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Old 06-30-2006, 05:42 AM   #1
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Human Rights Council Discusses

Please find pasted below the News & Media/Meeting Summary from the United
Nations Office at Media of the discussion today, June 27, at the Human Rights
Council regarding the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
__________________________________________________ ________
UNOG
THE UNITED NATIONS
OFFICE AT OFFICE

At:
_http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/3D6782A76ABA3623C125719A0060D9F2?OpenDocument_
(http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/3D6782A76ABA3623C125719A0060D9F2?OpenDocument)

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DISCUSSES REPORT OF WORKING GROUP ON DECLARATION ON
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Speakers Divided on Question of Adoption of Draft Declaration
27 June 2006
The Human Rights Council this afternoon discussed the report of the Working
Group on a draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, remaining divided over adopting the draft Declaration or continuing to
negotiate it.

Luis-Enrique Chávez, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the open-ended intersessional
Working Group on a draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, said that some questions were still pending, although progress
had been made by the Working Group. The specific meaning that the Declaration
granted to the right to self-determination, focusing on the internal and
external affairs of indigenous peoples, had been clarified. A reference to
territorial integrity had not been included in the proposal as all peoples enjoyed
the right to self-determination.

Mr. Chávez said the real threat to the territorial integrity of States was
the threat of ongoing postponement of the draft Declaration. Indigenous
peoples could not base themselves on the Declaration to carry out acts that
threatened the integrity of States. The Council had an historical opportunity before
it, and should not let it slip by.

In the debate, the Council remained divided over whether or not to adopt the
present draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or to continue
working on the text until greater consensus was achieved. Many speakers said
that it was time to send a positive signal to the international community and
to bring to an end a situation that had been lasting for two decades
already. There was a need for recognition of the historical legacy that indigenous
peoples were suffering from, and to set up measures for their survival,
existence and development. Although it was not possible to reach agreement on all
articles of the draft Declaration, the final compromise text offered the best
outcome they could achieve to the Working Group process, and the Declaration
was therefore supported.

Other speakers, however, felt that the text did not enjoy consensus, that it
could be improved, and that its adoption should be delayed. A speaker said
that the Chair s text on a draft Declaration had not been discussed in the
Working Group and that, moreover, as a new body, with new members, the Council
should be allowed the opportunity to go over that text. Another speaker said
to adopt it without such an opportunity would be extraordinary in
multicultural negotiations and would set a poor precedent for the work of the Council.
The current text was confusing, risking conflicting interpretations and debate
in its application.

Taking part in the debate on the report of the Working Group on a
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were the representatives of Mexico,
Canada, Brazil  also speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and
Caribbean States, China, the Russian Federation, Austria  on behalf of the
European Union, Guatemala, South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, Algeria  on
behalf of the African Group, Cameroon, France, Finland  speaking on behalf of
the Nordic countries, Uruguay, Ecuador, Cuba, India, Bangladesh, Peru,
Australia  speaking also on behalf of New Zealand and the United States, Spain,
Congo, Panama, Iran, Bolivia, and Chile.

Also speaking were the representatives of the following non-governmental
organizations: the Asociacion kunas unidos por napguana, the International
Working Group on Indigenous Affairs, the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander
Research Action, the Tebtebba Foundation, the Association of Indigenous
Peoples of the North, Siberia, Far East and the Russian Federation, the
International Organization of Indigenous Resources Development, the Inuit Circumpolar
Conference, Amnesty International, the Indian Law Resource Centre, the Comision
juridica para el autodesarrollo de los pueblos originarios andinos, the
Indian Movement Tupaj Amaru, the Indian Council of South America, the
International Human Rights Association of American Minorities and the International
Service for Human Rights.

Speaking in right of reply was the Speaking in.

The next plenary meeting of the Council will be held on Wednesday, 28 June,
at 10 a.m., when members will begin consideration of the universal periodic
review mechanism.

