Indian Law Resource Center at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, May 10, 2011. Photo by Broddi Sigurdarson.
In May, the Center participated in the 12th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City. The Permanent Forum is a UN body made up of State representatives and indigenous peoples representatives. Its mission is to raise awareness on indigenous issues within the UN system. This year’s session addressed various critical issues for indigenous peoples (click here for the agenda). The Center’s work focused primarily on three areas: Development banks and climate policies, supporting indigenous peoples’ self-determination in Guatemala, and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. Check back for regular updates on the Center’s work at the forum.
Development Banks and Climate Policies
The Center is working to strengthen the safeguard policies of development banks like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and to hold these institutions accountable for the human rights impacts of development and climate change-related activities. We are partnering with ADIVIMA, an association representing communities devastated by the construction of the Chixoy Hydroelectric Project, financed by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. During the construction of the dam (completed in the 80s), 33 communities, largely Maya Achí, were subjected to threats, intimidation, forced evictions, and massacres that left hundreds dead. Today, thirty years later, the communities live in extreme poverty and continue to fight for reparations for the harms they have suffered.
- Article: UN Body Demands that World Bank and Regional Development Banks Implement UN Declaration (also available in Spanish: Órgano de NU Exige que el Banco Mundial y los Bancos Regionales de Desarrollo Implementen la Declaración de NU sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas)
- Recommendations of the 12th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues regarding multilateral development banks
- Side Event Panel Discussion May 23, 2013 - Holes in the safety net: Real impacts of the World Bank’s Indigenous Peoples Policy
- Center’s Submission to Permanent Forum on World Bank and REDD Safeguards
- Permanent Forum Study on World Bank operational policies and participation of indigenous peoples
- Submission to the World Bank on the Review and Update of its Social and Environmental Safeguard Policies
- Center Statement to the Forum “Respecting Indigenous Peoples’ Rights of Self-Determination and Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources within World Bank Safeguards and other Development and REDD+ Safeguards” May 24, 2013
- Declaración del Centro al Foro Permanente “Respeto a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas a la libre determinación y propiedad colectiva sobre sus tierras, territorios y recursos dentro de las Políticas de Salvaguarda del Banco Mundial y Agencias de REDD+” 24 de mayo, 2013
- UN Body Demands that World Bank and Regional Development Banks Implement UN Declaration
- Órgano de NU Exige que el Banco Mundial y los Bancos Regionales de Desarrollo Implementen la Declaración de NU sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas
Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ Self-Determination in Guatemala
|Juan de Dios Garcia Xajil called on the United Nations to speak out against the atrocities committed during the construction of the Chixoy Dam in Guatemala.|
The Center is extremely concerned with the escalating violence and repression against indigenous peoples in Guatemala. Indigenous peoples defending their rights of self-determination over their lands, territories, environment, and natural resources are being criminalized and killed. We are working with indigenous peoples organizations to pressure the government of Guatemala and the corporations investing there to respect their human rights obligations.
- Center Calls on U.S. Secretary of State for help
- Special Invitation - Repeating Repression in Guatemala
- Declaration of the Association for the Integral Development of the Victims of the Violence in Verapaces, Maya Achì (ADIVIMA)
- Declaración de la Asociación para el desarrollo Integral de las Ví ctimas de la Viole ncia en las Verapaces, Maya Achí . ADIVIMA.
- Juan de Dios Garcia Xajil video statement to the UNPFII in Spanish
- Juan de Dios Garcia Xajil video statement to the United Nations with English translation
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples
The Center is working to secure strong measures at the World Conference, including the creation of an implementing and monitoring mechanism for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, measures to address the epidemic of violence against indigenous women and children, and action toward a new status for indigenous peoples to participate regularly in UN activities.
- WATCH / READ: A joint statement from over 80 Indian nations and organizations offers three recommendations for action that can be adopted by the World Conference
Read more about the proposed recommendations for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples:
- Regularizing Indigenous Participation in the United Nations
- Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Creating a UN Mechanism for Monitoring and Promotion
- Combating Violence Against Indigenous Women
Joint Statement Regarding Combating Violence Against Indigenous Women