Federal officials participated in the first international review of U.S. human rights issues.
The United Nations Human Rights Council received 228 recommendations from 56 countries that urged the U.S. to improve human rights for Native Americans, and which addressed other issues.
The council’s first review of the U.S. rights record took place Nov. 5 as part of a mechanism by whcih the U.N. General Assembly reviews the human rights records of all 192 U.N. members every four years.
The U.S.A. only joined the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2009 when it ended a boycott by former President George W. Bush.
The 30-member U.S. delegation had an hour to present its report and respond to questions. Eighty-five states signed up to speak, but there was only time for 56. The results of the questions and recommendations was compiled in a draft outcome document. The U.S. will review the recommendations and give a formal response in March 2011.
Several countries recommended that the USA endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and fully implement the Declaration.
Cyprus recommended that the U.S. recognize the rights of American Indians to participate in decisions affecting them and that the USA consult in good faith with tribes before adopting and implementing any activities on their lands.
Other indigenous issues raised included the destruction and desecration of and denial of access to sacred sites and the unilateral termination and abrogation of 400 treaties.