FW: on, Western Bloc Opposition to the UNDD
jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Wed Aug 11 13:03:14 MDT 1999
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From: kekula at aloha.net [mailto:kekula at aloha.net]
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 1999 11:26 AM
To: warriornet at lists.speakeasy.org
Subject: RE: on, Western Bloc Opposition to the UNDD
I'd throw UK and France in there myself, k
----Original Message Follows----
From: "Trudy Bray" To: "news-clip"
International indigenous campaign meets opposition
AAP -- In 1985, leaders of more than 300 million indigenous peoples in over
70 countries started campaigning for a UN declaration recognising their
right to self determination and land.
But indigenous leaders say their campaign has run into strong opposition on
those two key demands from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and
As representatives of native peoples from around the globe gathered
yesterday at the United Nations to mark the International Day of the World's
Indigenous People, there was no celebration - just a sobering assessment of
the struggles ahead.
"Indigenous people have been basically ignored in many cases, are some of
the poorest of the poor, and are also some of the most excluded in the
development process," said Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, the World Bank
representative at the United Nations.
"They are facing serious discrimination in terms of human rights, property,
and also culture and citizenship," he told a news conference.
Indigenous leaders have been campaigning for a UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous People to take the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
a step further and affirm that indigenous peoples are equal in dignity and
rights to all other peoples - but also have a right to be different.
A draft declaration, adopted in 1994 and currently being considered by a
working group of the Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights, would
protect religious practices and ceremonies of indigenous peoples, their
languages and oral traditions.
It would also give indigenous peoples - including native Americans and
Canadians, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maoris, and South American
Quechua and Mapuche - the right to self-determination and the right to own,
develop, control and use their traditional lands, waters and other
"This declaration is making very slow progress," said Bacre Waly Ndiaye,
director of the New York office of the UN High Commissioner for Human
"For many governments, it's very important to allow prospecting for gold and
for oil anywhere - and they're clashing with people for whom the land where
they want to prospect is sacred," he said.
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