Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

AILA Statement to UNPFII Expert Group Meeting: Dialogue on an optional protocol



Statement to the UNPFII Expert Group Meeting:

Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

28-29 January 2015, UN Headquarters
Presented by the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA)

Oral statement delivered 29 January 2015





Current and Historical Context
 
1.         We recall that Indigenous Nations and Peoples came to the United Nations in 1977, in part to have our nation-to-nation treaties upheld by UN bodies. We note that some of those courageous leaders are still with us today and still fully engaged in the fight to have our treaties upheld. At the time, Indigenous Nations and Peoples felt that this international forum would be one place to ensure enforcement of treaties between our Indigenous Nations and other governments such as the United States and Canada.

2.         We further recall the statement of Ms. Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking at the time in her official position, on the central importance of treaties on August 7, 2013: "Even when signed or otherwise agreed more than a century ago, many treaties remain the cornerstone for the protection of the identity, land and customs of indigenous peoples, determining the relationship they have with the State." The statement marked the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2013.1 

3.         With that current and historical context, we take note of the “Study on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples focusing on a voluntary mechanism” (E/C.19/2014/7)2  which was prepared by Permanent Forum members Professor Dalee S. Dorough and Professor Megan Davis for the Thirteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) with the Special Theme: “Principles of Good Governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, articles 3 to 6 and 46,” held May 12-23, 2014 at UN Headquarters.

4.         The Haudenosaunee intervention on ‘Principles of Good Governance,’ delivered by Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga Nation), under Agenda Item 3 at the Thirteenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) delivered on May 14, 2014 in paragraph 21, expressed the concern that a proposed optional protocol “may allow procedures for states to move disputes regarding lands, territories and resources from international processes to domestic judicial and political forums."3 

5.         We take note that the upcoming Fourteenth Session of the UNPFII to take place April 20- May 1, 2015 at UN Headquarters lists as its proposed Agenda Item 5: Half-day discussion on the expert group meeting on the theme “Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”. We encourage this to be an open dialogue on the various proposals and drawbacks for an optional protocol, considering these proposals from all angles, and including the “full, equal, and effective participation” of Indigenous Peoples. 

Full, Equal, and Effective Participation 

6.         A separate but related issue under consideration at this Expert Group Meeting is the proposal to revise EMRIP’s mandate, which emerged from the negotiations of the HLPM/WCIP Outcome Document. Paragraph 28 of the Outcome Document of the HLPM/WCIP states: “We invite the Human Rights Council, taking into account the views of indigenous peoples, to review the mandates of its existing mechanisms, in particular the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, during the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, with a view to modifying and improving the Expert Mechanism so that it can more effectively promote respect and the enforcement of the Declaration, including by better assisting Member States to monitor, evaluate and improve the achievement of the ends of the Declaration.”

7.         We note the HLPM/WCIP process arose between the annual sessions of the UNPFII. As a result, the proposed revision of EMRIP has not had the benefit of the full, equal, and effective participation by Indigenous Peoples. We are concerned that an essential Indigenous mechanism within the UN system is being revised without the full participation of Indigenous Peoples. We are concerned that a lack of full, equal, and effective participation is the new norm within the UN system.

8.         This lack of full, equal and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples contradicts the Modalities Resolution of the HLPM/WCIP and UNDRIP Articles 3, 18, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38 42 43 and 46. The full, equal, and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples is a clearly established requirement. 

Areas of Concern 

9.         We acknowledge and appreciate all the papers submitted to this Expert Group Meeting by each expert and we have carefully reviewed each paper. We share the view as was laid out in the initial “Study on an optional protocol” and in some of the subsequent expert papers submitted for this Expert Group Meeting, that an implementation gap exists for the UNDRIP. We also share the view that there is a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding of the UNDRIP. Part of AILA’s work since the adoption of the UNDRIP in 2007 has been to continually educate on its content and advocate for its implementation on local, continental and global levels.

10.       We continue to be concerned about the desire for UN Member States to ‘domesticate’ our rights, rather than maintain relations with Indigenous Nations and Peoples in the international arena, on a nation-to-nation basis, which was the original purpose of Indigenous Nations and Peoples in coming to the UN. It should be duly noted that international law supersedes domestic law. We are concerned about moving disputes regarding our rights to our lands, territories and resources to an optional protocol, which would rely on governments to do the right thing and ratify this optional protocol.

