Toowoomba, 19 October 2012
First Nations Elder and activist Michael Anderson says he’s incredibly disappointed that Australia has been successful in its bid for a temporary seat on the United Nation’s Security Council.
Mr Anderson, one of the founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, spokesperson for 'Sovereign Union' and the elected leader of the Euahlayi Nation, says he’s surprised that the UN’s member states have failed to see that Australia continues to be, under law, a colonial state of England.
And he argues that Australia has now placed itself in a very precarious situation in respect to ensuring that it has the potential maturity to deal with the true sovereign status of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples within its borders.
"While we understand that the UN’s Charter is not to intervene in domestic politics of its Member States, it does, on the other hand, have an obligation to ensure its member states observe international norms established by international legal conventions and practices.
"As the Sovereign Union of First Nations in Australia, we will now drive a continuous campaign, during Australia’s presence on the Security Council, to have Australia revisit, compensate and make reparation for its gross violations of international legal conventions in respect to First Nations Peoples’ rights in this country.
Mr Anderson says the Sovereign Union will be calling on Australia to uphold the 1952 UN General Assembly Resolution 637 (VII) The right of peoples and nations to self-determination:
… to ensure the direct participation of the indigenous populations in the legislative and executive organs of government of those Territories, and to prepare them for complete self-government or independence.
and lead the way in the internal decolonisation which is more than half a century overdue.
Michael Anderson says Australia can show that is maturing as a nation by building on the Fraser governments’ Treaty process that was stopped by the former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
"Australia has an obligation to revisit its NT military intervention, end its draconian laws and re-establish the Human Rights of Aboriginal Peoples in the NT.
"If the government is really concerned for the welfare of Aboriginal children it will admit that an Emergency Response as broad sweeping as the NT Intervention is not necessary.
"The Intervention clearly violates the civil rights of Aboriginal people, because it denies them natural justice, by denying them the right of appeal through any due legal complaints process.
Mr Anderson says the Government’s claimed objectives, of improving the social and economic position of Aboriginal communities, can be achieved through other, gentler and fairer means.
"Winning a temporary seat on the Security Council ups the ante for Australia to perform within its own borders and conform to the norms aspired to by the UN.”