02/04/09: AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO ENDORSE UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES on Friday, April 3 at Parliament House, Canberra

Contents:
Background
Opinion
Radio Interviews
Media Release
News
Related Newsletters

BACKGROUND:

National Indigenous Times:
The intervention: a battalion of human rights breaches

http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=16231
2 Oct 08: “Of the 46 articles of the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Northern Territory
intervention breaches at least 25 of them – more than half.
In addition to this, the intervention also breaches almost
half of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, which Australia endorsed decades ago.”

Australian Human Rights Commission: Questions and answers on
the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/declaration/declaration_QA_2009.html
Apr 09: “Apr 09: “On Friday 3 April 2009, the Australian
Government will make a statement in support of the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This will reverse Australia’s previous opposition to the
Declaration. Under the Coalition Government, Australia was
one of four countries that voted against the Declaration
when it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly
in September 2007. This Q & A factsheet is aimed at
informing Australians about the Declaration and addressing
some myths that have been raised in the lead up to the
Government’s statement of support for the Declaration.”

OPINION:

Brisbane Times: Intervention is hurting health
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/intervention-is-hurting-health-20090330-9gzm.html
30 Mar 09: “On Friday, the Government is expected to
endorse the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,
along with the national apology to the stolen generations,
another symbolic shift from the Howard government’s
indigenous policy. But there are still striking
similarities between the practical approaches of the former
government and the present.” Larissa Behrendt and Irene Fisher

Survival International – The movement for tribal peoples:
At last – Australia announces support for UN Declaration
http://www.survival-international.org/news/4385
26 Mar 09: “Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today,
‘At last the phalanx of four countries which opposed
indigenous rights at the UN is beginning to crumble. They
are all English-speaking and, apart from the US, members of
the Commonwealth. New Zealand pretends to rely on its
Waitangi Treaty, but what about Canada? Will it continue to
hide behind US skirts, or finally come out with an
endorsement of a statement of rights which the rest of the
world now accepts. As Australians celebrate, it’s time for
Canadians to hold their leaders to account.’ ”

RADIO INTERVIEWS:

ABC PM: Australia to support UN Indigenous declaration
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2527318.htm
26 Mar 09: “The Federal Government has set a date for a big
symbolic change on indigenous rights. Next Friday, three
Government ministers will officially reverse Australia’s
opposition to the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights. It
was adopted in New York in 2007, when the then Howard
Government was one of just four nations to oppose it.”
[includes interviews with Jon Altman, George Brandis and
Claire Smith]

MEDIA RELEASE:

STICS: Intervention protesters condemn UN Declaration hypocrisy
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/media-release-intervention-protesters-condemn-un-declaration-hypocrisy
30 Mar 09: ” “Jenny Macklin’s recent announcement that
Australia will support the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples is rank hypocrisy while they continue
with the NT Intervention”, said Paddy Gibson from the Stop
the Intervention Collective. “The minister has already been
quick to say that the Rudd government will not be bound by
the UN declaration. It is a hollow gesture designed to
distract from harsh attacks on Aboriginal rights and living
conditions currently being extended around the country”.”

NEWS:

New Zealand Herald: New look at UN declaration
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10564570
1 Apr 09: “New Zealand is looking with interest to see if
Australia signs up to a controversial United Nations
declaration and may follow its lead, says Prime Minister
John Key. Australia’s new Government is preparing to
endorse a UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people
that the country voted against last year. New Zealand also
voted no.”

NIT: Rudd government’s UN Declaration support hypocritical:
anti-intervention group
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17415
30 Mar 09: “The Rudd government is being hypocritical by
pushing its controversial land lease agreements while
announcing it will endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, an anti-intervention group [Stop the
Intervention Collective in Sydney (STICS)] says.”

NIT: ALP to endorse UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples next week
http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=17404
28 Mar 09: “The Rudd government will fulfill an election
promise when it officially supports the UN Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples next week. But the
Opposition says endorsing the UN Declaration would have
far-reaching consequences. Indigenous Affairs Minister
Jenny Macklin will make the statement of support at
Parliament House in Canberra on Friday, April 3. But she’s
been quick to stress it won’t bestow additional rights on
Aboriginal Australians.”

ABC: ‘Good citizen’ would restore Racial Discrimination Act
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/27/2527696.htm?section=australia
27 Mar 09: “A lawyer [George Newhouse] representing a group
of central Australian Aboriginal people has reiterated
calls for the immediate restoration of the Racial
Discrimination Act. The Federal Government will keep an
election promise next Friday when it pledges its support
for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
But despite UN concern, the Racial Discrimination Act
remains suspended … ”

Canberra Times: Rudd Govt to sign rights declaration
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/rudd-govt-to-sign-rights-declaration/1471139.aspx
27 Mar 09: “Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said
supporting the declaration would not change the
Government’s commitment to the Northern Territory emergency
response but it would help ”reset” the relationship
between government and indigenous Australians. …
Professor Altman suggested that supporting the declaration
and continuing the intervention could be incompatible
goals.”

Australian: Late support for UN indigenous charter
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25248762-5013871,00.html
27 Mar 09: “THE Rudd Government will deliver a statement of
support next week for the UN’s charter on indigenous
rights, its second major symbolic act after the historic
apology to the Stolen Generations. … Australian of the
Year Mick Dodson, who has been urging the Government to
support the declaration, has been concerned the
Government’s support would offer “too many riders or
qualifications or explanatory statements”.”

SMH: Australia backs UN on indigenous rights
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/australia-backs-un-on-indigenous-rights-20090326-9buw.html
26 Mar 09: “Sixteen months after taking power, Labor will
make good its election promise to endorse the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. … [Jenny
Macklin said] “This declaration is not legally binding and
will not affect Australian laws.” … Prof Dodson has
previously stated the commonwealth’s intervention into
remote communities in the Northern Territory breaches many
of the declaration’s 46 articles.”

ABC: Australia to support UN Indigenous rights declaration
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/26/2527177.htm
26 Mar 09: “Australia will next week officially back the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, reversing the Howard Government’s vote against it
in 2007. … The declaration is not legally binding and the
Government’s statement to support it could be reversed by
the next Government.”

RELATED NEWSLETTERS:

WGAR News: Media monitoring of the NT Intervention (31 Mar 09):

WGAR News: Global focus on Australia’s racism (27 Mar 09):

WGAR News: Aboriginal Australia appeals to President Obama (24 Mar 09):

WGAR News: UN, Australia and Aboriginal Rights (18 Mar 09):

WGAR News: Surrendering Land Rights for Housing (cont.) (13 Mar 09):

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