Thursday, July 06, 2006

Canada disgraces itself at UN Human Rights Council

Last month’s long-awaited birth of a new international human-rights agency out of the ashes of the old, sordid, and discredited United Nations Commission on Human Rights was a proud moment for democrats, progressives, liberals, and humanitarians everywhere.

But on June 29, during an especially important moment that prompted a standing ovation and tears of joy during the very first session of the newly minted UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Canada disgraced itself in front of the whole world.

It was during the vote on one of the UNHRC’s first items of business. It was a declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples, a document that had been the subject of 11 years of debates, arguments, and amendments in various UN commissions and subcommittees.

It came as no surprise that Russia voted against the resolution. Russia is notorious in its treatment of indigenous minorities. Moscow is at war with the Chechens of the Caucasus. It continues to persecute the Meskhetian Turks of Krasnodar, and its abuse of the Finno-Ugric minority of the Mari Republic is causing increasing alarm in Europe.

But Canada voted no too.

That's from my column this week.


Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

It comes as no surprise that Canada has not sighed either.Canada is still in the process of denying and watering down First Nationss rights and has been for decade after decade.What ever progress hat has been made to date is due to FN activism and struggle,not the good will or generousity of the govt.
For sure Canada does not shoot down First Nations peoples(though there are examples of even this).
Unless something radically changes in government policies(such as the deep sixing of the "Indian Act") towards FN peoples,I fully support and understand actions such as Oka and Caladonia.
The stall and delay tactic's of the govenment,and courts are pushing FN peoples to the wall,the young will and have begun lookng for new ways and means to assert their legal rights as indigeneous peoples.A legal status our own laws recognize but fail to enforce or act upon.
The rights of FN's are universal and given by no one....

5:24 PM  

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