PM says government spent reasonable time and millions on campaigning for CEDAW

Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva said the government had spent millions of paʻanga on campaigning and consulting the community in Tonga about the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The Prime Minister was responding to a statement by Cardinal Mafi of the Catholic Church who said he wanted the government to give more time for the public and churches to discuss whether Tonga should sign CEDAW or not.

Pohiva said he respected Cardinal Mafi’s point of view and said the cardinal was doing his job as a religious leader.

However, the government had already made it clear that Tonga had reservations about CEDAW’s position on the right to abortion, same sex marriage and the status of Tonga’s Land Act regarding the succession to the throne and nobility.

Hon. Pohiva said the government funded non-profit organisations in Tonga such as the Women and Children Crisis Centre Tonga, The Tongan family support organisation Ma’aFafine and Tonga’s Civil Society Forum and had asked them to consult with the public about CEDAW.

He said the campaign and consultations had lasted several years, which was enough time for the Tongan public to understand the CEDAW convention.

The Prime Minister’s Private Secretary, Poʻoi Pohiva, said the leaders of these non-profitable organisations were members of the local Catholic and Free Wesleyan churches.

The Prime Minister said previous governments had spent millions on the information and consultation campaign.

Cardinal Mafi said he feared the government’s move to sign CEDAW would open the door for Tonga to accept same sex marriage and abortion in the future.

The Prime Minister recently told Kaniva News in Auckland that Tonga could not stay by herself when most countries had adopted conventions like CEDAW.

The Tongan government has agreed to sign CEDAW convention and is now processing it through the United Nations.

The main points

  • Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akihisi Pohiva said last night the government had spent millions of pa’anga on consulting the community in Tonga about the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.
  • Pohiva was responding to a statement by Cardinal Mafi, who said he wanted the government to give more time for the public and churches to discuss the issue.
  • He said the government had made it clear it had reservations about CEDAW’s position on the right to abortion, same sex marriage and the status of Tonga’s Land Act regarding the succession to the throne and nobility.
  • The campaign and consultations had lasted several years, which was enough time for the Tongan public to understand the CEDAW convention.

For more information

UN agencies welcome Tonga’s decision to ratify CEDAW

Women’s advocate: Tonga’s CEDAW ratification a disaster (RNZI)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Kuo pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ne fakamoleki ʻe he puleʻangá ʻa e taimi feʻunga mo e lau miliona ʻi he feinga ke mahino ki he kakaí ʻa e CEDAW.

    Kuo meʻa ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmia ʻo Tongá ʻo pehē ne lau miliona e paʻanga ne fakamoleki ʻe he puleʻangá ʻi hono kemipeiniʻi mo talatalaifale mo e komiunitī Tongá kau ki he Konivēsio ke Taʻofi hono Fakakehekeheʻi ʻo e Kakai Fefiné ʻi ha Faʻahinga Founga pe (CEDAW).

    Ko e meʻa ʻeni ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá hili ha meʻa ʻa Katinali Mafi ʻo e Siasi Katoliká ʻo pehē ne ne fiemaʻu ʻa e puleʻangá ke toe ʻi ai ha taimi lahi ange ke tālangaʻi ai mo e kakaí pehē ki he ngaahi siasí pe ʻoku totonu ke fakamoʻoni ʻa Tonga he CEDAW pe ʻikai.

    Ne meʻa ʻa Pōhiva ʻo pehē ʻoku ne mātuʻaki fakaʻapaʻapa kia Katinali Mafi mo ʻene fakakoloa kuo toó pea ko hono moʻoní ʻoku fai pe ʻe he katinalí ia hono fatongia ko e taki lotu.

    Neongo iá kuo ʻosi fakahā mahino pe ʻe he puleʻangá ʻoku ʻi ai ʻa e fakangatangata ʻa Tonga ki he ʻu tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e CEDAW hangē ko e ʻikai ke ne tali ʻa e taukave ʻa e CEDAW ki he totonu ki he fakatōtamá, mali tataú mo e tuʻunga ʻoku ʻi ai ʻa e Lao Kelekele ʻa Tongá ʻa ia ʻoku ʻi ai ʻene fekauʻaki mo e fakahokohoko ki he taloní mo e hingoa nōpelé.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe Pōhiva naʻe fakapaʻanga ʻe he puleʻangá ʻa e ngaahi kautaha ʻikai taumuʻa ke fakatupu paʻanga hangē ko e Senitā ki he Kakai Fefine mo e Fānau Tofanga he Faingataʻá, kautaha Maʻa Fafiné mo e Sōsaieti Sivile ʻa Tongá mo kole ke nau ō ʻo talanoaʻi mo e kakaí e kaveinga ʻo e CEDAW.

    Ne meʻa ʻa Pōhiva ʻo pehē ne loa taʻu pe lele mai ʻa e kemipeini ko ʻeni mo hono tālangaʻi ʻo e CEDAW pea kuo feʻunga pe taimi ko iá ke mahino ki he kakai Tongá ʻa e konivēsió ni.

    Ne pehē ʻe he Sekelitali Taautaha ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá Poʻoi Pōhiva ko e kau taki ʻo e ngaahi kautaha ʻikai taumuʻa ke fakatupu paʻanga ko ʻení ʻoku nau Katolika mo Siasi Uēsiliana.

    Ne toe meʻa ʻa e Palēmiá ʻo pehē ne fakamoleki ʻe he ongo puleʻanga ki muʻá ha lau miliona ʻi hono kemipeiniʻi ʻo e ngaahi fakamatala mo hono tālangaʻi mo e kakaí e konivēsió ni.

    ʻOku manavasiʻi ʻa Katinali Mafi naʻa hoko e ngaʻunu ko ʻeni ʻa e puleʻangá ke fakamoʻoni he CEDAW ke ava ai ha matapā ke tali ʻe Tonga ʻa e mali tatau mo e fakapō-ki-manavá ʻi he kahaʻú.

    Ne toki fakahaá ni ʻe he Palēmiá ki he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ʻi ʻAokalaní ni heʻikai lava ke nofo ʻa Tonga taʻe kau mo e ngaahi fonua lahi taha ʻo e māmaní kuo nau tali ʻe kinautolu ʻa e ngaahi konivēsio hangē ko e CEDAW.

    Kuo tali foki ʻe he puleʻanga Tongá ke fakamoʻoni he konivēsio CEDAW pea ʻoku lolotonga fai eni ʻa e ngāue ki ai ʻi he Puleʻanga Fakatahatahá.

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