Monday, March 10, 2014

Communique to John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly from the Latin America and Carribean Indigenous Peoples Caucus

H.E. John W. Ashe

President of the UN General Assembly

United Nations, New York


Panama, March 5th 2014

Your Excellency,

In the Latin America and the Caribbean region, we are deeply concerned for your Aide Memoire of 26 February 2014, which was sent to the Chairpersons of the five regional groups of Member States, by which you communicated your decision regarding the start of the consultations on matters related to the high level plenary session of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and by which you expressed the participation and capacity Indigenous Peoples will have in such meeting.

Within this framework, we have completed in our region the consultations about this decision that negatively impacts the Indigenous Peoples rights. In addition to this, the decision jeopardizes the standards stated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly resolution 61/295 of September 13th 2007. We feel sorry for your decision attempting against our right to full and effective participation, more precisely when this standard was recognized and stated by the General Assembly that you currently preside.

Many decades were entailed to have the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN. We consider this fact as a milestone in the history and advancement on the recognition of our rights, which would open a new scenario and a new level on the international arena, altogether with other International Conventions protecting our rights.

We quote the Declaration, from its own annex: “Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,” and up to and among articles 18,19, 38, 41 and also resolution A/Res/66/296 adopted by General Assembly.

On behalf of indigenous peoples from Latin America and the Caribbean, we request to revert your decision. This is a fundamental step to move forward in the process, for which, we will continue doing all our effort needed form our region, in order to contribute in the search of necessary strategies aiming the outcomes and goals proposed by Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, the HLPM/WCIP will represent an important step towards implementation of recognized and declared standards by the UN.

We, as GCG did, await your written response to GCG letter and analysis.


Florina López M.

Representative of Latin America and the Caribbean in the Global Indigenous Coordinating Group for the High Level Plenary Meeting to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples