Promoting Indigenous Youth Development to achieve the 2030 Agenda

UN Indigenous

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The UNPFII sixteenth session which discussed the “Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration” presented a side event which discussed the significance of promoting the development of indigenous youth in order to attain the 2030 agenda. There was discussion regarding the lack of data regarding indigenous youth and the startling nature of the available data. Additionally, the huge disparities in terms of accessing education for indigenous youth was discussed

Mai Thin Yu Mon conveyed the difficulty of cultivating indigenous youth data, especially for health. She conveyed the struggle of indigenous people to communicate with foreign individuals who provide health services. This was cited as an issue affecting primarily young people and elders. Furthermore, Mon expressed the issue that indigenous youths are brainwashed to feel that their culture is lower.

Sarah Lynn Jancke described that indigenous youth are suffering in silence and battling societal oppression. She called for the connection of indigenous youth and people of all cultures. Jancke depicted the intergenerational trauma that arose from indigenous teenagers having children.

Various statistical evidence regarding the lack of educational access for indigenous youth was conveyed. On average, in the Latin America and Caribbean region, eighty-five percent of indigenous youth attend secondary school. However, only forty percent of indigenous youth graduate.

The literacy and numeracy rates of indigenous and non-indigenous youth alter significantly. For example, in Australia, a two and a half school year gap is evident between indigenous and non-indigenous children. However, there is no data citing a global indigenous youth literacy rate.

In addition, the high school finishing rate of indigenous youth are below average in Nunavut, the northernmost territory of Canada. Merely forty percent of indigenous youth are attending school full time.

Meeting: UNPFII Sixteenth Session Side event on “Promoting Indigenous Youth Development to achieve the 2030 Agenda”

Date/ Location: Thursday, April 27, 2017; 11:30-1:00; Conference Room F

Speakers: Mai Thin Yu Mon, Indigenous Youth Caucus Asia; Q’apaj Cond, Indigenous Youth Caucus Latin America; Sarah Lynn Jancke, Indigenous Youth Caucus Arctic; Nicola Shepherd, UN Focal Point on Youth, DSPD; Tarcila Rivera, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Expert Member; Yon Fernandez-De-Larrinoa, Indigenous Peoples Team Leader, FAO Rome; Carlos Andrade, Undersecretary of Peoples and Interculturality Government of Ecuador (TBC)

Written By: WIT Representative Donna Sunny

 

 

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

The meeting opened with Ms. Puri giving an overarching statement on how crucial the empowerment of women is towards overall human and sustainable development, and how there is significant space for more forward movement.

The first panel focused on institutional arrangements for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Mr. Patriota questioned how countries are editing policies to ensure effective equality. Mr. Jieyi noted the importance of women on the international community, and commented on crucial aspects of equality implementation. Ms. Bird spoke about the importance of civil society and businesses.

Mr. Mazeiks pointed out the Beijing platform for equality, and said it continues to be very relevant.  Mr. Donoghue continued by saying that in reference to Agenda implementation, it is crucial to keep gender perspective systematically mainstreamed into initiatives. Mr. Grant acknowledged the issues surrounding indigenous women and girls in Canada.

The second panel of this conference focused on efforts to finance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ms. Khan began the discussion by pointing out that insufficient prioritization of gender equality has lead to severe lack of financing. She then emphasized the need to place steps at the national level to monitor and track gender equality.

Mr. Lauber continued this sentiment by stating that empowering women is not only morally right, but also economically smart. This means implementing anti-discrimination laws and closing the gender wage gap. Ms. Thani agreed and pushed for a gender-inclusive approach to sustainable development.

Later, the panel addressed the negative impact of income inequality and its correlation to gender inequality. Ms. Carpentier called for gender-aware trade while Ms. Adams urged for better public financing, especially within the UN. Finally, Ms. Lizarde concluded this panel with her statement on translating recent gender equality commitments into concrete steps.

Meeting: Implementing the 2030 Agenda to Accelerate Realization of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls

Date/Location: Thursday, January 21, 2016; UN Headquarters; Conference Room 2

Speakers:

Panel 1: Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN-Women; Topic Introduction Ms. Christine Brautigam, Director, Intergovernmental Support Division, UN-Women; Moderator H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Janis Mazeiks, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Michael Grant, Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations; Ms. Anita Nayar, Director of Regions Refocus

Panel 2: Ms. Zohra Khan, Policy Advisor, Governance and National Planning, UN-Women; H.E. Mr. Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Jurg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United States; H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United States; H.E. Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United States; Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, UNCTAD New York Office; Ms. Barbara Adams. Chair and Senior Policy Advisor to the Global Policy Forum; Ms. Rosa Lizarde, Global Director for Feminist Task Force

Written By: WIT Representatives Olivia Gong and Julianne Jeon

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: United Nations

Doing Justice to Sustainable Development

Integrating the Rule of Law into the Post 2015 Agenda 

Professor Michael Doyle explained that law is a valuable reflection of human dignity and must be preserved for equality. Democracy based rule of law, entrenched with human rights is essential to ensure that laws are not changeable by any majority in a way that violates equality and social inclusion. Judit Arenas emphasised that rule of law and the sustainable development goals have to go beyond words on paper to ensure that this transformative agenda is actually changed for the better.

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Judith Arenas summarized the IDLO report that has been posted online explaining that the key points in the document include legal frameworks for sustainable governance of resources, access to fair market trade to stimulate the economy, and legal rights that ensure transparency and participation. The recommendations from Rio +20 require that economic growth creates employment and decent work to ensure the eradication of poverty; strong legal institutions promote investment and encapsulate development.

Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, via video statement, said that environmental degradation is an existential threat to all of us, and although it touches all, it will particularly affect the poor, vulnerable and indigenous people. The wealthy and developed nations’ citizens have the ability to move between countries but millions of poor and vulnerable people have to face climate change as a threat to their existence.

Justice Antonio explained that to have the legal framework in place is one thing, however as a society we need to ensure goals are actually fulfilled. In order to do this the world requires good governance, more than legislative text, but rather interlinked goals alongside systems of compliance and enforcement. Justice Antonio also declared that judges can not be influenced by political and economic pressure, they should not be afraid of favoring weaker parties for their legal rights.

 

Meeting Title: Doing Justice to Sustainable Development: Integrating the rule of law into the post-2015 agenda
Speakers: H.E. Riitta Resch Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; Professor Michael Doyle, Foreign and Security Policy Columbia University; Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, National High Court of Brazil; Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chair of UN Permanent forum on Indigenous Issues; Nury Montiel, Director of Human Rights for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, Andres Vazquez Coordinator Human Rights Projects for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraquay, Judit Arenas Director of External Relations IDLO
Location: United Nations UN, Conference Room 5 NLB, New York
Date: 17 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark

UN organizations address the 13th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The seventh meeting for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues facilitated a comprehensive dialogue from United Nations organisations on their progress in promoting the rights of indigenous persons with responses from Permanent members of the forum. Interventions from many UN bodies revolved around three major issue areas; the full participation of indigenous persons in their right to self-determination, ‘free, prior and informed consent’ in regards to Indigenous land rights, and the sufficient funding of organisations for long term protection of indigenous rights.

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Denmark, Bolivia, UNDP, IFAD, and the IFC all directly addressed concerns that governments are favoring the demands of the private mining industry and the sustainable development of our natural resources requires the collaborative consultation of indigenous persons. The African Caucus recognized that natural resources are usually extracted from heritage sites with unique and spiritual ties to indigenous traditions and ancestry. Therefore it is of paramount importance that indigenous persons be involved in the decisions directly affecting their sacred land.

UNECSO and FAO demonstrated that indigenous people have a unique understanding of the sustainability and protection of their environments through systems such as pastoral farming, which could enable a more resilient response to climate change for our fragile ecosystems. The IFAD, ILO and permanent member of the forum Joseph Goko Mutangah insisted that the United Nations should be capturing the wealth of agricultural, medicinal and ecological innovations that indigenous traditions encompass.

Representative of the American Indian Alliance and chairperson of the forum Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, expressed concerns that the United Nations organisations are only authorised to serve indigenous persons from developing countries. Statistics demonstrate that indigenous persons are equally marginalised in both developing and developed nations. They called for a revision of the policy to allow indigenous persons in all countries access to the United Nations’ agencies and funds.

Meeting Title: 7th meeting – Comprehensive dialogue with United Nations agencies and funds
Speakers: Chairperson Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Permanent members of the forum Gervais Nzoa, Joan Garling, Kara-Kys Arakchaa, Miriam Wallet Aboubakrine, Miriam Wallet Aboubakrine, Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe, Joseph Goko Mutangah, Raja Devasish Roy
Representatives on behalf of organizations; UNICEF, FAO, ILO, IFAD, UNDP, IFC, UNESCO, World Bank, Ministry of foreign affairs Denmark, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, the African Caucus, Indigenous Parliamentarians, Alliance of Indigenous women of Central America and Mexico, WIPO (New York), Central & Eastern Europe, Russian federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia, Bolivia, and the American Indian Law alliance
Location: United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 15 May 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark