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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Samoa
Statement by Australia
9 May 2011
Australia welcomes the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa and his delegation, and appreciates Samoa’s constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process. We would particularly like to acknowledge and congratulate Samoa, as a Small Island State, on its participation in the UPR process, which requires considerable effort given limited resources.
We welcome Samoa’s 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 Samoa’s National Development Strategy which places increased opportunities for the advancement of women and children’s protection at the centre of government plans across all sectors and which will help Samoa achieve the aims of CEDAW and CRC.
We welcome the establishment of a Domestic Violence Unit within the Ministry of Police and Prisons. However, we remain concerned about continuing reports of violence against women. We urge Samoa to give priority to finalising amendments to existing laws of Parliament to meet its obligations under CEDAW and CRC.
We congratulate Samoa on the finalisation of its National Disability Policy and for the success of the Inclusive Education Demonstration Program which has made substantial gains in improving access to education for students with disabilities. We encourage Samoa to become a party to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
We note the challenges faced by Samoa in attaining development goals, as set out in the National Report. Australia is pleased to be working in partnership with Samoa on development programs that are inclusive and that respect the right of every Samoan to contribute to, and benefit from, the country’s development.
Australia recommends Samoa:
1. Accede to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
2. Fully implement the National Disability Policy; and
3. Prioritise legislation on women’s rights and domestic violence, and implement domestic policies aimed at eliminating violence against women.