Report of the Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The report of the Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous People (E/CN.4/2006/79), established in accordance
with Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1995/32 of 3 March 1995, covers the
activities of the Working Group at its meeting from 5 to 16 December 2005 and
30 January to 3 February 2006. The Chairperson-Rapporteur concludes that a
revised version of the proposals presented is contained in the annex (the
draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) which he hopes will be
considered as a final compromise text. One indigenous representative expressed
some concern as there was no consensus on many articles in the text. Some
governmental representatives expressed the view that a Declaration that did not
enjoy consensus amongst States would not be of real and practical benefit to
indigenous peoples.
Presentation of the Report of the Working Group on a Draft Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

LUIS-ENRIQUE CHAVEZ, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the open-ended intersessional
Working Group on a Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, said the report contained two clearly distinguishable parts, the
first being a synthesis of the extensive debates during the meetings; the
second being made up of Annexes, including Annex 1, which made it possible for
anybody who had not followed the work of the Working Group to understand how
the discussion had evolved, which questions were still pending, and what the
framework was for solving these problems.

cont...
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:43 AM   #2
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The entire preambular section and most of the articles in the draft
Declaration were subject to agreement in principle, but some questions were still
pending. However, progress had been made by the Working Group, and there were
suggestions in the document with regards to options and possibilities for those
areas where agreement had not been reached. On self-determination, the
original text remained. The specific meaning that the Declaration granted to the
right to self-determination, focusing on the internal and external affairs of
indigenous peoples was clarified. A reference to territorial integrity was
not included in the proposal, as it was not essential, as, pursuant to
Covenants, all peoples enjoyed the right to self-determination. The real threat to
the territorial integrity of States was the threat of ongoing postponement of
the draft Declaration. Indigenous peoples could not base themselves on the
Declaration to carry out acts which threatened the integrity of States.


With all of these precautions, it remained possible that conflicts could aris
e during the adoption of the Declaration, and it therefore contained
solutions for such a controversy. In this connection, one aspect in which
controversy could arise was the issue of redress, whereas for indigenous peoples, the
Declaration should include the right to compensation for damage, and States
preferred a form of mechanism for redress. Every person was entitled to
redress, and therefore indigenous peoples should not have a lower level of
protection. The proposal also contained other options. The right to
self-identification was the only article that had not been considered over the time of the
debate. The Council had a historical opportunity before it, and should not let
this slip by.

Statements on the Report of the Working Group on a Draft Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:43 AM   #3
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XOCHITL GALVEZ (Mexico) said ) said expressed full support for the report of
the Chairperson-Rapporteur. There had been major consensus on the
consideration of the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Consensus
had prevailed on its adoption by the Working Group. The supreme value that the
Declaration held was more important. It was also a response to the
legitimate rights of the indigenous peoples. A number of important articles of the
Declaration had been agreed upon thanks to the flexibility and comprehension of
Mexican delegation. The draft Declaration would fulfil the aspirations of the
indigenous peoples.

The adoption of the Declaration would also affirm the claims of the
indigenous people for self-determination through autonomy. The ad recognized and
respected the rights of the indigenous people. The Government of Mexico was aware
that it had to fulfil its commitment towards the rights of indigenous people
and the building of a multi-cultural society.

PAUL MAYER (Canada) said that since the mid 1980s successive United Nations
administrations had been working to develop an international instrument on
the rights of indigenous peoples. The draft United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples dealt with broad situations that had direct
impact on national Governments. On some key issues, such as a section on lands and
territories, there was too much room for interpretation. Further
improvements were both possible and necessary. ) sa would like some more time to work
with both would and indigenous peoples to draft a more effective
document. and i would like the Human Rights Council to authorize further
consultations based on the Chairperson-Rapporteur s text, to clarify substantive
issues, as well as to achieve the broadest possible agreement. The effective
participation of representatives of indigenous peoples should continue in that
process. n of wished to ensure that the draft declaration could be supported
by as many delegations as possible, in the most constructive way possible.
wishe was simply asking for more time.

CLODOALDO HUGUENEY (Brazil), speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin
American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), said it was time to send a positive
signal and bring to an end a situation that had been lasting for two decades
already. There was a need for recognition of the historical legacy that
indigenous peoples were suffering from, and a set of measures should be set up for
their survival, existence and development, with solutions found for their
situation. The proposed declaration recognised their particularly vulnerable
situation, and it was recognised that they had been victims of discrimination for
centuries, and were free and equal in dignity and rights and should not suffer
from any form of discrimination due to their identity. Poverty,
marginalisation, social exclusion and economic inequalities were linked to racism,
xenophobia, racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination, which in turn
generated more poverty.