11.       We find a few proposals, presented in the expert paper submitted by Professor Mattias Åhrén to the Expert Group Meeting, relating to a possible new role for EMRIP to be particularly troubling.

12.       The suggestion that only Indigenous Peoples recognized by states would be eligible to submit complaints to a new optional protocol body, is in direct violation of the UNDRIP, our right to full, effective and equal participation, and violates the right to self-determination. This is non-negotiable. We have been fighting against the perception that states decide who is or is not Indigenous for hundreds of years.

13.       A six month time limitation to raise human rights issues in international fora after exhausting domestic options is damaging and overly burdensome for our Peoples. We are unclear who determines what rights could be deemed principally important.

14.       As we all know, UNDRIP was the result of an over twenty year negotiation process and sets the minimum standards for the “survival, dignity and well-being” of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Article 43 of the UNDRIP states: “The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world.” It has been established that the UNDRIP, along with the UN Charter, the human rights covenants and other applicable international human rights laws must be the basis for discussing the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP has a strong norm setting role in international law, and member states cannot pick and choose when and which Articles they comply with of UNDRIP. Additionally, for Indigenous Nations and Peoples, our treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements are the basis for the protection of our lands, territories and resources.

15.       This proposed new role for EMRIP could lead to a claim of a ‘duplication of work within the UN system.’ We were happy to see that the original “Study on an optional protocol” stressed that “a voluntary mechanism cannot serve as a way for States to avoid being monitored by existing international or regional human rights bodies and mechanisms” (paragraph 40).

16.       The work of the UNPFII is of paramount importance within the UN system. The American Indian Law Alliance, and the Nations and communities we serve, have always supported and continue to support the work of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Our Founder and President, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq. (Onondaga Nation), served as the North American Regional Representative to the UNPFII for a three year term from 2008-2011, brought forward by Indigenous Peoples. As a result of that role, she has direct experience and participated first-hand in the indispensable work of the Forum.

17.       Indigenous Peoples have a voice and we must be recognized as our own experts in any forum concerning us. 

Recommendations: 

1.         We cannot allow procedures that will allow for states to move disputes regarding our rights to our lands, territories and resources from international processes to domestic judicial and political forums.

2.         In line with established international law, the UNDRIP, the UN Charter, and all other applicable international law must be the framework for the realization of the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, including Article 37 of the UNDRIP:


1.         Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

2.         Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

3.         All deliberations concerning a proposed optional protocol for the UNDRIP, including any proposed overhaul of the mandate of EMRIP must include the full, effective, equal participation of all Indigenous Peoples in line with the UNDRIP.

4.         The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is an integral, international human rights instrument that recognizes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right of self-determination, must be continually implemented on all levels. Further education on the content of UNDRIP is needed for Indigenous Nations and Peoples, UN member states, UN agencies, civil society, governments at all levels and society at large. Adequate financial resources must be made available to further these goals.

###


[1] Statement from Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: <http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13610&LangID=E>.
[2] The “Study on an optional protocol” was the result of a decision from the eleventh session of the UNPFII,  (E/2012/43, Paragraph 109).
[3] Full text of this intervention is accessible through the American Indian Law Alliance website: http://www.ailanyc.org/documents/.

*******
The Conference Report from the
“International Seminar on the Doctrine of Discovery” 
September 20-21, 2012 at Thompson Rivers University (TRU)
Kamloops BC

YouTube:

Tonya Gonnella Frichner Presentation

International Seminar on the Doctrine of Discovery

 


Monday, February 2, 2015

Indigenous Peoples Nationhood and the International Borders of the States

January 18, 2015

Professor Megan Davis
Expert Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Dear Professor Davis,



Good greetings.  Relevant to the call for a study into cross-border issues by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during its 13th session (2014) which you are conducting, may we submit the following for your consideration.





It is fundamental to extract intellectually and independently assess the parameters of evaluation under which the UNPFII shall realize the study into cross-border issues with full acknowledgement of the dual mandates under which the UNPFII has been called to recognize as consequence of the principle "Equal to all other peoples" established by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples since 2007.

