During the General Assembly meeting on Indigenous Peoples, the Moderator started the session by stating that the indigenous people feel that the current development model has resulted in global inequality, environmental degradation, climate change and the current economic crisis. This model has not valued economic, social, religious and spiritual aspects of indigenous people. Thus culture and identity rights need to be included in the new developmental model that provides a broad normative framework and a more holistic approach based on the collective rights and interests of all.
Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz highlighted that the indigenous people were included in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and also in the on-going Open Working Groups (OWGs) on the processes of the post 2015 development agenda. She and all speakers hereafter stated that the Alta Outcome Document should be the reference point for the ‘Indigenous Priorities for Sustainable Development’. The Zero Draft Outcome Document in her opinion provided very generic goals and had no mention of indigenous people. After further discussions and lobbying, the indigenous people were able to achieve five reference points in the Document. The development agenda should not just focus on market solutions (such as public-private partnership) but should also look at non-market solutions for a more comprehensive agenda. It is very important to work in partnership with states to address these issues.
The Representative of the Pacific Region and the Representative of Latin American and the Caribbean generally emphasised that cultural solutions are the drivers of the development agenda. Eradicating poverty amongst indigenous people and securing their economic, social, cultural and developmental rights is also imperative. The Representatives appealed that the outcome document should be concise and action oriented. The Permanent representative of Guatemala then emphasised that indigenous people should overcome exclusion and receive their right to education and expression. Finally she stated that there has been a lot of progress on paper, however this century should focus on action and implementation.
Meeting Title: Informal interactive hearings as preparatory process for the High-level meeting of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: Interactive discussion 3 “Indigenous priorities for sustainable development”
Speakers: Moderator; Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Distinguished Representative of the Pacific Region; Distinguished Representative of South America and the Caribbean; Distinguished Representative of Guatemala.
Date: 18 June 2014
Location: General Assembly Hall (NLB), United Nations Headquarters, NY.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Kaur Dhillon
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan