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United Nations concern over NT Intervention

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 19 Mar 2009

The Australian Greens today welcomed reports that the United Nations has written to the Australian Government expressing concern over racist elements of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER).

"This is the slap of realism that this Government desperately needs. The international community are crying out against this blatantly racist intervention, which is serving as a major embarrassment for us on a global stage," said Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal Issues Senator Rachel Siewert.

Chairman of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Committee, Fatimata-Binta Victoire Dah, has written a two-page letter to the Government requesting a progress report on Kevin Rudd's promise to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act.

The letter states: "The committee notes with concern that the Racial Discrimination Act was suspended as a necessity to enact the measures contained in the NTER."

"The Australian Government now has until July 31 to report to the UN on plans to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act, but action could be brought on much sooner. The five yearly requirement to report on compliance of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is due this week."

"Australia is in clear breach of its obligations under the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racism. It is high time the Federal Government acknowledged this and acted immediately to restore racial equality in this country."

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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