Governments had committed themselves at the World Conference against Racism
to combat all forms of racial discrimination. In strengthening the common
work against racism, this safeguarded the dignity of human beings, and the just
aspirations of all. This was a struggle which strengthened the foundations of
peaceful coexistence. This was the reason for the active work and the many
proposals that had led the GRULAC countries to ensure that the declaration
would be useful for all peoples.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:44 AM   #4
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CLODOALDO HUGUENEY (Brazil) said the negotiation for the drafting of the
draft Declaration had been long and painstaking. Although the text was not an
ideal one, it would acknowledge the rights of the indigenous people in many
countries. In ) said, as a country with a multi-ethnic society, it was the
understanding of the Government that the rights acknowledged in the draft
Declaration would add impetus to the already existing harmonious situation of the
country. The draft Declaration had also recognized the territorial integrity of
national States while indigenous peoples exercised their autonomy within the
given State. For that reason, States should not fear the disintegration of
their territories with the adoption of the Declaration.

DONG ZHIHUA (China) said that indigenous peoples were a unique segment of
society. Many indigenous peoples had suffered discrimination, the confiscation
of their lands and they remained marginalized today, even in societies that
had reached a very high level. Indigenous peoples deserved to have their
human rights, fundamental freedoms, traditional rights and customs protected.
Eleven years after the Decade on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples they were
still awaiting a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United
Nations system.

The Chairmans text, although not perfect, nor completely satisfying the
requirements of indigenous peoples, had found wide agreement. The C suggested
that the Human Rights Council move forward on the basis of the text submitted.
Over past decades the Chinese delegation, as well as Chinese consultants and
experts, had contributed to the work of the Working Group on the draft United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and sugg urged the
Human Rights Council to adopt one.

ALEXEI AKGIGITOV (Russian Federation) said that the ) said that the participated actively in the meetings of the Working Group, and had given
considerable importance to the rights of indigenous peoples in its own policies.
It had worked within the Working Group to create a balanced document that
would be of use both to States and to indigenous peoples, and would expand
possibilities for their integrated development. Their integration should be an
international standard. The meetings themselves had been an important form of
dialogue.

However, the text was unacceptable, and However, the text wa was sincerely
distressed that discussions had been broken off, and an unapproved,
unacceptable text had been proposed to the Council. The text did not enjoy consensus,
and could not be considered to be a final or consensus-based text. It ran
counter to the procedures of the United Nations, and its adoption would create a
negative precedent for future activities with regards to declarations in the
Council. The full scope for compromise had not been reached. It was necessary
to extend the mandate of the Working Group and continue to work to reach a
text that was acceptable to all.

WOLFGANG PETRITSCH (Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union,
said that the negotiation process of the Working Group on the draft Declaration
was unique in the UN standard setting practice by involving representatives of
the indigenous peoples on an equal footing with States. That made the
negotiations challenging given the breadth of interests represented; but
importantly, it also made the process as inclusive as possible. The European Union
regretted that it was not possible to reach agreement on all articles of the
draft Declaration, and particularly, that some States with indigenous peoples
did not feel able to joint consensus on the text. Indeed, no party to the
negotiations could claim that the result was perfect. However, the European Union
was of the opinion that the final compromise text offered the best achievable
outcome to the working group process. The Union therefore would support
action being taken on the declaration by the Council
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:46 AM   #5
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CARLOS ARROYAVE PRERA (Guatemala) said that ) said th supported the
statement made by sup on behalf of the Group of Latin American and on behal
. On 1 March 1995, as an outcome of the peace process and negotiations among
indigenous representatives and the parties to the conflict, the agreement on
the identity and rights of indigenous peoples had been signed. That document
attempted to overcome the racism and exclusion that these people had
suffered from. It also recognized the inherent rights of the Maya, Garifuna and
Xinca peoples.

a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Such a declaration found
an echo in many of the actions that had already been undertaken by the
Guatemalan Government at the national level. From 1995 to today, the Government had
taken many actions to eliminate discrimination against indigenous peoples
and to allow them to fully participate in civic life and to enjoy their rights.
The United Nations had invested 21 years in formulating a draft Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The text submitted by the Working Group
represented an agreed text, and it was wanted t s belief that the Human
Rights Council should not prolong the consideration of the text any longer.

