US: Obama announces US support to the UNDRIP
Obama told Native American leaders that the declaration affirms the importance and rich cultures of Native peoples throughout the world. The U.S. voted against the declaration when the General Assembly adopted it in 2007, arguing that it was incompatible with existing laws. Three other countries, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, also opposed the declaration, but have since announced their support.
The declaration protects the rights of more than 370 million native peoples worldwide, affirming their equality and ability to maintain their own institutions, cultures and spiritual traditions. It also establishes standards to combat discrimination and marginalization and eliminate human rights violations against them. In April, administration officials said they were reviewing the U.S. position on the declaration. More important than any resolution or declaration are actions to match those words, Obama said, adding that his administration is working hard to help Indian tribes meet a variety of challenges. The president noted that this year he signed laws to improve health care and law enforcement for Native American tribes, and helped resolve long-standing disputes over discrimination against American Indian farmers by the Agriculture Department and mistreatment by the Interior Department of those with land rights for oil, gas, grazing and timber. "We're making progress. We're moving forward. And what I hope is that we are seeing a turning point in the relationship between our nations," Obama told a conference of tribal nations attended by more than 500 people representing more than 320 tribes. Those efforts include creating jobs, building roads on reservations, improving education and providing better health care, Obama said. The president also recalled that the Crow nation has given him the name "One who helps people throughout the land." And he joked that his wife, Michelle, says his name should be "One who isn't picking up his shoes and socks."
Tags: Global governance