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Old 06-30-2006, 06:02 AM   #1
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UN Overrides Canada Over Native Rights

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UN Overrides Canada Over Native Rights

Associated Press
Published: Thursday, June 29, 2006


GENEVA -- The new UN Human Rights Council on Thursday overrode Canadian and
Russian objections and passed a declaration to protect the rights of native
peoples around the world, including an assertion that they have a possible
right to restitution for land and resources taken from them.
By 30-2 vote, the body approved the declaration that said indigenous people
should be free from discrimination and that they have a right "to consider
themselves different and to be respected as such." A dozen countries abstained
and three were absent.
A coalition of indigenous people who had been campaigning heavily in favour
of passage had complained that Canada, a former supporter of the declaration,
had switched sides after the Conservative party ousted the Liberals earlier
this year.
They said Canada thus joined the United States, Australia and New Zealand --
all countries with significant native populations -- in opposing the
declaration. The U.S., Australia and New Zealand, however, have no vote because they
are not members of the 47-nation council, which began its first session last
week.
The council replaced the widely discredited 53-country UN Human Rights
Commission.
Associated Press 2006
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