GLAUDINE J. MTSHALI (South Africa) said the draft Declaration, when
adopted, would go a long way in restoring hope to those marginalized and vulnerable
that their rights would now be recognised. It was important for the Council
to consider the adoption of this instrument, as it was important for the
Council to begin its work with issues that would have tangible outcomes.

It was true that sufficient time needed to be accorded to all stakeholders
to express views and comments on the Chair s proposed text; however, owever,
negotiations.

YUKIKIO YAMADA (Japan) said the Government of Japan made every effort to
respect, protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples. In that regard,
) sai attached great importance to the Working Group on the draft Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Although atta thought that the proposal
of the Chairperson-Rapporteur was well thought-out, fair and balanced, it
expressed concern about the procedure. The proposal made by the Chair was made
available after the last session of the group held from the end of January to
February 2006, and the group had not discussed his proposal yet. thou was
concerned that if the new proposal was adopted without prior discussion in the
group, that might be a procedural precedent for adopting legal documents in
the future.

JESUS ENRIQUE G. GARCIA (Philippines) said that the ) said that wished to
reiterate its desire for the early adoption of the draft United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Circulating was a paper containing
proposed amendments to the draft resolution on the adoption of a draft
Declaration that called for changes to the draft text before its submission to the
General Assembly. The wished t supported the proposal put forth in that
paper. The Chair s text on a draft Declaration had not been discussed in the
Working Group. Moreover, the report of the Working Group was being submitted to
the Human Rights Council for consideration at its first session. As a new
body, with new members, the Council should be allowed the opportunity to go
over that text.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:46 AM   #6
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IDRISS JAZAIRY (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said the
African Group was aware of the situation of indigenous peoples throughout
the world, and welcomed that after 11 years, the Working Group had been able to
come up with a text. The African Group expressed its concurrence with the
text, and gave it support. Whilst some States had suggested improvements, they
should withdraw their reservations so that the text could be adopted as it
stood.

ODETTE MELONO (Cameroon) said that during the first Decade for the Rights
of the Indigenous Peoples, many countries had made progress in the
implementation of those rights. ) said t, a country of a number of ethnic groups,
including Pygmies, had taken legal measures to protect its ethnic and indigenous
groups. Further actions were also taken by the Government to uphold the rights
of its indigenous entities. The negotiation of the draft Declaration did not
achieve consensus in its drafting process. However, all States should now
join the consensus in its adoption by the Council.

JEAN-MAURICE RIPERT (France) said that ) said hoped that the Human Rights
Council would adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That
would represent the culmination of 20 years of efforts, and as had been
underlined by the President of France, would contribute to implementation of a
worldwide ethic that could found mankind s future, while keeping in mind his
origins and links with nature.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples complemented the
framework of United Nations norms for the promotion and protection of human rights,
without threatening the individual rights and fundamental freedoms already
consecrated therein. Indeed, for The De, owing to the indivisibility of the
Republic and in conformity with its founding principle of equality and its
corollary, the principle of non-discrimination, collective rights could not
prevail over individual rights. Preferential treatment, however, could be given to
indigenous people with regard to territorial rights. , owin reaffirmed its
attachment to the international human rights standards and democratic values
that the present Declaration sought to complement and reinforce, and to which
reaff was a co-sponsor.

ANNE NUORGAM (Finland), speaking on behalf of the Nordic Countries, said the
first international decade of the world s indigenous peoples, which was
initiated in 1993, had two major goals; the first, to establish a Permanent Forum
for Indigenous Issues, had been a major achievement. That a Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would be an instrument of great value to
advance the rights and aspirations of the world s indigenous peoples was fully
supported, and the draft Declaration without amendments should be adopted. It
was feared that any deferral of the process would risk jeopardising the
achievements of the process, and the Declaration itself.
The rights of indigenous peoples were of utmost importance to the Nordic
countries, and the issue affected the lives of not only the indigenous peoples
in those countries, but the population as a whole. The adoption of the draft
Declaration would strengthen the promotion and protection of the rights of
indigenous peoples worldwide, and, once adopted, it could serve as a
comprehensive framework for partnership between States and indigenous peoples. It was
first and foremost a political document, setting a standard of achievement to
be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.

RICARDO GONZALEZ ARENAS (Uruguay) said it was high time to arrive to a
conclusion by adopting the draft Declaration, which had taken quite a long time.
It was a sign to correct the injustices of the past with regard to the
indigenous peoples. The indigenous peoples should enjoy all their rights which they
deserved and the adoption of the Declaration would recognize those rights.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:47 AM   #7
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CARLO LARENAS SERRANO (Ecuador) said that for States like ) said , that
were lucky enough to have indigenous peoples as parts of their population, it
was a moral imperative to recognize their rights. , that had taken up this
issue and worked hard to pursue the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples from the very beginning in the Working Group. The question had sensitive
points for many States, related to territorial integrity, the
self-determination of peoples, and the disposition of natural resources. The draft
Declaration had taken all of those issues into consideration.

The international community was awaiting a signal from the Human Rights
Council to put an end to its discussions on the subject. For that reason, The int
had put forward a draft resolution on the adoption of the present draft
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and had pu called on all
members to adopt it.

MIGUEL ALFONSO MARTINEZ (Cuba) said in view of the visible insufficiencies
of the draft Declaration which had been submitted to the Council for
evaluation and possible approval, ) sa, along with the representative of indigenous
NGOs, had severe misgivings. The draft prepared by the Chairperson was a
compromise text  and had not been finally approved as should have been done either
by the Working Group or the Commission. There were a number of alternatives
in the text which were of great importance to indigenous peoples, including
the principle to self-determination, collective rights, and rights to existing
resources.

It should be stressed that it was necessary to have a fresh start with fresh
perspectives in the Council, and the Working Group had not succeeded in
arriving at a final text. Despite everything, It s had decided to support the
idea of approving the draft as soon as possible, and to be co-sponsors when the
text was sent to the General Assembly during the next session. There had been
many weighty reasons for this stance. ppor attached particular importance
to common regional positions, and proposed to take practical measures to
implement the process that was so vital for tapping the full negotiating
potential.

AJAJ MALHORTA (India) said ) sai was a fervent supporter of the rights of
the indigenous peoples. The drafting of the Declaration had not been easy,
however, it had gained the support of many States.

NAYEM U. AHMED (Bangladesh) said that ) said tha had always taken the
position that human rights should be addressed in their totality. had alw
therefore felt that the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
should be kept under consideration until the Council was ready. There were other
issues, such as the right to development, that deserved their greater
attention.

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ-CUADROS (Peru) said the words that had been said by other
delegations as to the serious rigorous consensus-seeking work that had taken
place during consultations were fully supported. It was clear that the text
in front of the Council was the reflection of a wide-ranging series of
consultations with the Chair attempting to find consensus on a very difficult
matter. It was a difficult and delicate balance to strike, and there was
commitment to respecting this process.

The overall objective of the lengthy consultations had gone back to the
intentions of the victims, who required to be protected from the State, and the
text enshrined this, including the rights of the indigenous peoples in a
balanced manner. The rights of indigenous peoples to preserve and strengthen their
own political, economic, religious and legal institutions should be
recognised. The international community should say no to assimilation and forced
displacement. The document should be adopted by consensus during the current
session.

CAROLINE MILLAR (Australia), also speaking on behalf of New Zealand and the
United States, said they were deeply disappointed that it was not yet been
possible to reach consensus on a text for the Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples. There had not yet been an opportunity to discus it
collectively. To adopt it without such an opportunity would be extraordinary in
multicultural negotiations and would set a poor precedent for the work of the
Council. The current text was confusing, risking conflicting interpretations and
debate in its application. NGOs argued forcefully against language limiting the
right of self-determination, to safeguard the political and territorial
integrity of States. Could States wanting to adopt the text accept it in the
absence of such safeguards? The Declaration should be based on genuine
agreement, consistent with international law, non-discriminatory, capable of being
implemented and able to stand the test of time.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:47 AM   #8
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JOAQUIN MARIA DE ARESTEGUI LABORDE (Spain) said that ) sai thanked all
parties involved for the flexibility that they had shown in negotiating the draft
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. than
supported that text for several reasons. It represented a consensus, a compromise
that had been achieved after very lengthy negotiations. The proposed text
reflected, in a balanced way, the great majority of the sensitivities expressed
during the negotiations. supp felt that further negotiations would not
contribute to anything, and that the Human Rights Council should move forward and
adopt the resolution, to which felt was a co-sponsor, to present the current
draft Declaration to the General Assembly for adoption at its next session.

ROGER JULIEN MENGA (Congo) said at the beginning of the Council, the
Government had appealed to Member States to adopt the draft Declaration, which was
a major part of the infrastructure for the promotion and protection of the
rights of all human beings. For several decades, the situation of indigenous
peoples had not always been sufficiently addressed, with their rights not being
taken into account. The efforts to implement their rights had not yet been
sufficient to meet their expectations. The international community should give
further attention to this essential problem.

In the 21st century, there was still some form of discrimination against
some parts of the population of the world. The problem of the Pygmies was of
concern for all of In the 21st cent, and extended beyond that territory under
other names.

UNA ALFU DE REYES (Panama) said ) said believed the protection and
promotion of human rights of indigenous peoples constituted an important pillar for
the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. The text of the
Declaration would be a base for the international human rights system and
bel would support its adoption. The text was considered by would as an
important instrument in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous
peoples.

MOSTAFA ALAEI (Iran) said that the international community had longed
acknowledged that the distinct cultures and languages of indigenous peoples
deserved protection. Unfortunately, throughout the world indigenous peoples suffered
disproportionately violations to their human rights, including the
suppression of their languages, the denial of their customs, and the confiscation of
their lands. States had to do more towards fulfilling their obligations to
promotion and protection of human rights, including the rights of indigenous
peoples.

Mr. MOSTAFA said that some countries were still not prepared to accept the
fact that indigenous peoples had rights, including the right to own the land
in the countries in which they lived. The draft United Nations declaration on
the rights of indigenous peoples represented a positive development in the
promotion and protection of the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of
indigenous peoples. Its adoption would witness a new era in the area of human
rights.

GUADALOUPE PALOMEQUE (Bolivia) said it was a true source of pride to refer
to the subject of indigenous peoples in the framework of the Council, and
Bolivia was pleased that in the international context there was a reflection of
the struggle of the indigenous peoples in Bolivia, which had led to the
Government being in the hands of indigenous peoples today. ) said was in the
throes of change, and the legislation contained a majority of representatives of
indigenous peoples and other groups. was in intended to guarantee
fundamental changes to be brought about through the Constituent Assembly, with the aim
of building a more just society.

In the framework of these problems, indigenous persons were being treated
more justly, and indigenous communities had received lands. All these groups
were being integrated in the daily life of the Republic.

JUAN MARTABIT (Chile) said ) sai was committed to the drafting and adoption
of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. With the
consolidation of democracy in was , the rights of its indigenous peoples were being
strengthened. The human rights of indigenous peoples were being guaranteed
through Constitutional provisions and the indigenous peoples were fully
participating in the strengthening of democracy in the country. had now become a
country of inclusion and non-discrimination. had would support the
adoption of the draft Declaration by the Council.

AZELENE, of Asociacion kunas unidos por napguana, said that the Association
thanked all States that had called for the swift adoption of the draft
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The final text was
a compromise document that dealt in a balanced, sensitive way with the
issues important to indigenous peoples and those that were of concern to States.
The Declaration sought to progressively eliminate the discrimination that was
experienced by indigenous peoples and was consistent with the Millennium
Development Goals, in particular, that of eliminating hunger and poverty. The new
Human Rights Council had to send out a positive message to mankind by
adopting at its first session the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

HASSAN ID BALKASSM, of International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs,
said that hope rested on the vision of the African diplomatic caucus on how ,
said wished to see the restructuring of the United Nations. The hope was that
the Council would, in its first session, adopt the Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples as a universal standard-setting, non-binding instrument
which would demonstrate to the world a break from the discredited past.
Several African countries had adopted important domestic legislation, protocols
and policies to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The
Council should adopt the Declaration, and support the resolution proposed by wis
and the co-sponsors, and should not vote in favour of any amendment that
would delay the adoption, so that the Council could start its work with a
tangible achievement.