This principle and clarification is necessary and called for by the new paradigm in international relations mandated by the UNDRIP, and the redefinition for standards of international diplomacy in relation to Indigenous Peoples that the Permanent Forum must exemplify and implement as lead programme for the UN system.


In terms of cross-border issues impacting the Human Rights and Territorial Rights of Indigenous Peoples affected by the international border between the US and Mexico established by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) and subsequent political and commercial agreements, we reference our submission to the UNPFII Tenth Session (2011)






We call on the UNPFII to engage in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and the International Labor Organization (ILO) to conduct a study and submit a report to the UNPFII at its 11th session in 2012 on the implications and relevancy of the Preliminary Study on the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery as relates to the international obligations and processes codified in ILO Convention C169 with respect for the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples. In terms of processes of accountability for violations of these rights, perpetrated systematically by the imposition of international borders of government states on the territories of our Indigenous Nations, we recommend that specific focus for the study should be evaluation of the impact from local to regional, regional to continental, continental to global scales of ecology of the Natural World and our shared responsibilities as defenders of the Human Rights of the Future Generations and the Rights of Mother Earth.


and


Open Letter to the Ministers of State and the Public Societies of Canada-US-Mexico


Finally, may we also now submit for your consideration our original submission in 1987 as Tlahtokan Izkalotl Aztlan Traditional Nation to the UN Human Rights Commission regarding these issues.


Thank you for your kind consideration.



Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh

Tlahtokan Nahuacalli

Friday, December 19, 2014

Statement of Continental Indigenous Solidarity with CONAIE


Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador 
CONAIE

December 21, 2014

Relatives,

We have received news that the current government of Ecuador led by President Rafael Correa has delivered to the House of CONAIE in Quito an eviction order with the expressed intent to unilaterally end the formal loan agreement on the building occupied by the indigenous movement of Ecuador for 30 years.

It was in this same House of CONAIE in 1990, where we were received and sheltered upon arrival in Ecuador to attend the First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Peoples, Nations and Organizations.  Over twenty years have since passed, many cycles of our movement have been fulfilled, and the Pachacutic of the Peoples continues to guide us with the legacy and the vision of our collective duty as Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala, the Great Turtle Island.  Now, as in 1990, we continue to stand with CONAIE in the struggle for Justice and Self-Determination for all Indigenous Peoples.


The colonizing settler states presently enjoying international recognition in the Americas derive their claims to jurisdiction in the hemisphere as successors to the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings of Christendom via the Doctrine of Discovery of October 12, 1492.  In 1823, this Doctrine of Divine Right as States of the Americas was then modified and reinforced continentally from Washington, DC by way of the Monroe Doctrine.   In spite of this, throughout the entire 522 years since 1492 we Original Nations have resisted at every turn the illegal colonization by the European Americans of our continent of Abya Yala, the Great Turtle Island.  The territorial titles of the states which are based on the rejected and denounced Papal Bull Inter Caetera 1493 and other racist schemes carry no moral weight, nor reasonable validity or jurisprudence in a just society, whether in Ecuador or anywhere else in the continent.

In 1990 at the First Continental Indigenous Encounter a historic proclamation of denunciation and call to justice on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples regarding these issues was made, and now in 2014 we are still fighting for that cause, for the House of CONAIE.  We continue to struggle and construct collectively a House of Justice where we can once again greet each other as Relatives and Allies of the Confederation of the Eagle and Condor: La Casa de CONAIE.  We express our undiminished solidarity and commitment to CONAIE and all Indigenous Peoples as we continue the task of humanizing and harmonizing global society with the natural world as children of the Nations of Mother Earth.

We support the call by CONAIE for rejection of the order to vacate the Casa de CONAIE and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador to have their headquarters restored to them with full and permanent title.

Signed,

Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Tlahtokan Nahuacalli
TONATIERRA
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
www.nahuacalli.org

CONAIE

Declaration of Emergency
December 16, 2014

******************** 
SIGN
ONLINE PETITION
Message to President Rafael Correa, Republic of Ecuador



President Rafael Correa,
Republic of Ecuador

It is with great concern and a profound sense of injustice that we receive reports of actions by your government to remove the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) from their headquarters in the Casa de CONAIE in Quito.  The CONAIE is a longstanding sister organization among all Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [the Americas], and their headquarters fulfills a very real and important role for Indigenous Peoples not only in Ecuador but across the continent.  We cannot accept their removal from the home they have established after 30 years of struggle for justice and self-determination.

