“We are right on time” – A Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples or merely a platform in support of States’ colonial strategies ?

This year’s session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is historic.

It is historic because of the blatant process of ignoring Indigenous Peoples voices.

The State-driven High Level Plenary Meeting to be misleadingly known as the “World Conference on Indigenous Peoples” which was held in 2014, has created deep frictions. Its Outcome Document is apparently designed and intended to affirm and promote colonial structures in order to undermine Indigenous Peoples and Nations. Thus, it subverts more than 4 decades of Indigenous Peoples’ tireless work to assert their collective rights as Peoples and Nations, particularly their right to self-determination.

This year’s Permanent Forum could have been a platform to critizise these disguised colonial intentions. Instead, the Forum – which is chaired by Megan Davis, a state-nominated forum member – denied opposing Indigenous Peoples’ representatives – even various Indigenous Peoples Caucuses – the floor to speak against these shamefully developments. Contrarily, States, UN organizations and a few selected Indigenous representatives from Europe in favor of the Outcome Document had seemingly endless time to talk on item 3(a) “Outcome of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples“

The same denial also took place on other topics such as 3(c) “Youth, self-harm and suicide”. In this case, even the youth representative of the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus was denied to present the collective Caucus statement.

After solely giving the floor to States and UN organizations at the continuation of topic 3(a) Chairperson Megan Davis concluded the topic with the words:

“We are right on time”

Indeed, we are right on time to cry out loud and resist against ongoing colonialism, such as that inherent in the Outcome Document of the High-Level Plenary Meeting and against all intentions to silence Indigenous Peoples’ voices, such as it happened here within the 15th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

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