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United Nations adopts Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
After more than two decades of debate, the United Nations General Assembly today adopted a landmark declaration outlining the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlawing discrimination against them – a move that followed more than two decades of debate.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out the rights of indigenous peoples, including their rights to self-determination, land ownership, use of resources, identity, culture, education and legal and political institutions. The non-bindging text outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern and affect them.
The declaration was adopted by the Human Rights Council in June 2006. On September, 13 2007 the General Assembly approved the resolution, with 143 Member States voting in favor, 11 abstaining, and 4 voting against. The four countries who voted against the resolution were: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
Of particular interest to forest peoples is the declaration's article 26 that states:
Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.
Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.
States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.
According to the Forest Peoples Programme: "Many of the peoples who live in and have customary rights to their forests have developed ways of life and traditional knowledge that are attuned to their forest environments. Yet forest policies commonly treat forests as empty lands controlled by the State and available for 'development' - colonisation, logging, plantations, dams, mines, oil wells, gas pipelines and agribusiness. These encroachments often force forest peoples out of their forest homes."
The Declaration represents an important step toward global recognition that forest peoples should have control over their lands and resources.
Read more on the Declaration:
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 2:11pm on September 14, 2007
Posted By mmm on December 19, 2009 at 14:36
Selfish Americans, Australians, New zelanders, Canadians don’t want to give back the littlest of land to the indigenous because they are bloody greedy, idiots. Its not even their right land, give it back to the indigenous
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