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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

AIPP’s Message for the 20th Anniversary of AMAN

The Awakening Day of the Archipelago Indigenous Peoples 20thAnniversary of AMAN
International Day of World Indigenous Peoples, 2019
“Re-Affirming our Determination, Strengthening the Roots, Promoting Solutions”

Message from Gam A. Shimray, Secretary General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

9th August 2019

This year, the 20th Anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), is an occasion for Asia indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) as well to celebrate together for the ever-growing strength in the struggle of Indigenous Peoples in Asia.

Over these past 20 and 27 years, alongside many other indigenous communities in Asia, of AMAN and AIPP respectively have come together to discuss, propagate, and assert our own agenda towards: our inherent right to self-determination and self-governance; our human rights and customary laws; the control of our lands, territories and resources; our unique culture, practices, science and intellectual property.

AMAN has made great strides in 20 years and have made remarkable achievements in addressing new and old challenges with strength and solidarity along with other movements across the globe in our dream to build a more just world. In the face of historical and contemporary threats to the survival of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia, it is timely that AMAN, on its 20th Anniversary is reflecting on the progress made towards your collective aspirations and vision.

AMAN is an inspiration to the struggle of Indigenous Peoples in Asia. There is no doubt that there is increased recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia, and at the regional and international arenas. AIPP recognizes that AMAN has made immense contribution to the collective struggle of Indigenous Peoples across the world towards the acceptance of our rights as legitimate universal human rights among governments, CSOs and the United Nations.

At the country-level, AMAN has made significant achievements. However, AIPP recognizes that regardless of the promising developments, there are several obstacles regarding the implementation of international and national instruments and agreements. In particular, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Bill, which guarantees the recognition and protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples has not yet been ratified by the Indonesian National Parliament Assembly.

Often, the puzzle of institutional change has been explained narrowly through reference to ‘political will’. Reform failure or non-implementation of agreements, stagnating institutions, social exclusion, or poor services are easily attributed to lack of political will. But this is insufficient and can be misleading even. An absence of political will in support of reform or implementation of agreements can likely be an indication of the presence of political will in another direction, or in support of the status quo may be precisely the problem.

We have attachments, longing and belongingness with our fellow communities, which also extends to our lands and territories. We have a longing to give oneself completely to something such as our desire to sacrifice for our fundamental freedoms, rights and the protection of our lands and territories. We believe in reciprocity and embracing a common vision that is noble and whole for diverse societies. Our vision is sacred, and our struggles and sacrifices are incomplete without forgiveness and reconciliation. Similarly, we believe that Indonesia will be a country to lead in taking this visionary path to justice and peace where everyone feels the sacred aura of belongingness – the feeling that there is something greater than every individual in Indonesia of which all are apart.

We have a dream and we hope that Indonesia will share this dream with us!

Finally, we take pride in the increasing growth of indigenous organizations, including indigenous women and youth, at the country and sub-country levels. And we recognize the increasing strength of our movements with the growing participation and leadership of women.

Glory to AMAN and glory to Indigenous Peoples of Asia!

Gam A. Shimray
Secretary General

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