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Environment becomes sticking point in OAS indigenous rights declaration

[JURIST] Negotiations continued in Washington Wednesday on a draft Inter-American Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples [OAS working group; OAS press release], an initiative of the Organization of American States [official website]. Progress towards completion of the declaration, the first to enshrine the economic, social and property rights of the western hemisphere's 40 million indigenous people, has been hindered by disagreements over proposed language - most recently, language that would recognize an aboriginal "right to live in harmony with the environment." US negotiators have balked at the wording, considering it too vague, and in response a number of delegates boycotted a diplomatic reception hosted by the United States Monday evening. Negotiations on other issues - including territorial rights and claims - will continue for the remainder of the week. This is the fifth round of talks on the instrument. The US State Department has issued a press release on the negotiations. Wednesday's Miami Herald has more.

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