Innabuyog shares this statement below, which we signed together with other members of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network at the Asian Institute Management, Igorot Lodge, Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Philippines, August 16, 2007.
We, representatives of the indigenous women’s organizations and NGOs in Asia, gathered together in Baguio City, Philippines for the AIWN Coordination Council meeting and Capacity-Building Workshop for the Convention on Biological Diversity, from 15-19 August 2007, urge all the members-States of the UN General Assembly to vote for the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of its 61st session on 17 September 2007.
This Declaration which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 29 June 2007 in Resolution 2006/2, is the most comprehensive human rights instrument addressing the situation of indigenous peoples. It represents the minimum standards which are crucially needed to protect the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples all over the world.
As indigenous women, who are still suffering from discrimination, subordination and oppression, we believe that the adoption by the General Assembly of this Declaration is a major step towards strengthening our struggles to have our rights respected, protected and fulfilled by member-states of the United Nations.
Twenty-four years spent in drafting and negotiating this Declaration has given States more than enough time to raise their concerns and to engage in dialogue with indigenous representatives who spent time, energy and resources to engage with the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly Resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1194, and the newly established UN Human Rights Council.
We thank the 30 States who voted for its adoption at the Human Rights Council and the 67 States who are the co-sponsors of the draft resolution for the adoption of the Declaration by the General Assembly. We particularly urge the remaining 14 States who voted for the adoption of the Declaration at the UN Human Rights Council, but who have not joined the 67 co-sponsors, to remain faithful in their support of the Declaration at the 61st Session of General Assembly.
We call on the Africa Group and all other States, who supported the Africa Group Resolution to defer the adoption of the Declaration, to now show good faith after their concerns have been discussed in informal consultations and vote for the adoption.
We call on all Asian States to vote in favor of adopting the Declaration.
We commit our full support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and we will work for the implementation of together with other indigenous peoples’ nations, tribes and organizations and in partnership with UN Member-States, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Human Rights Council and other UN bodies, programmes and funds as well as other intergovernmental organization and civil society organizations. #