HL Deb 07 March 2005 vol 670 c61WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish the legal advice on which they base their decision not to sign the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in its present form. [HL1468]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is still under negotiation. Like most other members of the working group, the UK has a number of concerns with the original text. Only two out of 64 articles of the original text have been agreed, and there are alternative proposals on the table for much of the remaining text. The issue has therefore been one of discussion and negotiation, not signature. However, we were encouraged by the progress made in negotiations in the September and November/ December 2004 working group sessions. We will continue to work with UN partners and indigenous representatives to reach agreement on a strong and meaningful declaration.