Thu Sep 13, 10:05 PM ET
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 13 (OneWorld) – Despite strong objections from the
United States and some of its allies, the UN General Assembly adopted a
resolution Thursday calling for the recognition of the world’s 370
million indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and control over
their lands and resources.
The adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples comes after 22 years of diplomatic negotiations at the United
Nations involving its member states, international civil society groups,
and representatives of the world’s aboriginal communities.
An overwhelming majority of UN member countries endorsed the
Declaration, with 143 voting in favor, 4 against, and 11 abstaining.
The United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand stood alone in
voting against the resolution. The nations that neither supported nor
objected were Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia,
Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Samoa, and Ukraine.
“It’s a triumph for indigenous peoples around the world,” said UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the General Assembly vote. “This
marks a historic moment when member states and indigenous peoples have
reconciled with their painful histories.”