presentation at the Encounter of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala for Self Determination - Decolonization - June 7, 2022
Continental Commission Abya Yala
OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
1994/45. Draft United Nations declaration on the rights of
The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors, according to their original spirit and intent, and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. Conflicts and disputes which cannot otherwise be settled should be submitted to competent international bodies agreed to by all parties concerned.
Introduction to the Spanish translation
The narrative and comparative analysis in this fundamental study of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by Charmaine White Face, provides critical context for the battle for self-determination that the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples face today in the global arena of shifting geopolitical powers. The original English language edition of this book was published in 2013. Now, with this Spanish translation being made available to the leadership of the Indigenous Peoples of the world at a climactic turning point in the history of world affairs, the Mandate of the Indigenous Peoples emerges once again in power and purpose with a message for all humanity.
The final text of the Declaration as adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, was preceded by two other versions.
In 1994 the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities approved the Original Text of the declaration which was the product of many years of deliberation that allowed for a degree of meaningful and decisive participation of Indigenous Peoples from around the world.
In 2006, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a version of the declaration submitted by an individual official of the UN system, the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Draft Declaration, Sr. Luis Enrique Chavez. After the African Union inserted changes to this version, the UN General Assembly then included nine additional changes in the final version of the text which was approved in 2007.
The presentation of the version as adopted by the General Assembly was challenged on November 29, 2004 by a five-day prayer fast/hunger strike by six indigenous delegates to the Working Group on the Draft Declaration at UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. With support and solidarity of Indigenous Peoples from around the world, the demand was that the Original Text as approved by the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities be recognized as the only legitimate version of the declaration that would be advanced on the floor of the UN General Assembly. With assurances from representatives of the UN Commission on Human Rights (also called the CHR) that if no consensus could be achieved by the end of the 2004 session of the Working Group, the only version of the declaration that would be submitted to the full Commission would be the Sub-Commission Text as approved in 1994, the hunger strike/prayer fast came to an end.
This agreement was subsequently violated, and then betrayed.
Panel discussion on the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism
Wednesday September 28, 2022
51st session of the Human Rights Council
Panel discussion on the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights
Concept note (draft as of 29 August 2022)
Date and venue:
Wednesday, 28 September 2022, 4 to 6 p.m. (UTC+2)
Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, and online platform (Zoom)
(will be broadcast live and archived on https://media.un.org/en/webtv)
A summary report on the panel discussion will be prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and submitted, including in an accessible format, to the Council at its fifty-fourth session (September 2023). The panel discussion will contribute to renewing and strengthening commitments to effectively address the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights, and contribute to the implementation of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2021-2030) designated by the General Assembly.
In its resolution 48/7 on the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights, the Human Rights Council decided to convene a panel discussion at its fifty-first session to identify challenges in addressing the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on human rights, and to discuss ways forward.
The panel discussion will be limited to two hours. The opening statement and initial presentations by the panellists will be followed by a two-part interactive discussion and conclusions from the panellists. A maximum of one hour will be set aside for the podium, which will cover the opening statements, panellists' presentations and their responses to questions and concluding remarks. The remaining hour will be reserved for two segments of interventions from the floor, with each segment consisting of interventions from 12 States and observers, 1 national human rights institution and 2 non-governmental organizations. Each speaker will have two minutes to raise issues and to ask panellists questions. Panellists will respond to questions and comments during the remaining time available.
The list of speakers for the discussion will be established through the online inscription system and, as per practice, statements by high-level dignitaries and groups of States will be moved to the beginning of the list. Delegates who have not been able to take the floor due to time constraints will be able to upload their statements on the online system to be posted on the HRC Extranet. Interpretation will be provided in the six United Nations official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).
Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth
"In order to fulfil their obligations to guarantee Indigenous Peoples' right of self-determination and permanent sovereignty over our lands, territories, resources, air, ice, oceans and waters, mountains and forests, we recommend that States, as a matter of urgency, establish effective mechanisms through agreements reached with the Indigenous Peoples concerned, to effectively implement the aforementioned rights consistent with State's obligations under international law, the UN Charter, the Declaration and Treaties and agreements concluded with Indigenous Peoples and Nations;"
ALTA OUTCOME DOCUMENT (2013)
What is in question is not just the inherent right of Indigenous Peoples to free, prior, and informed consent in a culturally appropriate manner regarding projects that impact their territories and human rights. Nor is this issue only limited to the specific treaty concerns of specific Indigenous treaty nations with specific states.
What is in question is the need for the international legal system of the planet to escape the conceptual constraints and the ethical void of the colonial legacy which gave origin to the present international framework, in open violation of the right of self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples, equal to all other peoples. Such a geopolitical trajectory could provide an effective strategic repositioning of global ecological concerns vis-à-vis the fractured interests of the states and the corresponding geopolitical blocs of power and competition. A multilateral world that integrated the recognition of Indigenous Nationhood, where the rights and responsibilities of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth are acknowledged and respected could provide a possible alternative to the self-destructive modus operandi of the present international regimes of competition, consumption, and finally the fatal degradation of the biosphere.
In consideration of the preceding, we now submit:
On March 20, 2022, a joint Declaration by a Western Hemisphere Alliance of Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples that includes the 1894 Sioux Nation Treaty Council, the Western Shoshone Defense Project, the Consejo de Todas las Tierras Mapuche, and TONATIERRA was submitted to the United Nations Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
This declaration invoked the principles of UNHRC Resolution 48/7 Negative impact of the legacies of colonialism and called upon the UN system to address the institutionalized and systemic legacies of discrimination and colonialism within the UN system.
(A/HRC/RES/48/7 Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 8 October 2021)
1. Stresses the utmost importance of eradicating colonialism and addressing the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights;
2. Calls for Member States, relevant United Nations bodies, agencies and other relevant stakeholders to take concrete steps to address the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights;
Without the international recognition, respect, guarantees to honor and mechanisms of effective enforcement of the Treaties between the states and the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples within the international legal system of the UN member states, the concept of free, prior, and informed consent for Indigenous Peoples is reduced from an international standard and principle of law to a political phrase with significance derived from the domestic interpretations and bureaucratic policies of the individual states.
In terms of the discussion and debate over NTCP, all of the strategies and plans to address documented threats to the human rights of Indigenous Peoples exacerbated by NTCP projects will be devoid of justice, and instead serve as instrumentalities of even deeper subjugation and colonization in particular for the Treaty Nations.
Therefore, in order to advance a substantive discussion on the processes presented by United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee per UN HRC Resolution 48/14, we respectfully call for the inclusion of the UN Study on Treaties, Agreements, and Constructive Arrangements concluded by Special Rapporteur Miguel Alfonso Martinez in 1999 (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1999/20) as fundamental reference to contextualize the issues being brought forward.
"We, Original Nations and Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth, assert our right to address all forms and manifestations of colonialism, foreign occupation, including all scourges of racism and racial discrimination, apartheid, crimes against humanity, and genocide on an equal basis to all other peoples and nations in accordance with the United Nations Charter."
Joint Declaration from the following Indigenous Nations and Peoples to the United Nations Secretary General, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Council, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
March 20, 2022
1894 Sioux Nation Treaty Council
Consejo de Todas las Tierras Mapuche
Western Shoshone Defense Project