Tuesday, June 11, 2013

PACIFIC CAUCUS STATEMENTS ON THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT

Theme 2: United Nations system action for the implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples

Aloha.  My name is Mililani Trask and I am a Kanaka Maoli from Hawai’i.

The Pacific would like to recommend the following items under Theme 2: United Nations system action for the implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Pacific recommends the deletion of recommendation #1 at the request of the bureau because it’s a restatement of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we already have the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Pacific accepts language drafted in existing recommendations #2-#5 as drafted and circulated.

We propose a new recommendation that is adapted from EMRIP proposal 9 of 2012 and the Copenhagen Call to Action that reads:

“Calls on the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO and States to revise the World Heritage Convention’s operational guidelines to ensure the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected in the nomination, designation, management and monitoring of World Heritage sites incorporating or affecting their land, territories, waters, resources, and to ensure that Indigenous Peoples right to free, prior and informed consent is obtained in World Heritage decision-making processes.”

The justification for this is that there has been expanding State and UNESCO activity under the World Heritage Convention resulting in the expropriation of Indigenous lands territories and resources, and violations of Indigenous human rights globally.  The Expert Seminar that occurred in Copenhagen, Denmark in September 2012 documented 21 case studies of these violations in several regions in the states of Greenland, Venezuela, Suriname, Thailand, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Kenya, Sweden, Canada, Tanzania, the Phillippines, the Sangha Trinational (Congo/Cameroon/Central African Republic), India, and the Pacific Ocean.

These case studies verify in some instances extreme human rights violations including the murder of over 20 hunter gathers in Africa who were killed as poachers in protected areas, the murder of the Indigenous leader in the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex in Thailand and the militarization of 70% of the Pacific Ocean under the guise of marine protected areas and to the exclusion of Indigenous fishing, cultural and subsistence rights.

Finally, the Pacific recommends amendments to paragraph 6 to make it clear that we are seeking a full World Conference, which States are responsible for funding. We therefore recommend the text be written as follows:

“Recommends that following the high level plenary of the General Assembly in 2014 work be undertaken to organize an official UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.”

Thank you.

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