Statement: Denounce Corporate Greed and Prioritise Protection of Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability

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Statement of Solidarity of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact to the Peoples of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)* stands with the Native Americans, activists and water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, USA in denouncing corporate power and demanding state accountability. AIPP supports the full protection of the Missouri river and the territory of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). This project is an outright violation of the treaty agreement between the US government and the Sioux tribe with their inherent collective right to their lands, territories and resources.

Further, arbitrary arrests and use of force on 28 October 2016 by law enforcement officers on the protectors of the Missouri River and Standing Rock Sioux Reservation are unjust actions and only serve the interests of investors to the DAPL, including 38 banks that are among the most powerful financial institutions. Similarly, the approval of the Emergency Commission of the $4 million fund request of the highest-ranking military officer of North Dakota for “public safety costs associated with the demonstrations” is an ominous indication of how the US government digress from protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and the right of all peoples dependent on the Missouri River to clean and safe drinking water.

The 1,172-mile long Dakota Access pipeline that would go through a dammed stretch of the Missouri River bordering the Sioux reservation in North Dakota violates Sioux sacred sites and will pollute the Reservation’s drinking water supply. The project is a classic display of corporate greed that disregards human rights and values profit more than the people and environment.

AIPP joins the international community in appealing to President Obama to do the right thing before he ends his term on 8 November 2016 by ensuring the protection of the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Missouri River.

This kind of extractive project being imposed on indigenous peoples across the world, which blatantly tramples on the rights of indigenous peoples’ to their lands, territories and resources, as well as to their self-determination should be stopped. Indigenous peoples deserve respect and recognition as distinct peoples with collective rights affirmed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Peace and social justice for indigenous peoples can only be attained if states, corporations, investors and development actors fully abide by their obligations and commitments to uphold, respect and protect human rights and ensure environmental sustainability.

Joan Carling

Secretary General

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

*AIPP is an indigenous peoples’ organisation with 48 member-organisations representing 14 countries in Asia.

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