Tuesday, 10 August 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD'S INDIGENOUS LEADERS

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE
WORLD'S INDIGENOUS LEADERS
Left: Rosalie Kunoth-Monks
Right: Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
For more about Australia's delegation
at the United Nations

Miss Eagle received this to-day:


PUBLIC STATEMENT

Senior Aboriginal Leaders Celebrate At The United Nations
9 August 2010

Monday is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Leaders.

On this day there is a large gathering of Aboriginal leaders from  
Australia at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to  
talk about ending racism and establishing self-determination.

The International Day was first commemorated in 1995 following a  
resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to give wider  
attention to the situation of the Indigenous Peoples around the world,  
and to encourage governments to make greater efforts to address the  
human rights situations in harmony with the Indigenous Peoples.

While most publicity will be focussed in New York, the Aboriginal  
delegates from Australia have made a beeline to Geneva.

The attraction is the examination of Australia by the Committee on the  
Elimination of Racial Discrimination, on 10 and 11 August.

It is expected that much of the discussion in that examination will be  
about the 'Northern Territory Intervention'.

On Monday, the Aboriginal delegation are also convening a public event  
which is to be held at the United Nations in Geneva.

This event will commemorate the International Day of the World's  
Indigenous Peoples, as well as examine human rights issues in Australia.

A number of the delegates will be making statements about the  
Australian Aboriginal experiences with land rights, community- 
controlled governments, and political, social, economic and cultural  
development.

Djiniyini Gondarra will give a detailed account of the devastating  
impacts on his community and the continual pressures that are  
threatening to break down the laws and cultures of the Aboriginal  
communities.

Djiniyini's talk will be immediately followed by a speech from Rosalie  
Kunoth-Monks, who believes that action must happen now to change the  
Northern Territory Intervention.

Brian Wyatt will deliver an update on land rights and heritage  
protection, confirming yet again to the Committee on the Elimination  
of Racial Discrimination (CERD) that the native title laws in  
Australia are not benefitting Aboriginal people, and that cultural  
development has been stifled by political ignorance.

The final panel member to be introduced is Rodney Dillon, who will  
highlight the continuing gap in social, economic and political  
outcomes for Aboriginal people in Australia.

A day after the panel has presented their cultural message to a wider,  
public audience, the Aboriginal delegates are seeking a private  
meeting with members of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial  
Discrimination, to present their own recommendations for changes in  
Australia.

The panelists are looking for strong backing from CERD that the  
Aboriginal people must be the decision-makers in their own territories.

The Government officials have recently arrived in Geneva from Canberra  
to attend this hearing are reluctant to participate in the CERD  
hearing immediately prior to the national elections.

They believe that 'Caretaker' government should exempt government  
officials from attending such meetings but the many non-government  
delegations reject that suggestion and want greater transparency on  
government decisions.

The next few days should be interesting as the government tries to  
justify the rise in levels of racism in Australia.

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CONTACT:  Les Malezer 
Mobile in Geneva: +41 79 606 1859

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