Thursday, September 13, 2007

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Rejected By Usual Suspects

Finally, after 22 years of debate, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. According to the BBC:

The treaty sets down protections for the human rights of native peoples, and for their land and resources.

The General Assembly passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with 143 countries voting in favour and 11 abstaining.

Four countries voted against the measure, can you guess who? Well, unsurprisingly the opponents were Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. That these countries have large indigenous populations tells you all you need to know about their contemptuous regard for human rights. And who takes a large share of the blame? Why, our old friend John Howard of course. According to one report, Canada actually supported the declaration until Howard lobbied the Canadian government to reverse their position. Just another reason to give Howard a good kicking in the upcoming election. Mmmm, I feel a slideshow coming on.....