Global Indigenous Youth Caucus Statement on the High Level Plenary 2014
Global Indigenous Youth Caucus Intervention on the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples
We, the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus state that the scheduled High-level Plenary Meeting (HLPM) of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, scheduled for September, 2014 is not, in fact, a world conference for Indigenous Nations and Peoples. Therefore, the HLPM should not be referred to as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. A genuine world conference, which we hope this to be, would be comprehensive, extensive, and participatory by the peoples implicated by the outcomes of the conference.
We the GIYC still see the potential of the High Level Plenary Meeting if it is based on Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Nations and Peoples as equal participants in the international diplomatic process and if the wide-open participation of Indigenous Peoples (IP) is proactively sought.
We feel that the HLPM structure represents a closed-door meeting where IP are observers in their own meeting. We therefore address the urgent need to secure IP basic human rights guaranteed by the UNDRIP adopted in the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. We would like to remind the member states that the fundamental obligation to respect and follow the UNDRIP specifically Articles 3, 18, 19, 32(2), and 38 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to secure IP’s right to full and effective participation in the HLPM itself and in the preparatory process.
Similarly, the modalities resolution for the HLPM has specifically omitted recognition of the international right to self-determination by IP’s and nations, and deleted from an earlier draft the right of IP’s to full and equal participation in UN processes that IP’s, such as the HLPM.
In order for the IP’s preparatory process and the preparatory meeting to be successful, we recommend more funding commitments from states and other funders to be allocated by the Indigenous Peoples Global Coordinating Group for the IP’s preparatory process. We see the potential of having a strong and good outcome document of the Alta conference. We would like to remind the United Nations that all the documents made in the IP’s preparatory process need to be accepted as official documents of the UN.
As Indigenous youth, we are deeply concerned about the tendencies of states to subordinate the Declaration to the domestic laws of their invader, settler regimes, and that further seek to domesticate IP’s through “best practices” through settler-state legal and policy structures. We have concerns that Indigenous participation in the HLPM could lend the illusion that we have acquiesced the state constructs to advance and extend their history of destruction of the distinct collective rights of Indigenous Nations and Peoples.
1. We recommend that regions support their Indigenous Youth to attend and participate in their regional delegations, as well as gather as the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) at the Alta meeting. We emphasize having Indigenous youth present at the Alta meeting in order to ensure that the Indigenous youth perspectives and issues are represented throughout the preparatory process and the final outcome document.
2. We recommend that states and other entities follow the example of already committed funders whom have allocated resources for Indigenous Peoples’ preparatory process, which is led by the Global Coordinating Group with the desire of emphasizing Indigenous youth participation.
3. The GIYC holds the position that any resulting documents in relation to the HLPM and its processes, shall protect and advance the inalienable and fundamental rights we have as Indigenous Nations and Peoples, including our right to self-determination. The GIYC is attending the Alta meeting to participate “fully and equally” as people and nations, to support the implementation of the key provisions of UNDRIP to advance the rights and protections of IP’s and nations. The GIYC will “explore and assess” the possible positive and negative impacts of the HLPM and its processes and encourage other caucuses, actors and entities to do the same.
4. We recommend states and various Indigenous actors use a collective rights framework in their analysis and proposal for the implementation of the UNDRIP in relation to the HLPM.
5. We also recommend that a systemic analysis of the history and causes of the colonization, domination and subordination of IP’s and our territories, be undertaken, and that additional studies be commissioned by the Permanent Forum on issues related to the use and impact of the racist Doctrine of Discovery that has allowed States to steal Indigenous territories and resources. We insist that the Doctrine of Discovery be repudiated as a matter of law and policy in the HLPM Outcomes Document.
For more information visit the United Nations Permanent Forum Network website.
by the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus
May 29, 2013
THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY