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Australia adopts UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
In a stunning political shift, the government of Australia announced that it would sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In a statement made at Parliament House in the national capital of Canberra, the Honorable Jenny Macklin MP (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) declared that the government would reverse its 2007 refusal to sign the declaration.
“It is a testament to the steadfast commitment of the United Nations Working Group that they stayed the course. Driven by a common purpose to formally articulate international respect for the world's Indigenous peoples. On 17 September 2007, 143 nations voted in support of the Declaration. Australia was one of four countries that voted against the Declaration. Today, Australia changes its position. Today, Australia gives our support to the Declaration. We do this in the spirit of re-setting the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and building trust,” said Minister Macklin when commenting on the government’s decision to sign.
With Australia’s signature, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand become the only three countries refusing to adopt the declaration. It is hoped that Australia’s move forward might prove to be consequential toward the future signing by the three uncommitted nations.
Posted By Lopaka Purdy at 2:06pm on April 07, 2009
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