Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE on indigenous rights declaration
Indigenous peoples’ representatives, at a Headquarters press conference this morning, endorsed the amended text of the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and called for its adoption by consensus by the General Assembly next week.
Speaking to the press about the latest developments regarding the negotiations on the draft were: Les Malezer, Chair of the Global Indigenous Caucus; Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Joseph Ole Simel, Coordinator of the African Regional Indigenous Caucus.
The draft was forwarded to the Assembly following its approval by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 29 June 2006, and action on the text is expected on 13 September. Initially scheduled for November 2006, the adoption of the text was deferred, on a motion by African States, until the end of the Assembly’s current session in September 2007, so that further consultations could take place.
Mr. Malezer said that, presented with an agreement between the African Group and co-sponsors of the draft, the Steering Committee -- a body made up of representatives from seven regional groups -- had asked for indigenous peoples’ opinions on the Declaration and formed its response on the basis of those communications. While many of the indigenous peoples supported the amended Declaration, many others took the position not to oppose its adoption. Some felt strongly that they should not be bound by the process and emphasized the right of indigenous peoples to decide their own arrangements in their own time frame.
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UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Press Conference on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Joseph Ole Simel, Coordinator of the African Regional Indigenous Caucus, responds to the amendments proposed by Member States to the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples during a press conference, at UN Headquarters in New York.
Location: United Nations, New York Date: 06 September 2007