United Nations General Assembly: Third Committee - Action on Draft Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

CANZ statement delivered by New Zealand representative, Ms. Leah Carrell

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Australia, Canada and my own country New Zealand. We are pleased to once again co-sponsor this important resolution, which further advances the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Our countries share a strong commitment to advance the rights of Indigenous Peoples, at home and internationally. At the same time, we recognize that implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in our countries remains a work in progress with much work left to be done.

As we work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to advance reconciliation and address longstanding inequalities at home, we seek to learn from one another’s experiences. This September, on the margins of UNGA High-Level week, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand co-hosted a roundtable with Finland, Mexico and Indigenous representatives to examine pathways forward to build an inclusive approach to Indigenous engagement in foreign policy making.

The meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples is a key requirement in any attempt to build a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. We echo the call in the resolution on the importance of Indigenous Peoples speaking with their own voices at the United Nations and in other multilateral forums on issues affecting them, and look forward to participating later this month in the Expert Workshop on the enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Human Rights Council.

We also support the resolution’s attention to the critical loss of Indigenous languages and welcome the launch this year of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. We are committed to working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to implement the Decade, with a view to promoting, preserving, and revitalizing Indigenous languages domestically and abroad.

We further welcome the resolution’s call for Member States to take necessary measures to ensure the rights, protection and safety of all Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous leaders and Indigenous human rights defenders, are ensured, and for cases of threats, harassment and reprisals to be investigated and perpetrators to be held accountable.

We must also recognise and work to counter the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that disproportionately impact indigenous peoples.

In closing, we would like to sincerely thank our distinguished colleagues from Bolivia and Ecuador for their thoughtful and diligent facilitation of this resolution. Australia, Canada and New Zealand remain strongly committed to working actively and constructively alongside the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples and other Member States on this issue of deep importance to our countries.

Thank you.


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