We stand in solidarity with CONAIE and call for immediate restitution of the Casa de CONAIE with full and permanent title as a positive act by your government in fulfillment of the International Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Ecuador.


Sincerely,

YouTube:






CONAIE: Declaration of Emergency


Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador 
DECLARATION of EMERGENCY


CONSIDERING: 


That Art. 1 of the Constitution recognizes the pluricultural and intercultural character of the Ecuadorian state, and consequently in Art. 10 identifies the communes, communities, peoples and nations as subjects of rights;

That the current Constitution and Convention 169 recognize communities, peoples and nationalities as territorial authorities, which under the independent governments, are also governed by their own forms of government, which the State must recognize and respect;

That, on December 11, 2014, the national government, through the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), delivered the Ministerial Resolution No. 0196 to the CONAIE, by which we are informed that the MIES terminated unilaterally the agreement of loan signed between CONAIE and the Ministry of Social Welfare, now the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion in 1991;

 That this measure taken by the government lacks legitimacy since the CONAIE as a government of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador is making use of the property in representation and defense of individual and collective rights of ancestral peoples and of the majority, it is therefore an act of political persecution against the Indigenous movement;

Exercising our constitutional and collective rights recognized by the Constitution and international conventions recognized in the country, and exercising our powers and authority as a government of Indigenous Peoples and nationalities;

WE RESOLVE:

Art. 1. To declare a State of Emergency for the communities, indigenous peoples and nationalities of Ecuador until the conflictive situation created by the Order of eviction, ordered by the Ecuadorian government, is resolved. 

Art. 2. To convene an emergency General Assembly on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, at the headquarters of the CONAIE, in the city of Quito, at 09h00. This GA to adopt the necessary measures to defend the rights of communities, peoples and nations in general, and its historic headquarters in the city of Quito. 

Art. 3. To make a call to all national and international organizations to stay on the alert regarding the violation of the rights of communities, indigenous peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, and of social organizations.

Done and signed in the city of Quito, on December 16, 2014

For the Governing Council,


Jorge Herrera
PRESIDENT-CONAIE


CONAIE: Declaration of Emergency


Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador

DECLARATION of EMERGENCY


CONSIDERING:


That Art. 1 of the Constitution recognizes the pluricultural and intercultural character of the Ecuadorian state, and consequently in Art. 10 identifies the communes, communities, peoples and nations as subjects of rights;


That the current Constitution and Convention 169 recognize communities, peoples and nationalities as territorial authorities, which under the independent governments, are also governed by their own forms of government, which the State must recognize and respect;


That, on December 11, 2014, the national government, through the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), delivered the Ministerial Resolution No. 0196 to the CONAIE, by which we are informed that the MIES terminated unilaterally the agreement of loan signed between CONAIE and the Ministry of Social Welfare, now the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion in 1991;

That this measure taken by the government lacks legitimacy since the CONAIE as a government of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador is making use of the property in representation and defense of individual and collective rights of ancestral peoples and of the majority, it is therefore an act of political persecution against the Indigenous movement;


Exercising our constitutional and collective rights recognized by the Constitution and international conventions recognized in the country, and exercising our powers and authority as a government of Indigenous Peoples and nationalities;

WE RESOLVE:
 
Art. 1. To declare a State of Emergency for the communities, indigenous peoples and nationalities of Ecuador until the conflictive situation created by the Order of eviction, ordered by the Ecuadorian government, is resolved.


Art. 2. To convene an emergency General Assembly on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, at the headquarters of the CONAIE, in the city of Quito, at 09h00. This GA to adopt the necessary measures to defend the rights of communities, peoples and nations in general, and its historic headquarters in the city of Quito.


Art. 3. To make a call to all national and international organizations to stay alert regarding the violation of the rights of communities, peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, and of social organizations.


