Australia: Indigenous Rights Declaration Approved

Australia’s government has endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a year and a half after voting – along with Canada, New Zealand, and the United States – against the September 2007 document.

Reform Wollongong City Council, a blog from Australia, writes:

On Friday 3 April 2009 the Australian government, on behalf of Australia’s people, endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

And top marks to the Rudd government for doing what the Howard government found to be inconsistent with their 1950s vision for Australia!


Open Your Eyes News, though, seems unimpressed: “Tragically this is just a symbolic PR exercise to further boost Government ratings.”

But a blog from New Zealand, Big News, is encouraged:


Australia was one of just four countries to vote against [the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] in 2007, joining the United States, New Zealand and Canada.

Now, wonder if New Zealand will adopt UNDRIP and reverse its decision like Australia has done? Should it?

Though the Declaration is non-binding, NZ's endorsement would signal to the international community this country is serious about commitment to Indigenous Rights. So it has a political effect, not a legal effect.


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