The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a non-binding declaration upholding the human, land and resources rights of the world’s 370 million indigenous people, brushing off opposition from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
The vote in the assembly was 143 in favor and four against. Eleven countries, including Russia and Colombia, abstained.
The declaration, capping more than 20 years of debate at the United Nations, also recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination and sets global human rights standards for them.
It states that native peoples have the right “to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties” concluded with states or their successors.
Indigenous peoples say their lands and territories are endangered by such threats as mineral extraction, logging, environmental contamination, privatization and development projects, classification of lands as protected areas or game reserves amd use of genetically modified seeds and technology.
The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand opposed the measure, saying that it provides rights not available to non-native people and is thus unfair.
Indonesia’s Ongoing Battering: Still no tsunami, but Indonesia reels after being hit by four powerful earthquakes in three days. And officials warn more may be on the way.
Looking for a Leader: Heading the pack in the race to name a new Japanese prime minister is Yasuo Fukuda, a longtime politician who favors a tight fiscal policy while giving banks free rein.Fukuda Leads Japan PM Race – Wall Street Journal
She Won’t Back Down: Former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto is set to announce her return from exile, a move sure to add more fuel to the nation’s political fire.
Don’t Get Sick!: The cost of employer-sponsored health coverage rose 6.1 percent this year, according to a new report.
This Is for All the Lonely People: New research shows lonely people are more likely to be sickly and to die young — and it’s genetic.