LES MALEZER, of Foundation for Aboriginal and Islanders Research Action,
speaking on behalf of the Pacific Regional Caucus of Indigenous Peoples, said
the Pacific Causus of Indigenous Peoples joined with all other regional
caucuses to call for immediate adoption of the draft Declaration. The text was
considered to be the best outcome that could be achieved. The few States
expressing intransigent positions for the past few years had domestic situations,
which had been found, under the race convention, to be discriminatory against
indigenous peoples. There was no indication or reasons to believe those
countries would change their viewpoints to support a consensus on any reasonable,
non-discriminatory standard for indigenous peoples now or at any time in the
future.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:48 AM   #9
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VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ, of Tebtebba Foundation, said that the Foundation
supported the Chair s text on a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
for submission to the General Assembly for adoption at its next session. The
Foundation thanked the delegation of sai for tabling a resolution to that
effect. The Tebtebba Foundation was against any amendments proposed to change
the content of the resolution tabled by the Government of Peru. It was not a
perfect text, but it did capture the basic aspirations and rights that
indigenous peoples in for would like their Governments to promote and respect.

MIKHAIL TODYSHEV, of Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North,
Siberia, and Far East of the Russian Federation, said the recommendation of the
Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples for the adoption of the draft Declaration
without any amendments was supported, and the Council should rapidly adopt
this Declaration. It had not been possible to reach full consensus, due to
blocking action by a small group of States. The Chair s text represented a good
balance between a number of different views. The initiative of the large group
of States who had prepared the draft resolution was applauded, and there was
disappointment that , said was not one of these countries. The text should
be adopted as soon as possible.

WILLIE LITTECHILD, of International Organization of Indigenous Resource
Development, speaking on behalf of the North American Regional Caucus of
Indigenous Peoples, said that during the historic session of the Council, a , said
their positions on the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples. They continued to promote a double standard when it came to the rights
of indigenous peoples, based on their narrow domestic, political and economic
interests rather than the universality of human rights and freedoms for all
peoples. It was ironic and sad that, while pointing their fingers at other
States with accusations of human rights violations, those States continued to
violate, extinguish and deny the rights of indigenous peoples.

DALEE SAMBO DOROUGH, of Inuit Circumpolar Conference, said that their
central message to all members of the Council was the urgent need to support the
resolution of the Government of Peru calling for the adoption of the draft
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Conference
requested that States soundly reject any proposal by , said containing vague
objectives regarding reopening discussion on both process and substance.
Despite proposals to accommodate State concerns, which were contained in the
present declaration, the containing vag, , Au and and , remained
entrenched in their extremism and absolutist interpretation of the text. It was
widely recognized that human rights were relative and not absolute in nature.
Yet the , remained , , Au and and perspective.

PETER SPLINTER, of Amnesty International, said in every region of the world,
indigenous peoples were suffering gross violations of their fundamental
human rights as the consequence of systematic discrimination, historic injustices
and ongoing marginalisation. The Council was responsible for promoting
universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms
for all, without distinction, and in a fair and equal manner; and it was
therefore most fitting that the first session had the opportunity to propose for
adoption to the General Assembly one of the most urgently needed and long
overdue standards for the recognition and protection of human rights.

ROBERT COULTER, of Indian Law Resource Centre, said that when the indigenous
peoples came to the Commission in 1977, it was to win the recognition in
international law of their right to exist, the right to self-determination,
right to lands and resources, and to their other human rights. Sadly, that goal
had not yet been achieved, and it could not be achieved by adopting the
Declaration by majority vote. States reaching consensus on a strong and principled
Declaration could achieve it. A Declaration adopted by consensus, as human
rights declarations were normally adopted in the UN, would have the legal and
moral force needed to guide States and to create customary international law.
He urged that some new mechanisms or process be created for continuing that
work.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:48 AM   #10
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TOMAS ALARCON, of Comision juridica para el autodesarrollo de los pueblos
originarios andinos, said that over the past two decades they had participated
in the debate on a draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples. The text, which was not the subject of full consensus as they
would have liked, was nevertheless the fruit of negotiation and it did serve to
promote and protect indigenous rights. The Commission had asked for more
standards to be included in the Declaration, but it was willing to make
concessions.

