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At UN Indigenous Forum, Rapporteur Wants Australia Invite, Tar Sands

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- When a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues related press conference was held on April 27, Inner City Press asked the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, about Australia prime minister Tony Abbott closing down aboriginal communities.

  Tauli-Corpuz said she is concerned and would like to be invited to visit Australia, the Kimberley Group is making that request. Her co-panelist from Canada answered Inner City Press about tar sands, video here.

Back on April 22, Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access asked Ghazali Ohorella about opposition to a telescope on sacred land in Hawaii, and about Western Papua, mentioned in the Forum the day before.

  Oherella named the sponsors, including from Canada and Japan, adding the construction was postponed when indigenous people occupied the mountain.

 On West Papua, Forum member Valmarine Toki said the story is sad, but the inclusion on the UN Fourth Committee's list of French Polynesia should be celebrated. Ambassador Odo Tevi of Vanuatu, praised the day before, apologized their was only so much he could say.

 On the evening of April 21, Inner City Press covered the Forum's cultural event in the UN lobby, photo here, Vine here.

  When the Forum started up on April 20, Inner City Press asked about the World Bank's “Climate Fund,” and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's closing down aboriginal communities and what he called the “lifestyle choice” they represent.

   The new chair of the Permanent Forum, Professor Megan Davis, said that Abbott's comments had not gone down well in Australia, and not only about aboriginal people. She asked if farming, heavily subsidized, is not lifestyle choice. Some surmise it's hydrocarbons under the land that explains the closing of the communities.

  And now Abbott is going to New Zealand - where he faces further protests of his remarks and actions.

   Joan Carling, also on the UN panel on April 20, told Inner City Press that the Climate Fund, REDD and similar project involve reducing the forests to the carbon issue and to payments.

Footnote: While the April 20 press conference was in the UN Press Briefing Room, there was no UN transcript or even summary made. Worse, the UN collaborated with its UN Censorship Alliance (some of whose board members have tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN) in shifting the Chagos Refugees Group's Olivier Bancoult into an almost empty session in UNCA's private club, not on UNTV, not reported.

(Inner City Press previously asked about the Chagossians, here to outgoing UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who seemingly against character turned censor-inward in farewell.) Inner City Press based on similar collusion by UNCA quit the group and co-founded the Free UN Coalition for Access which is covering the Forum and how the UN treats it. Watch this site.


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