26 Jul 2010

American Samoa's congressional member highlights UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights

11:26 am on 26 July 2010

American Samoa's congressional member, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has introduced a resolution in the U.S. House calling on the United States to promote full application of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Eight congressional members are co-sponsors of the resolution.

Faleomavaega, chairman of the House subcommittee Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, says the Declaration is a landmark instrument outlining the rights of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples in 70 countries.

Faleomavaega says the U.S. was one of only four member states of the United Nations to vote against the declaration in 2007, while 143 voted in favor.

He says three of the four states who initially voted against it have

already reversed their opposition to the Declaration or are in the

process of doing so.

Meanwhile, he says the U.S. Government has launched a formal review of the Declaration to determine whether the United States will change its stance."