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NZ Govt put on notice at the United Nations

NZ Govt put on notice at the United Nations

The NZ government has just tabled a paper on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in Geneva. The breach comes from not consulting with Maori about changes which many Indigenous Peoples have long argued should not happen this late in the process. "The New Zealand government is well aware of their obligation for consultation pursuant to the Treaty of Waitangi. That obligation has been seriously breached by the lack of consultation and dialogue with Maori regarding this proposal." said Tracey Whare a trustee for the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust responding from Geneva.

"I wish to stress the importance of this lack of process and put the New Zealand government on notice that this matter will be brought to the attention of Maori back home." continued Tracey

Previous years have found that due to a lack of political will and commitment on the part of a small number of governments who managed to hinder any possibility of progress, frustrating all expectations. This lack of progress, on this the final year of the UN decade of indigenous peoples, means that there are now serious doubts over the future of the Declaration.

The formulation of a Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples first began in 1983 within the Working Group on Indigenous Populations. It took ten years for Indigenous representatives, government delegations and experts to formulate the text of what is known as the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In 1995, the Commission on Human Rights discussed the Draft Declaration adopted by the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and decided to establish the open-ended intersessional Working Group in order to continue to consider the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Those entitled to vote within this Working Group are the member governments of the Commission on Human Rights. Governments that are not members of the Commission, NGOs with consultative status and indigenous organisations with special accreditation have observer status.

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