Done and signed in the city of Quito, on December 16, 2014


For the Governing Council,


Jorge Herrera
PRESIDENT-CONAIE



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Comunicado de Solidaridad Indígena Continental Abya Yala : CONAIE


NAHUACALLI
Embajada de Pueblos Indígenas
TONATIERRA

Comunicado de Solidaridad Indígena Continental Abya Yala

A La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador - CONAIE


17 diciembre 2014


Nohuanyolqueh, Hermanas y Hermanas 

Hemos recibido la noticia de que el gobierno actual de Ecuador encabezado por el presidente Rafael Correa ha hecho llegar a la Casa de CONAIE en Quito un  orden de desalojo que se pretende terminar con el acuerdo formal del comodato sobre el edificio que ocupa el movimiento indígena de Ecuador por hace 30 años.

Fue en esta misma casa donde en 1990, fuimos recibidos y cobijados para iniciar el Levantamiento Continental Indígena que fue catalizado con el Primer Encuentro Continental Indígena de Pueblos, Naciones y Organizaciones.  Los años pasan, los ciclos se cumplen, y el Pachacutic de los Pueblos nos sigue orientando hacia nuestro llegado y el horizonte de nuestro deber colectivo como Pueblos Originarios de Abya Yala, pueblos originarios de la Sagrada Madre Tierra Tonantzin Pacha Mama.
¡ Justicia y Libre Determinación !



Si bien se sabe que la formulación de los estados colonizadores de la Américas como entidades sucesores a la Doctrina del Derecho Divino de los Reyes, y la Doctrina de Descubrimiento 1492 ha sido reforzado desde 1823 con la Doctrina Monroe desde acá en el Norte, también sabemos que por todo lo largo de los 522 años hemos resistido la colonización ilegal de Europeos Americanos, en todo lo largo y el ancho de Nuestro Continente de Abya Yala.  Los títulos de propiedad de los estados, basados en la rechazada y denunciada Bula Papal Inter Caetera y otras esquemas racistas no tienen razón o jurisprudencia valida en una sociedad justa, ni en Ecuador ni en cualquier parte del continente.

En 1990 en el Primer Encuentro Continental Indígena se intento proclamar esta denuncia ante toda la humanidad, y ahora en 2014 se sigue luchando para que esa Casa del Pueblo de la Humanidad, la Casa de Justicia tenga en donde pueda estirar su jamaca, poner su techo, y seguir con la gran tarea de humanizar y armonizar la sociedad planetaria con la naturaleza que nos rodea y de que también somos parte.

Esperamos que la situación referente al el entregue de titulo de la Casa de Conaie al movimiento Indígena en Quito se resuelve pronto y dentro de un dialogo de respeto y justicia.  Cuenta con nosotros en solidaridad y acompañamiento como Pueblos y Naciones Originarios desde todo el Continente de Abya Yala.

Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Tlahtokan Nahuacalli
TONATIERRA

Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
www.nahuacalli.org




Presidente Rafael Correa,
República del Ecuador

Es con gran preocupación y un sentimiento profundo de injusticia que recibimos informes de las acciones de su gobierno para desalojar la Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE) desde su sede en la Casa de la CONAIE en Quito.  La CONAIE es una organización hermana de larga trayectoria entre todos los Pueblos Originales de Abya Yala [América], y su sede central cumple un papel histórico e  importante para los pueblos indígenas, no solo en Ecuador, sino en todo el continente. No podemos aceptar el desalojo del hogar que han establecido después de 30 años de lucha por la justicia y la autodeterminación.

Nos solidarizamos con la CONAIE y exigimos la restitución inmediata de la Casa de la CONAIE con título completo y permanente como un acto positivo por su gobierno en el cumplimiento de los Derechos Humanos Internacionales de los Pueblos Indígenas en Ecuador.


SIGN
ONLINE PETITION
Message to President Rafael Correa, Republic of Ecuador


President Rafael Correa,
Republic of Ecuador

It is with great concern and a profound sense of injustice that we receive reports of actions by your government to remove the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) from their headquarters in the Casa de CONAIE in Quito.  The CONAIE is a longstanding sister organization among all Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala [the Americas], and their headquarters fulfills a very real and important role for Indigenous Peoples not only in Ecuador but across the continent.  We cannot accept their removal from the home they have established after 30 years of struggle for justice and self-determination.

We stand in solidarity with CONAIE and call for immediate restitution of the Casa de CONAIE with full and permanent title as a positive act by your government in fulfillment of the International Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Ecuador.