U.S. Statement at the UPR of Nauru

23rd Session, November 3, 2015
As delivered by Amanda Jessen

The United States welcomes the Nauruan delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We acknowledge Nauru’s prior statement that it needs to actively address impediments to the enjoyment of human and civil rights within its borders, including through enforcement actions, an independent judiciary, and other means, as well as through legislation.

We reiterate our recommendation that Nauru consider ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it signed in 2001.

We support Nauru’s establishment of a Public Defender position, but we are concerned there remains a lack of affordable, effective, and available legal services to the public.

The United States supports Nauru’s stated commitment during their 2011 UPR review to address the decriminalization of same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults.  However, we are troubled that no action has been taken to address this issue.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Nauru:

  1. Consider ratifying the ICCPR without further delay in order to demonstrate Nauru’s earnest commitment to respect the civil and political rights of all those within its borders.
  1. Expand the Public Defender program to ensure that all those who do not have sufficient means to pay for legal services – citizens and non-citizens alike – can receive them.
  1. Finally, take swift action to decriminalize same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults.