|Self Determination: It's not a question, it's a quest.|
Eighth Session May 20, 2009 UN Headquarters New York, NY
Agenda Item: 4 (a) Human Rights
Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Statement by Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Tlahtokan Nahuacalli, Izkalotlan Aztlan
O’odham Nations Territories, Abya Yala North
Good greeting to all my relatives, relations of Indigenous Peoples from around the world and distinguished members of the Permanent Forum:
Ayo. Today we are called to address collectively a review and follow-up on recommendations made to the Permanent Forum regarding implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the moment of reflection, and at a time of convergence that realizes the crises of climate change and global economic recession as the frame of collapse of the dominant planetary paradigms of human economic and social development, the work of the Permanent Forum and the self determination of the Nican Tlacah Cemanahuac – Indigenous Peoples of the World - also faces the challenge of redefinition and clarification.
At the initiation of this Eighth Session of the Permanent Forum, the Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus in our opening statement referred to this challenge as a foretelling of the call to all members of human society to recognize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a necessary instrument to address comprehensively and simultaneously the global climate crisis and economic recession as a mechanism of world peace.
As process and product of standard setting at global scale, the UNDRIP integrates the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples with the principle of peaceful coexistence among all peoples as a Human Right. The realization of the UNDRIP expresses the universal and fundamental reality of all systems of international jurisprudence, emerging from the evolving inter-relations of customs and usages of distinct peoples, and finally codification in the statutes and mandates of the government states, individually and collectively.
The UN Charter itself proposes to defend this process as an instrument of world peace, by implementing mechanisms of combined effort among the Peoples of the United Nations through international cooperation.
In review and follow-up to the recommendations made to the UNPFII over the past eight sessions, it is evident that taken as a whole, the implementation of the UNDRIP institutes a new systemic standard that calls for complementary readjustment among entities of the government states and the Nations of the Indigenous Peoples, normalizing peaceful relations based on mutual respect and cooperation.
The potential that this systemic standard may serve to assist in addressing the global climate crisis is only just beginning to emerge. By linking and codifying the principle of respect for cultural diversity with acknowledgement of collective ecological responsibilities, the UNDRIP establishes a new framework for the ancient principle of respect for Human Rights of the Future Generations of all peoples. The immediate challenge is to bring to scale the necessary economic policies of accountability to the processes driving the global economy, in accord with the parallel principle of global ecological responsibility.
That President Evo Morales of Bolivia has been successful in having the UN adopt the international day of Mother Earth, allows the glimmer of hope to reignite among the Indigenous Peoples of the world. We arrive at the Permanent Forum today in expectation of the foretold redefinition and clarification of the relationship of our human societies in relationship to the material world as one of a sacred and complementary nature and not the predatory patriarchal practices controlled by extractive industries whose corporations are driven only by profit and greed.
As so as we, the Nican Tlacah Cemanahuac – Indigenous Peoples of the World move towards realization of our self determination in conjunction with the work of the Permanent Forum, it is essential that we engage in a review as well of the guiding conceptual frameworks that have driven the processes of not only implementation strategies regarding the UNDRIP but the underlying paradigms of social cognition and policies of global governance related to the mandates of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.
The Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus has submitted at this session the recommendation that the appropriate and special measures be undertaken, in view and review of the adoption of the UNDRIP, to redefine and clarify to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that future sessions of the Permanent Forum be implemented as convenings of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.
In concurrence with this recommendation and in the spirit of self determination, as stated by the distinguished Chairperson in her opening remarks, “It is imperative that effective and meaningful participation in decision making bodies at all levels is insured,” we now submit that the shift in the framework of evaluation for mandates of the Permanent Forum called for by the UNDRIP is the necessary pivotal act in order to realize “effective and meaningful” implementation strategies related to the UNDRIP and the ongoing efforts of this Permanent Forum.
In this regard, the Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus has stated in our recommendation delivered in our opening remarks at this session of the Forum that:
“We affirm that the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes a new framework of evaluation for the work of the Permanent Forum and all initiatives of the United Nations system.”
Taking this point of departure to elaborate on the implications for the dual mandates of the Permanent Forum, let us state an initial point of clarification:
The redefinition of the Permanent Forum as an institution of the UN on Indigenous Peoples, insists that there be acknowledgement, affirmation in policy and protocols of procedure in realization of the fact that we, the Indigenous Peoples of the world in partnership with member states of the UN system, have agreed to collaborate in the agenda of the Permanent Forum in accord with a mutual understanding that we shall complement our efforts under a Dual Mandate.
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 fact this clarification is nothing new, but in fact reflects the ancient protocols of Indigenous International Law, the jurisprudence of reality that commands all human societies to live in equilibrium with the natural world and each other. We speak now of the laws of relationship among all the nations of life, whose constitution and charters are drawn by the intricate and powerful interdependence of ecosystems of the land, the waters, the winds, and the sacred fire.
