Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


NZ's arguments win at the United Nations

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

6 December 2006

NZ's arguments win at the United Nations

Foreign Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the United Nations' rejection of the draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

"This is an good outcome. The text was fundamentally flawed. It was inconsistent with international law, and established a patronising and unworkable international standard that took little account of contemporary realities," Mr Peters said.

"After 11 years of negotiations – in which we played a leading role – failed to reach a consensus, the Chair produced his own text, which would have been impossible to implement even for countries like New Zealand that have the best of intentions and a strong record on indigenous rights.

"The Chair's text was forced to the vote and narrowly adopted by the Human Rights Council earlier this year, despite a lack of genuine agreement on it, and that the fact that many countries that actively supported it not having indigenous peoples, and some supporters indicating that they had little intention of implementing it.

"New Zealand opposed the adoption and called for further work on it, so we are pleased that the text failed to win final endorsement when it was considered by the UN General Assembly in New York.

"By that stage, it was clear to other countries that the declaration was not
workable across differing national situations. As a result, 83 countries voted in favour of deferring the declaration for further consultation, and no-one voting against it.

"The UN has taken the only sensible step in deciding that this document must be re-examined. It was wrong that the world's 400 million indigenous peoples should be treated to a second rate declaration on their rights, that governments could either not implement or simply ignore.

"The General Assembly's decision shows New Zealand got it right. Regrettably, it also reveals that some countries are disingenuous in how they regard their own indigenous peoples.

"The government was criticised by the likes of the Maori Party and the Greens for taking this principled position, but the critics were poorly informed.

"We now have the chance to fix the text so that it has the potential to make a real difference for those indigenous people who most need it. We want a text that has the capacity to build harmonious and enduring relationships between
indigenous and non-indigenous citizens. And we want a text that looks forwards and not backwards," Mr Peters said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More


Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list

Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>


Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>





Featured InfoPages