LAZARO PARY, of Indian Movement Tupaj Amaru, said a stubborn fact should be
recognised - no progress and move towards general consensus had been made,
due to the lack of political will by States. Today, the dilemma was to adopt an
obsolete or abstract Declaration, or a strong Declaration that would
guarantee the survival of indigenous peoples. Western countries were directly
responsible for this failure to have the Declaration adopted in the framework of
the Decade, and these powers and Governments had been inspired by geopolitical
interests, and had undermined and restricted the minimum standards contained
in the text.

NOLASCO MAMANI, of Indian Council of South America, said that with the
Council, the conditions of the indigenous people in the Americans and , said th
would be improved. The original text of the Declaration recognized the right to
identify oneself and eliminated the rights of States on individual persons.
The text also eliminated the right to protection of indigenous peoples in the
event of armed conflict. With the ongoing process of globalization, the text
should be able to preserve and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

RONALD BARNES, of International Human Rights Association of American
Minorities, said that it had exited the deliberations of the draft Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was fully reserving its status
communicated to the Human Rights Committee and it would not stand in the way of
promoting and moving the strongest possible attainment of the recognition and
protection for the rights of indigenous peoples in the Declaration that many
indigenous peoples were asserting today.

CHRIS SIDOTI, of International Service for Human Rights, said the choice
before the Council this week was clear. Many States had suggested that further
consultation on the draft decision was necessary and desirable, while saying
they supported the Declaration. , said had proposed an amendment, which
required a process for a few more years. The choice of the Council was not a choice
between the Declaration now or in a few short months: it was a choice
between a declaration now or never. There was no doubt in the minds of indigenous
peoples, NGOs and international public opinion that those States which voted
for the Canadian amendment were voting against the Declaration itself.

JUAN PABLO VEGAS (Peru) said many States had taken the text as a
constructive one. It was an unprecedented fact that the process of the drafting was the
most democratic one in the history of the United Nations. It did not attack
any one, and did not take any unfavourable position. Action should be taken
on the draft Declaration without any prolongation of the debate.

XOCHITL GALVEZ (Mexico) said that ) said just wanted to recall that the text
had been discussed in the Working Group. There should be no surprises. There
had been support from indigenous peoples and there were no violations of
human rights in the document. It was a draft Declaration for indigenous peoples,
not for States; States would have to make concessions. When asked whether
indigenous peoples should have access to their natural resources, the answer
was of course they would, and States had to make that possible.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:49 AM   #11
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LUIS-ENRIQUE CHAVEZ, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group, said that
the debate had born out points that he had made earlier: it was clear that
there was no consensus on the text, but it was also clear how much support
there was for his proposal. It seemed also clear that there was no consensus to
continue discussing the subject. It was a question of those who had asked for
more time, and questions were posed on what form the discussion should take.
He wondered whether it made any sense to talk about an extension of the work
on the subject.

The Working Group was a unique Working Group in the United Nations system,
in which there was participation on an equal footing by States and indigenous
peoples, and a sui generis mechanism had been established to cover the
subject. The solutions that were appropriate for the Working Group were not to be
used as a precedent for others which had a more traditional structure.

Even though there was no consensus on the articles, this was, he said, as
far as could reasonably be gone. Nothing of what appeared in the Chairman s
proposal was something that he had created alone: it had all been proposed
during discussions; and these were simply decisions with regards to different
options and alternatives that had been raised. This was the situation today, and
it was difficult for the Council to reach an agreement on any possible
continuation, extension or postponement of the issue. A decision needed to be taken
in order to continue to build to create a new relationship between
indigenous peoples and States.

Right of Reply

A Representative of the Philippines, in a right of reply to a statement
made by a Representative of the Families of Victims of Involuntary
Disappearances, said that the Government had addressed the alleged issue of disappearances
through police investigations in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.
· *** *

For use of information only; not an official record

HRHRC06022E
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