News overnight from the United Nation’s General Assembly has been dominated by Canada’s Prime Minister who dedicated his speech to admitting his countries failure towards Indigenous people.
Meanwhile Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull didn’t bother to even attend the meeting. There doesn’t appear to be any reason why Turnbull couldn’t attend either. It seems like he is trying to avoid the grilling that he would have received and instead, sent foreign minister, Julie Bishop to take his place.
Canada’s Prime Minister was asked after his speech about why he chose to speak about domestic issues at an assembly focused on International events and he responded by reminding the reporters that the issue was not only a Canadian issue. He also spoke about Canada’s dark past, recent failures and a renewed commitment toward Indigenous self-determination in Canada.
How far away is change in Australia when our leaders are not present when it comes to these conversations. Is Australia a rogue state when it come to the treatment of Indigenous people? Earlier this month, Malcolm Turnbull made international headlines when his meeting with Indigenous leader, Clinton Pryor ended sourly when the Prime Minister began to argue with Pryor, who had walked over 5,000 km to see him.
Another reason why Malcolm Turnbull may be avoiding the UN assembly is because the UN Human Rights Council handed down a report that was highly critical of Australia’s failure towards improving the lives of Indigenous people. Australia is hopeful of becoming a member of the Human Rights Council however Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, has stated that Australia’s failure would affect any bid to become members of the HRC.