices were tested in the region from 1946 to 1996, including in the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, and Kiribati.

He stressed that the Pacific islands had no say in these tests and called for fair compensation for the affected countries and their people.

Additionally, Sogavare announced that the Solomon Islands had ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

He underscored the significance of the National Disability Inclusive Policy and the Mental Health Policy as frameworks for the implementation of measures to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment and mechanisms to ensure that individuals with disabilities can exercise their fundamental rights as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.

Prime Minister Sogavare’s address at the UNGA sheds light on the historical challenges faced by the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region while emphasizing the importance of addressing these issues for the well-being and rights of its people.

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