International Human Rights Day

press releases

Human Rights Day would have been celebrated - PFII
UN's human rights record challenged
AOS caucus calls for progress on self-determination

Caucus appeals to Russian President

General Assembly missed opportunity - Stavenhagen

IPACC quotes African Charter on Rights
Namibia slammed for killing UN rights resolution
Civil society organisations condemn delay on Declaration
UNGA fails to bring hope to Indigenous Peoples
Tonatierra defends right of self-determination
Defenders of human rights must support indigenous rights
States are acting irresponsibly - NWAC
Canada accused of disgraceful, disgusting conduct at UN
ILRC continue fight to adopt Declaration
Africa denies Saami and Inuit rights to self-determination
Third Committee defers action on indigenous declaration
Key UN committee delays action on declaration

General Assembly President, HE Madame Sheika Heya Rashed Al Khalifa, receives greetings from Indigenous delegate, Jose Carlos Morales. The President listened to requests that the Indigenous Peoples be acknowledged in the General Assembly when the Declaration is formally adopted.

USEFUL LINKS
for more information
on the Declaration

Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues

Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights

Documentation Centre
for Indigenous Peoples

Tebtebba Foundation

International Indian Treaty Council

American Indian Law Alliance

International Work Group
for Indigenous Affairs

Rights and Democracy

Amnesty International, Canada

University of Minnesota
Human Rights Library


MEDIA KIT
(Download Kit)

Letter to States by
Special Rapporteur & Chair of PFII

Letter to States by
Indigenous Peoples Caucus

Letter to States by
Ambassadors to UN

Ten Key Points

Declaration (download)

How States voted in the
Human Rights Council


UN PRESS CONFERENCE
13 October 2006

View Webcast Video - 42 minutes

This media conference occurred at the UN on 13 October 2006 to discuss the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including its history, significance and current status.

H.E. Mr Enrique Berruga, Permanent Representative of Mexico;
Mr Aqqaluk Lynge

Chairperson
Innuit Circumpolar Conference
Mr Kent Lebsock
Executive Director
American Indian Law Alliance
Ms Elsa Stamatopoulou
Chief, Secretariat, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, (250) 490-5314
Colin Braker, First Nations Summit, (604) 926-9903 or (604) 328-4094
Heather Gillies, BC Assembly of First Nations, (604) 837-6908

November 28, 2006

First Nations Leadership Council Troubled By Today's Vote at the United Nations

Inaction on Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Inexcusable

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver BC -

After two decades of discussion and development, the slow pace of approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples came to a halt today at the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York. A resolution put forward by the Namibian delegation - in effect, a non-action motion on the Declaration - was supported by a majority with 82 Nation States voting in favour, 67 Nation States voting not in favour and 25 Nation States abstaining.

Grand Chief Ed John, First Nations Summit Executive member, who is in New York on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and working with the Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, stated "Today is a very sad day for the United Nations and a very serious setback for the integrity of the newly formed Human Rights Council who urged the General Assembly to formally adopt this historic document. It now appears that the most likely outcome will be that the United Nations never formally adopts the Declaration. This is a remarkable and bizarre development."

"Canada was positioned to play a significant role in supporting the Declaration but Canada chose to actively oppose the Declaration as a member of the Human Rights Council and at the General Assembly," commented BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Shawn Atleo. "We share the deep frustration of all those who worked long and hard to get the Declaration to this point. We sincerely hope that the Declaration is not lost and that we can find a way in which to revitalize this important work."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, stated "Canada no longer enjoys a 'blue beret' reputation at the United Nations. Canada's disgraceful and disgusting conduct against Indigenous People at both the national and international levels is being noted. It is simply shameful that as a Council member of the Human Rights Council, Canada pretends to espouse the highest standards and protection of Human Rights. It is those countries who have lived with the ravages of colonialism now speak for continuing colonialism for all Indigenous Peoples."

The Declaration was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council this past June and was recommended for adoption by the General Assembly. Canada was one of few countries to vote against the Declaration in June.



FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, (250) 490-5314
Colin Braker
, First Nations Summit, (604) 926-9903 or (604) 328-4094
Heather Gillies
, BC Assembly of First Nations, (604) 837-6908