20 March 2002
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
4-22 March 2002
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination*
1. At its 1502nd meeting, held on 8 March 2002 (CERD/C/SR.1502), the Committee reviewed the implementation of the Convention by the Solomon Islands based upon the concluding observations on the initial report in 1983 (see CERD/C/101/Add.1 and A/38/18, paras. 421-430) and previous reviews of the implementation of the Convention in 1992 and 1996 (see A/47/18, paras. 246-253 and A/51/18, paras. 446-448). The Committee also took into consideration a variety of materials from both intergovernmental and non-governmental sources. The Committee regrets that Solomon Islands has not responded to its invitations to participate in the meeting and to furnish relevant information.
2. While it is noted with appreciation that Solomon Islands has recently submitted initial reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, it is regretted that a report has not been submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since the State party’s initial report in 1983. It is recalled that the purpose of the reporting system is for States parties to establish and maintain a dialogue with the Committee on the measures adopted, progress made and difficulties encountered in complying with the rights recognized in the Convention. The non-performance by a State of its reporting obligations creates serious obstacles to the effective functioning of the monitoring system set up by the Convention.
3. The Committee recognizes the challenging economic and social conditions faced by Solomon Islands and is aware of the political and ethnic conflicts which have exacerbated the situation there. It is also aware of the violent conflict between the Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM) and the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF), which has led to gross violations of human rights in Solomon Islands. Internal displacement, hostage taking, killings, torture, rape, looting and the burning of village homes have been reported by a number of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Committee is concerned that, despite several attempts at securing peace, favourable results have been limited, as tension between the two groups remains high. The Committee is hopeful that the successful elections held in December 2001 and the new ruling party’s stated promise to rehabilitate the country politically and economically and to ensure better security will lead to sustainable peace and security in Solomon Islands.
4. In line with its previous recommendations, the Committee strongly urges the Government of Solomon Islands to avail itself of the technical assistance offered under the advisory services and technical assistance programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the aim of drawing up and submitting as soon as possible a report drafted in accordance with the reporting guidelines.
5. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to the provisions of the Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism, according to which the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is the principal international instrument for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and States are urged to cooperate with the Committee in order to promote the effective implementation of the Convention.
*Please note that the symbol CERD/C/Session No./CO/…will from now on replace the previous symbol CERD/C/304/Add...
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights