Intervention to the Round Table Discussion on Enhanced Participation of Indigenous Peoples
Thank you Madam. Co-chair
Excellencies, Distinguished dignitaries, leaders of Indigenous Peoples! First of all, I endorsed the Quito Outcome Document 2020, outcome document of WCIP 2014, and initiation of EMRIP, UNPFII, and the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples on enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples. And I would like to endorse the written Statement submitted by the Secretary-General of AIPP.
It is a positive step that, all member states in Asia adopted the UNDRIP, which recognizes Indigenous Peoples as distinct legal and political entities with an inherent right to self-determination. However, Indigenous Peoples and their distinct identity as peoples are invisible in the legal and political arena in most countries in Asia. It is hard to realize in practice, even though laws in some members states, recognize the identity and rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The systematic exclusion and marginalization remain Indigenous People almost stateless and voiceless. On the other hand, the approach of assimilation in some countries destroying the right to live freely with dignity distinct peoples and threatening their continued existence.
Thus, I urge Member states in Asia to ensure the free and meaningful participation of IPs recognizing their representative institutions and sui generis governing system to fulfill their commitment by adopting the UNDRIP and to take the positive initiative for enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples at the UN level.
It has been realized that the participation of Indigenous Peoples at all UN Foras, including the HRC, needs to harmonize in line with the Charter of the United Nations, International laws including UNDRIP, so Indigenous Peoples’ voice is heard. To achieve this, Indigenous Peoples representatives freely chosen by themselves in accordance with their own process should be recognized. In this regard, HRC should adopt a resolution, on enhanced and meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples that incorporate the voice of Indigenous Peoples.
Finally, As the Self-evident and legally recognized Indigenous Nations, we want to walk not behind, not in front but side by side with the nation-state, for strengthening the purpose of the United Nations as stipulated in its Charter.
Thank you Mr. Chair
Secretary of Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP)