Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catholic Bishops Call on New Zealand Govt to Sign UN DRIP

Bishops calls on Govt to sign human rights declaration
NZPA Monday December 8 2008 - 04:48pm

Catholic bishops have called on the Government to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.

While 143 nations voted in favour of the declaration, New Zealand remained one of only three continuing to oppose it, along with the United States and Canada.

Australia voted against the original resolution, but has since indicated its support.

The New Zealand Catholic bishops conference said New Zealand must "better recognise and respect the human rights of the 370 million members of the human family who are indigenous peoples.

"These first inhabitants of nations have been subject to centuries of dispossession and violence....Our own nation of Aotearoa New Zealand of course shares that history and we must be part of the work of reconciliation and restoration."

The bishops said the declaration applied universally recognised human rights to the particular situations of indigenous peoples.
"By opposing it, New Zealand representatives allowed domestic politics to override our country's usually principled stand on human rights issues," they said.

"We call on the Government to enhance our country's proud record of leadership in human rights by supporting the declaration," they said, noting Wednesday was Human Rights Day.

Native Rights News is making this NZPA article published in The National Business Review material available in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine codified at Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107: This article is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information. Distribution of this material is for research and educational purposes that will promote social and economic justice and benefit society.

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