Archive for the ‘Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues PFII / Foro Permanente sobre Assuntos Indigenas / Foro Permanente sobre Cuestiones Indígenas’ Category

At UN, Indigenous Displaced from GA Hall for Economists & Bankers, from Qatar

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

By one of the only critical journalists from UN headquarters:
Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 — With the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in town, the UN General Assembly Hall had long been booked for their event on Thursday, May 17. Then the indigenous were unceremoniously displaced again, this time so that a “High Level Event” on the economy can take its place in the GA Hall.

A number of Permanent Representatives, mostly but not only from Latin America, complained to Inner City Press, blaming the President of the General Assembly, who they called “the Qatari.” It was noted that among the participants in this High Level on the Economy event is Qatar Central Bank, and Doha Bank Group.

Soon came this announcement:

“Please note that there has been a last minute change of venue for the opening segment of the HLTD on the State of the World Economy from the ECOSOC Chamber to the GA Hall.”

So Inner City Press replied to the PGA’s spokesperson:

“I’m hearing complaints by indigenous groups that they got bounced from the GA Hall tomorrow for this — can you comment? They (indigenous, some Latin diplomats) say they had the GA for a long time, just “thrown out” now – true? ”

After that, yet more Latin Permanent Representatives complained to Inner City Press, describing a meeting with the PGA’s chief of staff, at which it was argued that the High Level on the Economy participants would need spaces for bilaterals. This argument was described as “laughable.”

Then came this response:

Subject: Re: Question: were indigenous “bounced” from GA Hall tomorrow? If so, why?
From: Spokesperson of the PGA
Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM
To: Matthew Lee [at]

It is incorrect Matthew for you to use the phrase “thrown out”. The change of venue was done simply for security and logistical reasons. There is a long list of Speakers in the opening segment. They are accompanied by their delegations and the GA hall is the only venue big enough to accommodate all the participants and their delegations. Additionally, we received requests from several missions for access to the press corps accompanying their officials to the venue of the opening segment, and this access is not possible at ECOSOC.

In fact, a representative group of indigenous leaders has met in our office with the Chef de Cabinet and his Deputy, who explained to them the reasoning behind the switch of venues. Additionally, the PGA is scheduled to give opening remarks at the Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Out of respect, we’ll headline it “displaced” rather than “thrown out.” While it is not clear how this will go down with the complaining Latin and other Permanent Representatives, at least the PGA will speak to the indigenous group — many have complained that Ban Ki-moon has yet to. Watch this site.

INDIGENOUS ECOSOC NGOs barred from entering General Assembly floor for Opening Ceremony

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
By Yachai Wasi’s Main Rep. to the UN
The size of the General Assembly floor was to allow all registered observers of the Eleventh session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to see the Opening Ceremony on May 7, 2012.
However, Indigenous representatives of ECOSOC NGOs holding yearly UN Ground badges were stopped and sent to the 4th floor by Security. No matter that they were wearing their colorful native dresses. Only T (temporary) badges were allowed.
Additionally, I was told by Security guard at entrance of Temporary North building that starting on May 8, I, with my ECOSOC yearly badge, will not be able to enter the building. No matter that there are other meetings going on, besides PFII.
So in other words, our Indigenous ECOSOC NGO invited 2 guests who can go in and out as they please, but our 3 representatives who do the work with the UN all year long cannot enter. Where is the logic ???
One of the problem is that Registration has stopped over the past years from giving a secondary photo badge to ECOSOC registrants, not even a colorful sticker to alert security that they are duly registered and authorized to participate.
Adding insult to injury, this year, the new leadership of the Secretariat for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues had the bright idea to issue one secondary pass per Organization.
Instead of continuing with proven request to limit registration to 5 members, it was open to 20 members.
Information of this Secondary pass limitation was posted a few days before Opening of the Forum. By then, far away Indigenous participants had their visas and their plane trip …
Many of these NGOs supported the UN and helped to establish this Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
These registration problems show a lack of concern for the peoples and do not go along with words spoken on podiums. The United Nations system has changed over the past years, not for the better, like the rest of the world.
If the UN alienates strong and dedicated supporters such as our organization with UN status, I feel sorry for the future of the world.

Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus statement at United Nations Permanent Forum 11th Sessio

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

United Nations Permanent Forum 11th Session
New York, 7-18 May 2012

Presented by one of our Earth Peoples partners, Arthur Manuel, for the Global Indigenous Caucus

Item 3 Discussion on the special theme for the year: “The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).”

Thank you Mr. Chair.
The Global Caucus recommends that the Permanent Forum acknowledge that the doctrine of discovery, both in theory and in on-going practice, constitutes the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation. It is the denial of fundamental inherent human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation.
Further, we implore the Permanent Forum to acknowledge and to transmit to other agencies of the United Nations that the doctrine of discovery is an expression of racism, xenophobia and discrimination – that it represents a regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial or religious group over another, and it is committed to the intention of maintaining that regime. As such, the continuing operation of the doctrine of discovery should be recognized as a crime against humanity and should be condemned as such.
We propose, as the Permanent Forum’s Expert Group Meeting next year, the development of models and mechanisms for conflict resolution, restitution, redress and peace-building using the framework offered through the operation/implementation of articles 27, 28 and 40 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The proposed focus would be to discuss and make proposals for the development of such mechanisms at the national and international levels.
The Expert Group Meeting would serve as an opportunity for Indigenous peoples of the various regions of the world to discuss the development of mechanisms for reparations, non-recurrence and conflict resolution, taking into account as well Articles 18 and 19 of the Declaration regarding participation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
In this regard, we further propose the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices in the EGM. Indigenous youth and Indigenous women must be among the experts included at the EGM.
We further recommend that the UNPFII prepare an International Study on the dominating, dehumanizing, and terracidal effects of the international construct known as “the Doctrine of Discovery” upon the health, physical, psychological, social, well-being, human and collective rights, lands, resources, medicines, titles to such lands, resources, medicines—and particularly on Indigenous women as manifested in forms of conceptual and behavioral violence against them. The Study will be submitted to the UNPFII in 2014
as an addendum to the UN Year of Indigenous Peoples, with recommendations addressing the issues of the discoveries and findings of this Study.
We appreciate and endorse the inclusion of the concept of environmental violence in the report of the UNPFII international expert group meeting entitled “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” submitted under item 3 of the 11th Session, and encourage the Permanent Forum to continue addressing this critical matter in future discussions. We endorse the Statement of the Indigenous Women’s Caucus under Item 3 to this Session of the Permanent Forum. We anticipate the report of the 2nd International Indigenous Women’s Environmental and Reproductive Health Symposium and look forward to working with the Permanent Forum and Indigenous Peoples to implement its recommendations.
Further to this endorsement, we propose that an International Study be carried out providing review and assessment of all UNPFII recommendations, including their implementation, respecting Indigenous women with a particular focus on the dehumanization and violence against Indigenous women. Indigenous women should be specifically consulted and recognized for their expertise on these matters. The proposed study would canvas a wide range of issues and challenges, such as the role of women in the creative innovations of Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems, maternal health and related rights, and the lack of protection of rights of Indigenous women under domestic legislation such as labor laws, criminal laws and environmental laws.
Further to article 29 and 32 of the UN Declaration, that the theme of the UNPFII 13th Session be focused on Mining and Extractive Industries and impact on Indigenous peoples within the context and the mandate of the UNPFII. We also propose as a future theme the criminalization of Indigenous Peoples in the exercise of their rights.
We also encourage you to consider including a half-day focal discussion on the critical issue of the World Bank, its impacts on Indigenous Peoples, and policy changes needed to implement the UN Declaration.
Finally, we recommend that permanent seats in the United Nations General Assembly be established for Indigenous Peoples.
In conclusion, we are cautious in light of the fact that through the continued use of non-Indigenous languages, terminology and perspectives in describing the doctrine of discovery, we may inadvertently encourage the reproduction of such perspectives amongst our own peoples. The Doctrine of Discovery is a multi-faceted concept. The Global Caucus understands the concept of the doctrine of discovery as applying worldwide, not limited to Christian or European colonization and domination. The same inhumane treatments have and continue to be imposed upon Indigenous Peoples in all regions of the world, perpetuating exclusion, racism and discrimination, alienation from decision making processes and “invisibility” within state institutions, even within the international fora. It must be recognized that in fundamental terms, the doctrine of discovery challenges the just claims of Indigenous Peoples, in particular with respect to processes of decolonization and the implementation of Article 3 of the Declaration respecting self-determination. The discussion of the doctrine of discovery must include reference to domestic legislation of member states, such as immigration legislation, as well as challenge the establishment of state borders, which do not reflect the traditional lands and territories of Indigenous peoples, that have been established further to the doctrine of discovery. We fundamentally disagree with the current practices of states to criminalize the movements of Indigenous Peoples across borders.
The doctrine may be understood in contemporary terms as a Doctrine of Development, – with Indigenous peoples and Mother Earth subject to domination and subjugation under corporate hands. State governments facilitate the doctrine of discovery for the purpose of development and privilege the rights of corporations while negating, derogating and abrogating the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We draw the attention of the Permanent Forum to the recent recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in their reviews of Canada and the United States, which require the state parties to take measures to prevent transnational corporations registered in Canada and the United States from carrying out activities that negatively impact on the enjoyment of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in territories outside their state borders, and hold them accountable. Furthermore, national and international financial institutions, including banks, contribute to criminal and detrimental activities that violate the rights of Indigenous peoples. Issues related to lands, waters and other territories of Indigenous Peoples are not limited to actions of the private sector or state governments. The Global Caucus is deeply concerned about the militarization of Indigenous waters, lands and territories where such lands and territories are rich in natural resources. In effect, Indigenous Peoples are being killed or displaced to “clear the land” for development.
Indigenous legal and judicial systems exist today. Indigenous knowledge systems exist today. Indigenous languages continue to be spoken. We have not been overcome by the doctrine of discovery, in spite of the continued application of this doctrine, in all regions of the world. We will continue to exercise and assert our rights as described in the UN Declaration and in our own Indigenous laws.

VIDEO: Indigenous Peoples 2nd May REVOLT at the UN PFII (CDM/REDD)

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Click here to watch the VIDEO

© SommerFilms, by Rebecca Sommer for EARTH PEOPLES


Indigenous Peoples representatives and organizations held a protest at the May 2 2008 conclusion of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York.

They were angered by the final report of the Permanent Forum, paragraph 5 and 37, that endorsed in their view CDM and REDD. (After release of this video, the UNPFII Report, even so it was adopted, was later during the year – months after the PFII session- changed. The paragraphs that indigenous peoples had protested against were moved in the Report that was made public.)