Ye Ethiopia WiyenMahber Be Alem "YEWMBA" assist African Continental and Afro Diaspora Indigenous Peoples and Nation Ones with travel and accommodations for attendance to Indigenous Peoples meetings.
Ones interested in attending an upcoming meeting should complete registration form and email to the department on Indigenous Peoples Issues prior to application closing date.
Global Indigenous Women's Caucus "WCIP" Preparatory Meeting: March 27-29th, 2013
UNPFII 2013 Preparatory Meeting: May 18th and 19th, 2013
UNPFII 2013 : May 20th - May 31st, 2013
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: September 22nd - 23rd, 2014
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World Conference On Indigenous Peoples
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has presented in its Sixty-sixth session a draft resolution for the organization of the high-level plenary meeting of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples (see attached document A/66/L.61) in September 22-23, 2014. The World Conference is intended to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous Issues Updates:
It is estimated that there are more than 370 million indigenous people spread across 70 countries worldwide. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Spread across the world from the Arctic to the South Pacific, they are the descendants - according to a common definition - of those who inhabited a country or a geographical region at the time when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived. The new arrivals later became dominant through conquest, occupation, settlement or other means.
Among the indigenous peoples are those of the Americas (for example, the Lakota in the USA, the Mayas in Guatemala or the Aymaras in Bolivia), the Inuit and Aleutians of the circumpolar region, the Saami of northern Europe, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand. These and most other indigenous peoples have retained distinct characteristics which are clearly different from those of other segments of the national populations.
Understanding the term ?indigenous?
Considering the diversity of indigenous peoples, an official definition of ?indigenous? has not been adopted by any UN-system body. Instead the system has developed a modern understanding of this term based on the following:
? Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member.
? Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies
? Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources
? Distinct social, economic or political systems
? Distinct language, culture and beliefs
? Form non-dominant groups of society
? Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.
Indigenous Congolese People
The following statement was issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, upon the conclusion of his visit to the Republic of Congo.
BRAZZAVILLE (12 November 2010) -- “I commend the Government of the Republic of Congo for the significant steps it is taking to recognize and protect the rights of marginalized indigenous peoples of the country. Significant challenges remain, however to advance and implement these initiatives so that they can result in real improvement in the conditions of these peoples.
“During my 11 day visit to the Congo, I visited a number of indigenous communities in the departments of Likouala and Lekoumou, and I met with many government officials, United Nations agencies and civil society organizations in Brazzaville. I would like to express my appreciation for the support of the Government, in particular the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, and the United Nations country team in Congo for the indispensible support they provided for planning and coordinating the visit.
“I have learned about the various initiatives and policies put in place by the Government to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. In particular, I welcome the development of a bill for a law on indigenous peoples, and am pleased to have heard from government and parliamentary officials that the bill will very likely be adopted into law during the current session of Parliament, before the end of the year. I urge the Government of Congo and the Parliament to ensure enactment of the law without amendments that would weaken its provisions, and to adopt the necessary implementing legislation (décrets d’application) as soon as possible.
“This law will be the first of its kind on the African Continent, and it provides an important example of a good practice in the region for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. With its promotion of this legislation, along with its agreement to a National Action Plan to diminish the disadvantaged conditions of non-dominant indigenous groups, the Government of Congo is committing to action that is generally in keeping with international standards in this regard.
“In this context, I encourage the Government to keep in mind the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 with the support of an overwhelming majority of the countries of the world, including the Republic of Congo. I also urge ratification by Congo of the International Labour Organization Convention No.169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which would complement the law on indigenous peoples and provide a comprehensive legal framework to further advance the rights of the indigenous peoples of Congo. I am pleased that I have received from Government officials positive indications of a willingness to take the necessary steps to ratify this Convention.
“The draft law that is currently before Parliament has a strong potential to assist the indigenous peoples of the Congo in securing their rights, but it will require a strong and concerted effort by multiple ministries and agencies of government to ensure its full implementation, in light of the extreme circumstances of disadvantage in which indigenous peoples of the Congo still find themselves.
“I have observed first hand that indigenous peoples in Congo such as the Baaka, Mbendjele, Mikaya, Luma, Gyeli, Twa and Babongo, which collectively have been known as Pygmies – live an extremely marginalized existence. Many of them live in encampments on the outskirts of villages, without adequate housing or access to basic social services such as health and education. They are subjected to deep-seated discriminatory attitudes that manifest themselves in inequitable social arrangements, including in many instances labour relations that amount to forms of serfdom or involuntary servitude.
“Although chronic underdevelopment and poverty is pervasive throughout the country, particularly in rural areas, I have observed markedly worse conditions of extreme social and economic disadvantage among the indigenous people that are not part of the majority ethnic Bantu of the country.
Therefore, I call upon the Government of Congo to ensure, not just adoption of the proposed law on indigenous peoples, but also its full and meaningful implementation. This will require the development of practical arrangements to ensure that policies and programs are developed across the board that implement the rights envisaged by the law. The Government should strive to ensure that a deeper awareness of the rights of indigenous peoples is incorporated into a range of government agencies, programmes and initiatives, which would allow for a holistic approach to addressing indigenous disadvantage across the country. Such an approach should be compatible with the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, thus ensuring not just social and economic wellbeing, but also the integrity of indigenous communities and cultures, and their self-determination. The National Human Rights Commission and the proposed Inter-Ministerial coordinating committee on indigenous peoples should play a leading role in this regard.
“Additionally, a concerted effort needs to be made to raise awareness about the rights of indigenous peoples among the general Congolese population, in order to change entrenched discriminatory attitudes and foster a sense of understanding and respect among all Congolese citizens.
Finally, United Nations agencies, other international institutions involved in Congo such as the World Bank and concerned governments from other countries with the capacity to provide financial and technical assistance, should develop or redouble efforts to cooperate with the Government of Congo to advance the rights of indigenous peoples, in a manner fully consistent with international standards.”
On 26 March 2008, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Professor S. James Anaya as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, for an initial period of three years. Professor Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona (USA).
Learn more about the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/rapporteur/
OHCHR Country Page – Republic of Congo: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CGIndex.aspx
For further information or interview requests, please contact Elizabeth Wabuge (Tel: +41 22 917 9138 / email: [email protected]
Canada Endorses the UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples
On November 12th the government of Canada finally formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government's official statement falls far short of actual endorsement, however, emphasizing that the declaration "does not reflect customary international law nor change Canadian laws" and further emphasizing Canada's objection to most of the major rights spelled out in the declaration. First Nations leaders nonetheless welcomed the announcement as a step in the right direction. Shawn Atleo, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, issued a statement saying that, "Today marks an important shift in our relationship, and now, the real work begins. Now is our time to work together towards a new era of fairness and justice for First Nations and a stronger Canada for all Canadians, guided by the Declaration's core principles of respect, partnership and reconciliation."
Canada's announcement leaves the United States as the only country still maintaining its vote against the declaration in the UN General Assembly. The Obama administration is reviewing its position on the declaration, but has yet to actually reverse that position. To support Cultural Survival's campaign to persuade Obama to endorse the declaration, click here.
Canada's Statement of Support on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
"Today, Canada joins other countries in supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In doing so, Canada reaffirms its commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples at home and abroad.
The Government of Canada would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal men and women who played an important role in the development of this Declaration.
The Declaration is an aspirational document which speaks to the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples, taking into account their specific cultural, social and economic circumstances.
Although the Declaration is a non-legally binding document that does not reflect customary international law nor change Canadian laws, our endorsement gives us the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to continue working in partnership with Aboriginal peoples in creating a better Canada.
Under this government, there has been a shift in Canada's relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, exemplified by the Prime Minister's historic apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools, the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the apology for relocation of Inuit families to the High Arctic and the honouring of Métis veterans at Juno Beach.
These events charted a new path for this country as a whole, one marked by hope and reconciliation and focused on cherishing the richness and depth of diverse Aboriginal cultures.
Canada continues to make exemplary progress and build on its positive relationship with Aboriginal peoples throughout the country, a relationship based on good faith, partnership and mutual respect.
The Government's vision is a future in which Aboriginal families and communities are healthy, safe, self-sufficient and prosperous within a Canada where people make their own decisions, manage their own affairs and make strong contributions to the country as a whole.
The Government has shown strong leadership by protecting the rights of Aboriginal people in Canada. The amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, the proposed Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act and the proposed legislation concerning matrimonial real property rights on reserve are just a few recent examples.
This government has also taken concrete and viable actions in important areas such as education, skills development, economic development, employment, health care, housing and access to safe drinking water. These are part of a continuing agenda focused on real results with willing and able partners.
At the international level Canada has been a strong voice for the protection of human rights. Canada is party to numerous United Nations human rights conventions which give expression to this commitment.
Canada has a constructive and far-reaching international development program that helps to improve the situation of Indigenous peoples in many parts of the world. Canada's active involvement abroad, coupled with its productive partnership with Aboriginal Canadians, is having a real impact in advancing indigenous rights and freedoms, at home and abroad.
In 2007, at the time of the vote during the United Nations General Assembly, and since, Canada placed on record its concerns with various provisions of the Declaration, including provisions dealing with lands, territories and resources; free, prior and informed consent when used as a veto; self-government without recognition of the importance of negotiations; intellectual property; military issues; and the need to achieve an appropriate balance between the rights and obligations of Indigenous peoples, States and third parties. These concerns are well known and remain. However, we have since listened to Aboriginal leaders who have urged Canada to endorse the Declaration and we have also learned from the experience of other countries. We are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.
Aboriginal and treaty rights are protected in Canada through a unique framework. These rights are enshrined in our Constitution, including our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and are complemented by practical policies that adapt to our evolving reality. This framework will continue to be the cornerstone of our efforts to promote and protect the rights of Aboriginal Canadians.
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were a defining moment for Canada. The Games instilled a tremendous sense of pride in being Canadian and highlighted to the world the extent to which Aboriginal peoples and their cultures contribute to Canada's uniqueness as a nation. The unprecedented involvement of the Four Host First Nations and Aboriginal peoples from across the nation set a benchmark for how we can work together to achieve great success.
In endorsing the Declaration, Canada reaffirms its commitment to build on a positive and productive relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples to improve the well-being of Aboriginal Canadians, based on our shared history, respect, and a desire to move forward together."