Tupou VI has declared Tonga government’s decision to ratify CEDAW unconstitutional

His Majesty in Privy Council today has responded to petitions from people regarding the Government’s decision to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women or known as the CEDAW Treaty.

His Majesty in Council’s Decision last week was released and Signed by the Lord Privy Seal, Viliami Malolo.

Here is the memorandum on the Privy Council’s Meeting.

PRIVY COUNCIL                                                                                                                                                P.C. 42/2015


To:  Chief Secretary & Secretary to Cabinet

With reference to: Eight Petitions to His Majesty The King Under Clause 8 of the Constitution in the Matter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),

I have the honor to inform you that His majesty in Council’s Decision P.C. 42/2015 of 25 June 2015 was as follows:

[1]          Took note of JC.28/2015 dated 15 June 2015; and,

[2]          That His Majesty, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, to acknowledge the concerns of 13,048 of His Subjects as set forth in eight Petitions to Him under Clause 8 of the Constitution concerning the purported making of a treaty called CEDAW by the Kingdom of Tonga and responds to the Petitioners as follows:

[a]          We are not persuaded that the process by Government with regard to CEDAW, on the information known to Us, is “in accordance with the laws of (Our) Kingdom”, in particular Clause 39 of the Constitution;

[b]          We have never authorized any of Our Ministers to sign or ratify CEDAW;

[c]           We have never been asked to consider the making by Our Kingdom of the CEDAW Treaty; and accordingly,

[d]          We remit to Our Ministers forthwith to proceed as may be necessary to annul the Kingdom of Tonga’s signature or ratification of the CEDAW Treaty.


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