As the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) is going to take place prior to the UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters on September 22-23, 2014, the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) appeals to the Asian States to support a strong Outcome Document for the WCIP. The objective of the WCIP is to have an action-oriented outcome for realization of the rights of indigenous peoples at the national and international levels in line with the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
The Asia region comprises 2/3 of the world’s indigenous peoples of estimates at 370 million. The majority of this continues to suffer from marginalization, systematic discrimination and escalating grabbing of their lands and resources in the name of development. Further, indigenous peoples in many countries in Asia are not legally recognized as indigenous peoples with rights affirmed by the UNDRIP.
The indigenous peoples of Asia among others have engaged in the WCIP process and other UN processes in good faith to ensure States commit to fulfill their obligations to respect and protect indigenous peoples’ rights. The present draft Outcome Document was the result of consultations from June to August held by the UN President of the General Assembly, and among indigenous peoples, governments and UN agencies. This draft Outcome Document largely contains key recommendations of indigenous peoples, although certain areas still need improvements to align it with clear actions for the implementation of the UNDRIP, as well as in the establishment of a clear monitoring mechanism.
As the draft Outcome Document is now being negotiated and finalized by State parties, AIPP appeals to States in Asia not to weaken the negotiated draft Outcome Document, but instead support and strengthen it to address and improve the conditions of indigenous peoples to attain equality and equity as part of the larger society. The positive actions of States for a strong Outcome Document of the WCIP will also pave the way in achieving social justice and conflict transformation prevailing in indigenous territories because of massive violation of their rights. Indigenous peoples deserve no less than the respect and enjoyment of their rights as equal to others.
This is now the opportunity of States to take action in fulfilling their international human rights obligations. Indigenous peoples stand ready to be in partnership with States in the implementation of a strong Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
Ms Joan Carling, Secretary General: email@example.com
The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact is a regional organization of 47 national and local organization of indigenous peoples in 13 countries in Asia and has been engaging with the UN system and other bodies for the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. www.aippnet.org