World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

UN Expert Calls On Assembly To Adopt Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

New York, Oct 17 2006 1:00PM

Member States should follow the lead of the United Nations Human Rights Council and quickly adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without change, an independent UN expert has told the General Assembly.

Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people also warned the Assembly’s Third Committee yesterday of the “implementation gap” between legal standards and substantive change in the lives of indigenous people.

He said that in many countries, international norms and principles were not always applied in domestic legislation, adding that public officials were often ignorant of international norms and the jurisprudence of courts did not reflect international standards.

Currently, the UN estimates that there are some 370 million indigenous peoples living in different parts of the world.

José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, backed the call for adoption of the Declaration, saying that it provided the international community with a comprehensive international standard towards which all should strive together.

Mr. Ocampo noted that too often indigenous people experienced violations of their basic human rights and were excluded from national development processes, pointing out that the UN had an obligation to continue to promote respect for the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in development processes at all levels.

While many delegations expressed support for the Declaration some expressed strong reservations, although almost all the 15 representatives from countries and regional groups that took part in the debate expressed concern over the problems facing indigenous people and urged greater international cooperation to address these issues.

In her response, the representative of New Zealand, Rosemary Banks –– speaking also on behalf of Australia and the United States –– said those countries could not accept the adoption of a text that was confusing, unworkable, contradictory and deeply flawed.

For example, she said that the Declaration’s reference to self-determination could be misrepresented as conferring a unilateral right of self-determination and possible secession, thus threatening the political unity, territorial integrity and stability of existing Member States.

The representative of Colombia, Claudia Blum, also expressed concerns over the manner in which the Human Rights Council had adopted the Declaration, noting that more work was needed to achieve a text that could be adopted without reservations. The Council adopted the draft Declaration in June at its first session after the legislation had been debated for years.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

C40: UN Secretary-General's Remarks To Meeting With Leading Mayors Supported By Cities

UN Secretary-General's remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations” 16 April 2021 Thank you for joining me today, and for your commitment and leadership. Cities ... More>>

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>