US, Canada still resist as New Zealand backs on UN indigenous rights

The United States, Canada, each with sizable aboriginal populations, still resist the declaration.

US, Canada still resist as New Zealand backs on UN indigenous rights

New Zealand announced on Monday that it now backed a U.N. declaration on indigenous people's rights, leaving the United States and Canada the only countries on record as resisting it.

The nonbinding U.N. document was passed by the General Assembly in September 2007. It says indigenous people "have the right to self-determination" and "have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied, or otherwise used and acquired."

The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, each with sizable aboriginal populations, resisted the declaration at the time.

Also, Australia, following a change of government, said last year it would support the declaration.

New Zealand's Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples told the U.N. forum on Monday, "Today, New Zealand changes its position: we are pleased to announce our support for the declaration."

Like Australia, New Zealand has changed its government since 2007. New Zealand media have suggested the decision to back the U.N. document represented a deal between the ruling National Party and the Maori Party, which supports it.

New Zealand has about 630,000 indigenous Maoris, or some 14 percent of the population.


Agencies

Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2010, 16:57
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