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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Organizational Strengthening and Movement Building (OSMB)

The constitution of AIPP defines itself as a “regional federation of indigenous peoples’ organisations representing the movements in Asia to facilitate, support and strengthen solidarity and unity among member organisations and movements”.

 AIPP initiates, supports and sustains programs for safeguarding and developing the economic, social and cultural systems of indigenous societies and AIPP’s SP defines its Programmes with a cycle of four years. The OSMB programme is implemented mainly under the leadership of the Secretary General (SG) with the support of the Deputy Secretary General (DSG). The purpose of the OSMB Programme is to deepen the democratic governance of AIPP and to strengthen the collective leadership of the Executive Council (EC) in their engagement with member-organisations. Further, it focusses on fostering unity and solidarity among members and others, including strengthening the organising capacity of members. Through dialogue process, the OSMB Programme helps to identify priorities of member-organisations at the country level. It also sharpens regional strategy and approach for effective intervention on core issues such as indigenous women, land rights, self-determination and self-government, etc.

 The OSMB Programme focusses on democratic governance and collective leadership to promote constitutionalism and thus promote awareness of rights and responsibilities among its constituents. AIPP, as a federation of indigenous peoples’ movements, sees its strength in the organising capacity of its members and awareness of its rights and responsibilities. This awareness and practice of constitutionalism enables them to engage with States on constitutional and legal matters effectively. Further, sharing of experiences, ideas and engagement in dialogues enable members to identify critical issues and processes (those that have potentials to create significant political impact) at the local and country levels and affectively link it to­­­­­­­ regional and global advocacy processes. Over the years, AIPP has been strengthening its local processes and planning. The implementation of the current SP will focus on consolidating such processes and put in place mechanism for bottom-up planning. This is to ensure that AIPP contributes to make a difference in the life of indigenous communities in a significant way. 

 With the adoption of the UNDRIP in 2007, there has been a general shift towards a focus on implementation of the declaration. This has led to ratification of the ILO Convention 169 by three more countries, and the development of policy triggering law reforms in many countries, including UN agencies. The major trend has been mainstreaming indigenous issues and concerns in the interest of promoting inclusiveness but with less attention to the right to self-determination and self-government. The process is also triggering development of safeguards among International Financial Institutions (IFIs) for improving their engagement with indigenous communities. However, the process of changes taking place in Asia is slow as compared to some other regions, mainly because most Asian governments do not recognise indigenous peoples and the democratic institutions are weak. It is in this context that AIPP prioritises the local and country level processes, while leveraging with regional and global processes, in the recognition of the right to self-determination and self-government and other rights of indigenous peoples in Asia.

 AIPP’s OSMB program will continue to foster unity and solidarity among members and others, and will strengthen the organizing capacity of members. It will also sharpen regional strategies and approaches for effective intervention on core issues such as indigenous women, land rights, self-determination and self-government, etc.  

 Towards the above aims, AIPP will identify focal points at country level for country-level coordination and formulation of strategies and action plans for country level advocacy. Additionally, mechanisms for faster two-way communication between EC members and member-organisations will be strengthened and EC members will be supported to provide more intensive support to member-organisations.

 The demands and expectations from AIPP at country, regional and global levels are expanding at a fast pace. To meet these emerging challenges, AIPP’s EC could play a greater role in supporting member-organizations through information and guidance, building capacities and helping them map and achieve their objectives. To be able to respond to these demands effectively, the capacities of the new EC members will be rigorously developed, and roles and responsibilities will be made explicit among all GA members and newly elected EC members. Programme management mechanisms such as the Programme Committees will be strengthened.

 In addition to regular meetings and faster and stronger communication between EC, Secretariat and member organisations, in the new SP, AIPP will also ensure that EC members are playing a key role in supporting regional reflection events, and are also in the forefront to develop strategies with member organisations, especially in countries in transition or in the midst of peace negotiations. A mid-term review of implementation of the SP as well as the role of the EC members will be taken up by AIPP.

 Moreover, an organisation is only as strong as its staff. In the current SP, therefore, AIPP will place special attention to develop the capacity and leadership of its Secretariat staff. Towards this end, AIPP will put in place a continuous staff development plan and will streamline information sharing between staff and member-organisations to reduce duplication and information overload. Additionally, a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system will be put in place, which will help the Secretariat staff and member-organisations to mutually monitor the achievement of expected results. Additionally, AIPP will put in place all capacities and systems required to mobilise funds and resources to fulfil the requirements of the SP.