MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Human Rights Council Adopts Text for Indigenous Rights

Published by MAC on 2006-07-06


Human Rights Council Adopts Text for Indigenous Rights

6th July 2006

The following are statements relating to the recent vote of the new UN Human Rights Council, accepting the contents of a future Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This will be finally considered during the UN General Assembly later this year, for adoption and ratification. Its passage could have a major impact in standard setting, with Indigenous Peoples being further emboldened to assert their rights, especially to their territories. The draft Declaration (reproduced in full below) not only acknowledges Indigenous Peoples rights to self-determination, but also their individual and collective land and resource rights.

Inter alia, the draft Declaration affirms that "States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of their mineral, water or other resources."

Introducing the draft to Indigenous organisations and their supporters, Devasish Roy Chakma (Chief & Co-Chairperson of the Indigenous Peoples' Caucus (Former) Working Group on the Draft ) comments: "We are aware that the draft may not meet the hopes and aspirations of all the indigenous peoples of the world. It no doubt contains defects and shortcomings...
However, it is our firm belief that further deliberations would have weakened, rather than strengthened, the instrument..We believe that the draft did, on the whole, accommodate our most basic rights without being unacceptable to a large number of member states of the UN."

Two mineral-rich states voted against the proposed draft (Canada and Russia), while Argentina, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines were among the twelve which abstained.

One major challenge, posed by the draft declaration, is to the World Bank/IFC- and the growing number of financial and other institutions which claim to follow its lead.
The IFC's "performance standards were published in draft earlier this year. The world's biggest "development" funder still fails to recognise Indigenous Peoples' rights to exercise consent to mineral and other exploitation of their terriorities - granting only the "right" to "consultation".


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am happy to inform you that on 29 June, 2006, the new Human Rights Council, sitting at its first session at the United Nations office in Geneva, accepted the proposal of Mr. Luis-Enrique Chavez, the Chairperson of the Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Document E/CN.4/2006/79) regarding the contents of a future Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The resolution came through a vote. 30 States were in favour, 2 States were against, 12 abstained, and 3 were absent. Those in favour included Council members from Latin America, Europe and Africa, and a few from Asia. We are grateful to all of them and to the Chairperson of the Working Group for his courageous and patient leadership.

In its Resolution 60/142 (16 December, 2005), while adopting the Programme of Action for the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People at its 64th plenary meeting, the UN General Assembly "[urged] all Governments and indigenous organizations concerned to take every action necessary to facilitate the adoption of the draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples as soon as possible". The aforesaid resolution of the Human Rights Council demonstrates the united efforts of governments and indigenous peoples to take the process forward, as urged by the General Assembly. It now remains for the General Assembly to convert the Draft Declaration into a Final Universal Declaration at its forthcoming session in Autumn-Winter, 2006.

We are aware that the draft may not meet the hopes and aspirations of all the indigenous peoples of the world. It no doubt contains defects and shortcomings. A section of the draft contains language that was not expressly agreed upon by participants at the Working Group. However, it is our firm belief that further deliberations would have weakened, rather than strengthened, the instrument. Therefore, while being quite aware of the aforesaid shortcomings, Asian Indigenous participants at the Working Group, along with participants from other regions, endorsed the proposed draft. We believe that the draft did, on the whole, accommodate our most basic rights without being unacceptable to a large number of member states of the United Nations. Needless to mention, in the United Nations and other international processes, it is extremely important that indigenous peoples and member states of the United Nations work in unison. Such views were incorporated in a statement by Indigenous participants at a Workshop on the Concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 3 March, 2006.

Commenting on the Chiangmai Declaration on the Draft Declaration, Dr. Erica I. Daes - the former chairpersonship of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations (under whose leadership the first draft of the Declaration was formulated) - wrote thus (in an e-mail message to me in March, 2006): "I should like also to thank you warmly and to congratulate you and all your Colleagues and Participants in the Workshop on the Concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia for the very comprehensive and timely Statement. I agree very much with its content and your approach. Therefore, I did my best in order for this statement to be taken into consideration by the Secretariat of the Human Rights Commission as well as by its Bureau".

The draft Declaration, as proposed by the chairperson of the Working Group, emphasizes upon the equal access of indigenous peoples to all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including both individual and collective rights, affirms that the right of self determination applies to indigenous peoples, acknowledges individual and collective land and resource rights of indigenous peoples, and makes specific references to other important rights, including the right to fair, just and inclusive means of redress for past wrongs and injustices, the right to the enforcement of treaties and agreements made between indigenous peoples and states, the right to maintain indigenous peoples' customary laws and justice systems, safeguards against militarization of indigenous peoples' territories, and language and cultural rights, among others.

I hope that we will be able to take concerted action in disseminating the draft Declaration as widely as possible, to leaders, activists and workers of indigenous peoples in different parts of the world, and to our friends and supporters. An immediate task will be to translate the provisions of the Declaration into every possible language. Finally, we have to moblize support towards the final adoption of the Declaration with as much support as possible from peoples and governments from different parts of the world, in the spirit of Partnership for Action & Dignity, as declared in the theme of the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People.

In solidarity, and with best wishes,

Devasish Roy Chakma
Chief & Co-Chairperson, Indigenous Peoples' Caucus
(Former) Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' CAUCUS CLOSING STATEMENT

Human Rights Council United Nations Office

Geneva

29th June 2006

On behalf of the Indigenous Caucus, on this momentous occasion, we would like to express our heartfelt thoughts on the adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The League of Nations did not act on the demands of the diplomatic envoys of the Maori and the Iroquois Confederacy, so the roots of the present Declaration go back to 1974 and the voluminous Cobo report.

In 1977, the pivotal gathering of Indigenous peoples here at the United Nations prompted the world community to turn their attention to Indigenous Peoples in the Americas.

