UNPFII20: Agenda 6 – The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20th Session
23rd April 2021
SDG Implementation in Asia
Statement on behalf of the Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus
Presented by: Rojieka Mahin

The 2021 ESCAP Progress Report on the SDGs stated that the Asia Pacific is not on track in achieving the 17 goals and that the region is currently on track to achieve less than 10 per cent of the Sustainable Development Goal targets for which there are sufficient data to measure progress.

The COVID19 pandemic that exposed the structural discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and worsening inequality, the militaristic approach of some countries to responding to the pandemic, and the continuing exploitation of Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories without their FPIC will further contribute to the regression of the achievement of the SDGs if not rectified.

One of the main stumbling block for the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the SDGs is the lack of  their  legal  recognition as indigenous peoples with collective rights affirmed by  UN international human rights instruments. While Indigenous Peoples  in Asia comprise 70 % which is  more  than 350 million of the  global population of indigenous peoples,  majority are not legally recognized and their lands and resources are expropriated and exploited by States and corporations  in the name “national development”.  Inspite of the  commitments made by States  to respect  human rights and  pursue sustainable development for all, the transformational changes to end the systemic discrimination of  indigenous peoples by law and  practice  is not taking place.  Conflicts, marginalization and exclusion  remain as the order of the day in  indigenous  communities across Asia,  and criminalization of indigenous peoples have even worsened.

As countries are now looking at sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID19, it is important that Indigenous Peoples must be able to meaningfully participate in decision- making related to response and recovery measures on the covid-19 pandemic, including processes regarding the SDGs at all levels. Respectful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples will enhance their roles and contributions to sustainable development.

Access to vaccine and appropriate public health care programmes should be provided along with proper social protection measures to strengthen the resilience of indigenous peoples.

We urge the UNPFII to mobilize political support and resources for undertaking data-disaggregation by ethnicity in the monitoring and reporting on the SDGs at all levels to make Indigenous Peoples visible and accounted for in the SDG implementation.  

Contact Person:
Rojieka Mahin on behalf of the Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus
Email at [email protected] , [email protected] and [email protected]

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