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Cablegate: Canadian Views On Next Steps On Oas Indigenous

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHOT #1957 2952055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 222055Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6753

UNCLAS OTTAWA 001957

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/USOAS SARAH HANKINS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN VIEWS ON NEXT STEPS ON OAS INDIGENOUS
RIGHTS DECLARATION

REF: STATE 145292

1. (SBU) According to Paul Gibbard, Director of the Office of
Aboriginal and Circumpolar Affairs at the Department of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada shares our
views that the OAS Declaration is ill-conceived and is headed
for a "train-wreck." Gibbard said that Canada had a number
of concerns with the UN text, and that the OAS resolution
proposes even larger commitments. Canada sees the
negotiations process as requiring a considerable amount of
work, but does not anticipate an eventual consensus, which
will be very negative for the OAS as an institution. The GOC
will suggest to OAS member states that, as the process is not
likely to yield a successful outcome, the best approach would
be to back up from the negotiations and look instead closely
at the underlying issues, seeking areas where there may be
consensus.

2. (SBU) Gibbard added that the GOC will be supportive of our
proposed "year of action" in principle, but expressed concern
that it could lead to commitments that Canada would prefer to
avoid. He said that Working Group Chairman Cuadros had been
pushing for a two-track process in which the U.S. and Canada
would fund projects instead of participating in negotiations.
He expressed concern that our proposal could also go in this
direction but insisted that the GOC would not be in a
position to provide funding unless the OAS makes a clear
statement that indigenous rights and issues are a key
priority. Gibbard nonetheless promised to consult internally
on our proposal and get back to us. In general, he said,
Canada sees the potential to work together -- as long as
there are no direct fiscal implications.

Visit our shared North American Partnership blog (Canada & Mexico) at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap

WILKINS

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