Briefing for Member States on the Outcomes of the 12th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Date/ Location: Tuesday, 2 July 2013 in Conference Room 3 (CB).

Speakers: Chandra Roy (Chief, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues),

Ghazali Ohorella (Pacific representative at Indigenous Global Coordinating Group), John Henriksen (International Representative of the Saami Council of Norway)

Attended by: Candace Tang, Sunny Hor, Alyssa Strasser, Norah Crossnohere, Mary Lam, Iman Yashruti

Written by Iman Yashruti

Chandra Roy summarized the outcomes from the 12th session of the High Level panel of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

This year’s focus was on Africa, especially relating to intercultural health models, the high illiteracy rate, and violence against indigenous women.

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Another important outcome was the reaffirmation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights for Indigenous Peoples as the normative framework for the world conference. The forum was also mindful that the dialog between indigenous peoples and the member states is important.

Lastly, the forum recommended that the President of the 68th General Assembly apply the following criteria in the selection of co-chairs and other members of the two plenary meetings, the three interactive round-table discussions, one interactive panel discussion during the WCIP and the informal interactive hearing to the held before June 2014:

* regional representation of indigenous peoples

* gender balance

* the inclusion of indigenous elders and youth

* the inclusion of indigenous persons with disabilities

Ghazali Ohorella and John Henriksen discussed the outcomes from the Alta Global Preparation Conference that took place in Alta, Norway. The conference was a response from indigenous peoples to consolidate regional outcomes. Henriksen explained the process which was driven by the indigenous people. The people appointed their own representatives and were financed both through the Global Coordinating Group (GCG) and individually raised funds.

Ohorella explained the GCG as an Indigenous Global Coordinating Group made up of seven indigenous regions of the world (with every region helping in the preparatory meetings). The preparatory meeting in Alta was attended by both member states and indigenous delegates (youth and women were also represented). The outcome of the conference is a document setting out the principles of engagement for indigenous peoples. There are four main themes within the Alta document that encapsulate the issues of the greatest importance to the indigenous peoples. These consist of:

Theme 1: Indigenous peoples’ lands, territories, resources, oceans and waters

Theme 2: UN system action for the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples

Theme 3: Implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples

Theme 4: Indigenous peoples’ priorities for development with free, prior and informed consent

(To download the full version of the Adopted Alta Outcome Document: http://wcip2014.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Adopted-Alta-outcome-document-with-logo-ENG.pdf )

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