NSWALC Councillor to attend United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council's North Coast Region representative, Councillor Patricia Laurie, said today she was honoured to be part of a NSWALC delegation to the eighth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to be held in New York from the 18th - 29th May.

The theme for this year's forum is "Climate change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges"

Councillor Laurie said the main focus areas for the 2009 forum would be:

  • Social and Economic Development;
  • Indigenous women;
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People; and
  • Emerging issues from different member States.

Australia's Aboriginal people have had a long historical role of leadership at UN Indigenous forums.

"I will ensure Australia maintains that leadership role at the Permanent Forum".

"The UN's recognition of Indigenous peoples through the establishment of a Permanent Forum is an important step forward in the development of Indigenous rights.

NSWALC has held special consultative status within the UN's Economic and Social Council for more than a decade.

"We are strong supporters of the Permanent Forum and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"I intend to raise the fundamental freedoms of Aboriginal people with the Special Rapporteur and outline the situation in Australia and also speak on issues that effect Aboriginal women".

"I intend to take full advantage of this opportunity by ensuring that key issues are raised," Councillor Laurie said.

Further Information: Councillor Patricia Laurie 0417 453 719