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Old 06-30-2006, 07:01 AM   #1
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Human Rights Council Adopts Texts For Protection From Enforced Disppearance,

UN Press release

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS TEXTS FOR PROTECTION FROM ENFORCED DISPPEARANCE,
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Extends Mandate of Working Group on Drafting Optional Protocol to
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
29 June 2006

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted by consensus the
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
and recommended that the General Assembly adopt the treaty.

The Council also adopted by a roll-call vote of 30 in favour to 2 against
and 12 abstentions a resolution on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples. The Council adopted the declaration as proposed by the
Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate
a draft declaration and recommended that the General Assembly adopt the
non-binding declaration.

Also adopted by consensus was a resolution on the Open-ended Working Group
to draft an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights. The Council welcomed the report of the Working Group
with a view to considering options regarding the elaboration of an Optional
Protocol and decided to extend the mandate of the Working Group for a period of
two years in order to elaborate the Optional Protocol.

Action on Resolution on Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In a resolution (A/HRC/1/L.3), entitled Working Group of the Commission on
Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5
of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, adopted after a
roll-call vote by thirty in favour, two against, and twelve abstentions, the
Human Rights Council adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples as proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working
Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in
accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23
December 1994 in annex I to the report of the Working Group on its eleventh
session (E/CN.4/2006/79); recommends to the General Assembly that it adopt the
following draft resolution:

The General Assembly, expresses its appreciation to the Council for the
adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; a
nd adopts the Declaration as contained in the annex to Council resolution
2006/ .

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says
indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as
individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the
Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
international human rights law. Indigenous peoples and individuals are free
and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free
from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in
particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity. Indigenous peoples have
the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely
determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and
cultural development. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen
their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions,
while retaining their rights to participate fully, if they so choos!
e, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (30):
Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland,
France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius,
Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi
Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switerzland, United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Zambia.

Against (2):
Canada, Russian Federation.

Abstentions (12):
Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria,
Philippines, Senegal, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Absent (3):
Djibouti, Gabon, Mali.

PAUL MEYER (Canada), in an explanation of the vote before the vote,
acknowledged the important role that Canada, as well as other indigenous
organizations, had played in the process of the drafting of the Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples. The proposal did not receive the necessary support,
even though Canada, some other countries and a few indigenous representatives
noted in their statements difficulties with a process where all parties had
not discussed proposed language on several key issues. Canada had worked for a
declaration that would promote and protect the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of every indigenous person without discrimination and recognized the
collective rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Canada had a long
and proud tradition of not only supporting but also actively advocating
Aboriginal and treaty rights at home and was fully committed to working
internationally on indigenous issues. Regrettably, however, Canada would vote against
the resolution.
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