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New Zealand finally signs UN Declaration on indigenous rights

world Updated: Apr 19, 2010 23:49 IST

AP
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New Zealand is reversing its opposition to a UN declaration providing for rights of native peoples worldwide and said on Monday that it will now sign on.

When the General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007 four opponents - the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - argued that it was incompatible with their existing laws.

Australia has since announced its support, and New Zealand's Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, announced his country's backing on Monday.

A US official said US Ambassador Susan Rice will announce in a speech Tuesday that the US will review its opposition to the declaration. The official spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, ahead of the formal announcement.