In this context, and in complement to the principles referenced in the principles of the UNDRIP, the essential question is framed: Is the institution of the United Nations system an instrument of Human Society, a mechanism to promote sustainable social and economic development, or has the UN degraded itself into a tool of special interests and fractured allegiances driven by extractive economic processes that threaten to devour our very Mother Earth?
In response, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples is uniquely positioned at the threshold of potential to conceptualize, act, evaluate and follow-up on the challenges of addressing the issues of our collective agenda. In consequence, we submit the following affirmations and proposals for action:
- That the UNPFII take the necessary special measures to acknowledge and implement the UNDRIP as an instrument of world peace for all peoples.
- That implementation strategies of the UNDRIP across the UN system be complementary and systemic initiatives that link a Human Rights approach with the local, regional and international strategies addressing the climate change crisis.
- That the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent be respected and applied to the development and implementation of global economic infrastructures and recovery systems that operate as drivers of the global economy, as these may relate to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in terms of self determination and development. In the context of the UNDRIP, and within the horizon of the real threats of the climate change crisis, the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent cannot be applied on a merely project by project or region by region basis, but must be a systemic standard and instrument to address the need for cosmetric cultural transformation of our human society as a whole.
- That economic indicators of the Indigenous Peoples globally outside of the monetary “market based” systems of the government states be brought forward in order to assess and evaluate priorities and effective strategies of economic and social development within a framework that links a Human Rights approach with collective ecological responsibilities. (Such as: Seven Global Currencies of the Indigenous Peoples – Life Sustaining Systems of Exchange and Complementarity).
- We again reaffirm the call by the Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus for the Permanent Forum carry out a study assessing the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, contextualized by the new systemic standard of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, such study to be presented at its 9th session in 2010.
- That as essential element in this process, the representation of regional organizations of the UN (such as the Organization of American States) respect the principles of self determination and Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples now codified in the UNDRIP, and mandated by UNGA 1514 and 1541. Specifically, we call upon the member states of the OAS to comply in respect of Universal Human Rights and in particular our Rights as Indigenous Peoples in relation to international borders of the states and national immigration enforcement policies across our continent of Abya Yala [the Americas].
- That the UNPFII, as act of implementation and systemic standard setting, prepare for the arrival and official archiving of the body of Treaties, Constructive Arrangements and Accords between the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples and the government states of the UN system, to be implemented during the 9th Session of the Permanent Forum in 2010, and that the Martinez Treaty Study be integrated and updated accordingly.
- That the Secretariat of the UNPFII facilitate the officialization of interventions, oral and written, by the Indigenous Peoples Global and regional caucuses, delivered for submission to the UNPFII and in exchange among each other.
- That in follow-up to the above and in anticipation of emerging themes for future work, the UNPFII establish partnership with the diverse initiatives of the Indigenous Peoples across the planet in terms of Education and Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, in accord with the principles of the UNDRIP, and in particular as related to the development of complementary systems and services of social cognition, compilation and dissemination of bioregional planning instruments, such as the Indigenous Peoples Geography Project.
Tupac Enrique Acosta, Yaotachcauh
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
PO Box 24009 Phoenix, AZ 85074
The Wars of Petropolis
The Battle for Middle Earth: Carbon Trading and the Commodification of the Sky
“In this sense, I think that the issue of carbon is an external concept. For us, all natural things contribute to life. The air supports us, the birds take care of us as well, as do the fishes, the trees, the mammals, and all the things that are alive. If we consider all natural things as a web of life, we can not separate one from another. When the policies of the big institutions such as the World Bank and others make plans with our resources, but only taking them into account as carbon sequestration, an external concept to indigenous languages, the indigenous communities are forced to change their own vision of their resources. I think that for a better understanding between financial organisations and indigenous communities we should create a communication mechanism based on our traditional models. By this I mean that we should look for a dialogue mechanism such as those used by the indigenous peoples to take decisions without discrimination, and to reinforce the continuity of natural resources.”
Alí García Segura, an indigenous Bribri from Abya Yala, [Costa Rica -Central America]
Life Sustaining Systems of Exchange and Reciprocity
An Evaluation Matrix for the Global Economy and Millennium Development Goals
The Breath of Life
The Water of Life
The Givers of Life
The Sustainers of Life
The Foundation of Life
The Sharers of Life
The Seed of Life
The Breath of Life: The Air, Winds and Atmosphere
The Water of Life: The Waters, the Clouds, Waterways, Rivers and Streams, and Oceans
The Givers of Life: The Sacred Species: Buffalo, Deer, Salmon, and Eagle
The Sustainers of Life: Corn, Beans. Squash (agriculture)
The Foundation of Life: The Land and Territory, Mother Earth
The Sharers of Life: Community and Nations
The Seed of Life: Spirit – Light