THE Commonwealth Secretariat has invited the Niuas Noble Representative to participate as a panelist and to speak on climate change and migration during a side event in the margins of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States on Sunday, September 18, 2016.
The Human Rights Unit of the Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Government of Kenya is convening the side meeting focusing on migration, a subject of considerable importance in the Commonwealth.
The event is titled Migration in the Commonwealth: International Movement and Human Rights – Challenges and Opportunities.
It contributes to Heads’ directive at the 2015 CHOGM in Malta to work towards a lasting solution to the challenges presented by migration.It is an exceedingly complex, multi-dimensional and ever changing issue affecting all countries of the Commonwealth including Tonga.
The Commonwealth defines migrant a person who moves to and live in a locale other than where that person originates. Therefore it reflects the fact that migration is the product of many diverse, ad often disparate factors.
Many migrate to escape crushing deprivation or to seek out economic opportunities and earn a better living. Others move to complete their studies or to join their families. For a significant number of people migration is not a choice, but rather something into which they are forced against their will, be it trafficking, fleeing conflict, escaping persecution, political repression, or systemic human rights violations, or leaving behind the devastation of natural disaster.
In December 2015, there were 244 million migrants at the end of 2015, equivalent to 3.3 percent of the world’s population and an increase of 71 million migrants since 2000.
Panelists including Lord Fusitu’a will speak on refugees and asylum seekers, migrant workers and development and social integration.
He will also speak on climate change issues. Reports from the Commonwealth Secretariat says climate change is a global concern, its effects are and will continue to especially severe in the Pacific Tonga included.
In the past, the Human Rights Unit of the Commonwealth has engaged with Lord Fusitu’a in London and Wellington in different fora addressing human rights issues.
The Commonwealth Secretariat appreciates Fusitu’a nuanced approach to sharing the Tongan experience as well as his insights to parliamentary perspective on pressing rights challenges.
Meanwhile the Tongan delegation to the 71st UN General Assembly in New York is led by the Hon. Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the Minister of Health, Hon Saia Piukala,
Hon. Minister of Tourism & Infrastructure, Semisi Sika and Lord Fusitu’a.