Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


UN examines NZ govt's performance on racial discrimination

UN Committee examines NZ government's performance on racial discrimination

Peace Movement Aotearoa

20 February 2012

On 21 and 22 February 2013, the government's performance in implementing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination will be considered by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the independent expert body that monitors state compliance with the Convention, during its 82nd session in Geneva.

This update has information about the Convention, the Committee, NGO Reports to the Committee, the interactive dialogue between the Committee and government representatives, details of when and where you can watch the interactive dialogue, and where you can find more information. The update is available on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/notes/peace-movement-aotearoa/un-committee-examines-nz-governments-performance-on-racial-discrimination/486796528034388 - please share the link on your page.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD, the Convention) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1965, and entered into force in January 1969. The Convention defines racial discrimination as any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or other areas of public life.

It is the oldest, and the third most widely ratified UN human rights convention, with 175 state parties. New Zealand signed the Convention in 1966 and ratified it in 1972.

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD, the Committee) was the first treaty monitoring body created by the UN to monitor and review actions by states to fulfil their obligations under a specific human rights agreement. It comprises 18 independent experts, appointed by state parties, and monitors how states are putting the Convention into practice. CERD usually meets for two sessions, each lasting four weeks, every year.

Every state party to the Convention is required to submit regular Periodic Reports to CERD on what legal, judicial, administrative and other steps they have taken to fulfil their obligations to eliminate racial discrimination. The Periodic Reports are examined by the Committee, in conjunction with information supplied in parallel Reports from NGOs. As well as the Convention, the Committee takes into account General Recommendations, which it has developed through time to provide more detailed information on specific topics, to assess whether or not a state party is complying with its obligations under the Convention.

NGO Reports to the Committee

Five national NGOs provided information to the Committee: the Community Languages Association, Human Rights Foundation, New Zealand Federation Multicultural Councils, Peace Movement Aotearoa, and the Robson Hanan Trust.

The Peace Movement Aotearoa Report focussed on the lack of constitutional protection for Convention rights, the Treaty and indigenous peoples' rights, foreshore and seabed legislation, privatisation of state owned assets (Mixed Ownership Model) and water, deep-sea oil seismic exploration and drilling, hydraulic fracturing, the Immigration Amendment Bill, and the February 2013 Australia / New Zealand agreement on refugees.

Issues raised in the other NGO Reports include: language teaching in schools and in the community, Operation 8, police use of Tasers, education for children unlawfully in New Zealand, employment discrimination, the Human Rights Amendment Bill, and the criminal justice system and Maori. In addition, there was an individual Report covering a range of child advocacy issues.

Interactive dialogue between the Committee and government representatives

The interactive dialogue will take place in Geneva on Thursday, 21 February and Friday, 22 February (details are included in the section below). The dialogue will focus on the government’s Consolidated 18th to 20th Periodic Report to the Committee, which was submitted in February 2012, and the List of Themes sent to the government by the Committee in December 2012 - the List of Themes outlines issues the Committee is particularly interested in discussing during the interactive dialogue, and together with the Periodic Report, is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cerd82.htm

The government delegation will be led by Judith Collins, Minister of Justice, Minister of Ethnic Affairs and Minister of ACC.

When and where you can watch the interactive dialogue

The dialogue between government representatives and the Committee will be webcast live at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org - the session start times are 3pm, Thursday, 21 February (NZ time: 3am, Friday, 22 February) and 10am, Friday, 22 February (NZ time: 10pm, Friday 22 February).

Where you can find more information

Updates and information on the 82nd session - when and where you can watch the session, media coverage, and who said what in Geneva are available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cerd82-sess.htm

Background information on: the International Convention, the Committee, the NZ government and the Convention, the government's Report to CERD, the list of themes sent to the government by the Committee, NGO parallel Reports to CERD, what CERD has said about the NZ government before, the follow up procedure (2008 and 2009), and useful links and other relevant information is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cerd82.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads.

This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD.

That showed that the City Rail Link, together with surface bus improvement, provided the best regional solution. However, it also identified that the city centre is already facing serious congestion across all major road entry points which, if not addressed now, will worsen. More>>

 

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: New Zealand Takes UN Security Council Seat

“New Zealand’s term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years,” Mr McCully says. More>>

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news