August 23, 2007

Canada blocks UN declaration

Backpedalling on native rightsCanada is one of seven countries blocking the quest for a universal declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. The other holdouts are Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

Most members of the United Nations would like to see the charter, which has been under discussion for 20 years, adopted by the General Assembly at its fall session.

Sixty-seven states are co-sponsoring it. The UN Human Rights Council approved it last summer (over Canada's objections). Former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy calls it a test of "Canada's influence as a credible and influential voice for the protection of human rights."

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