In this context, the important recommendation to establish the Working Group on Indigenous Populations was made.

The significant work of the five independent experts of the WGIP, two of whom are with us today, Erica Irene Daes and Miguel Alfonso Martinez, reflect that our repeated demands for recognition of our distinct status and rights would be addressed.

We persisted in our efforts and remained vigilant against some of the most formidable state forces in the world.

We relied upon our ability to engage in substantive debate, with positions that remain consistent with international law.

One of the most important outcomes has been that throughout all of our expressions, sometimes in our own languages, we have succeeded in educating the international community about the status, rights and lives of Indigenous peoples in every corner of world.

We will continue to do so in the Permanent Forum. The true legacy of the Declaration will be the way in which we, the Indigenous peoples of the world, in partnership with states, breathe life into these words.

The real test will be how this will affect the lives of our people on a daily basis.

While these are distinct and fundamental individual and collective human rights, it is their implementation at the community level, which will have an impact and give our children hope for a future where their lives and identity will be respected globally.

It would be unfair for us to name States that have played a leading role in reaching this point.

They know who they are and we know who they are.

They have worked with us to ensure the realization of this important human rights instrument.

We will not forget them and we will ask our people to honour them.

We trust that each of you will stand with us at the General Assembly as well.

Finally, we must express our thanks to Chairperson-Rapporteur Chavez for staunch efforts to reach a conclusion with this text. His patience to ensure that States and Indigenous Peoples could contribute effectively and equitably to the final outcome deserves our praise.

We express our wish as Indigenous Peoples for harmony in accordance with the natural world and hope that our multiple futures as Indigenous Peoples and States are brought together to embrace the positive contribution that we make to humankind.


Canada votes against native rights at UN

UN Human Rights Council adopts declaration on the claim of native peoples on land and resources, Canada dissents

Lisa Schlein, Canadian Press - THE VANCOUVER SUN, Part of the Canada.com Network http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=10554270-8f48-4c9d-83fc-7c3d6cd95086

30th June 2006

GENEVA -- Over the objection of Canada and Russia, the new UN Human Rights Council adopted a declaration Thursday to protect the rights of indigenous peoples around the world, including their claims on land and resources.

By a 30-2 vote, the council approved the declaration that said indigenous people should be free from discrimination and that they have a right "to consider themselves different and to be respected as such."

Only Canada and Russia voted against it. A dozen countries abstained and three were absent.

When the tally appeared on the electronic screen, the packed conference room erupted into applause. People wept and hugged each other and smiled broadly. Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights and former Supreme Court of Canada justice, joined in the standing ovation.

"I'm very excited," said Willie Littlechild, an Aboriginal lawyer and Treaty Six international chief from Alberta.

"I'm very, very delighted and encouraged by the signal the new Human Rights Council has given the world that they are serious about addressing indigenous issues as we go forward by adopting a declaration."

Indigenous groups had hoped the declaration would be approved by consensus, but Canada asked for a vote.

"When you're doing the right thing, you don't really worry about whether you're isolated or not," said Paul Meyer, head of the Canadian government delegation to the council.

"I think there were a number of countries that indicated they shared some of our concerns about the process and the substance and some of the deficiencies of both aspects that led us to take the vote we did."

The Canadian government has problems with current provisions on land, territories and resources which were unclear and open to interpretation, Meyer said. Other problematic areas are provisions on land claims, the concept of "free, prior and informed consent" and issues relating to self-government provisions.

Littlechild said he was "very personally disappointed that Canada chose to follow that path because ... they were there all the way through since 1982 helping us draft together a document, a balanced document."

The declaration goes to the UN General Assembly for final adoption in the fall.

The document is not legally binding. But governments and indigenous groups point out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was also not a binding document, but over time it became customary law.


UNOG - THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE AT GENEVA

News & Media - Complete text at: http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/BE82C77003776B9EC125719C005D5994?OpenDocument

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS TEXTS FOR RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Extends Mandate of Working Group on Drafting Optional Protocol to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

29th June 2006

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted by consensus the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and recommended that the General Assembly adopt the treaty.

The Council also adopted by a roll-call vote of 30 in favour to 2 against and 12 abstentions a resolution on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Council adopted the declaration as proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration and recommended that the General Assembly adopt the non-binding declaration.

Also adopted by consensus was a resolution on the Open-ended Working Group to draft an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Council welcomed the report of the Working Group with a view to considering options regarding the elaboration of an Optional Protocol and decided to extend the mandate of the Working Group for a period of two years in order to elaborate the Optional Protocol.

Participating in the debate to adopt the resolutions were the representatives of Argentina, Guatemala, Finland, Peru, Japan, Algeria, United Kingdom, Canada, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Guatemala, Switzerland, Mexico, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Russian Federation, China, Philippines, Brazil, Ukraine, Mauritius, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

When the Human Rights Council reconvenes at 9 a.m. on Friday, 29 June, it will hold a non-stop meeting until 6 p.m. to take further action on remaining draft resolutions and decisions before adjourning its first session.

Action on Resolution on Convention on Protection from Enforced Disappearance

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Action on Resolution on Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In a resolution (A/HRC/1/L.3), entitled Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, adopted after a roll-call vote by thirty in favour, two against, and twelve abstentions, the Human Rights Council adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 in annex I to the report of the Working Group on its eleventh session (E/CN.4/2006/79); recommends to the General Assembly that it adopt the following draft resolution:

The General Assembly, expresses its appreciation to the Council for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and adopts the Declaration as contained in the annex to Council resolution 2006/..

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law. Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity. Indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their rights to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (30): Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switerzland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Zambia.

Against (2): Canada, Russian Federation.

Abstentions (12): Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Absent (3): Djibouti, Gabon, Mali.

CARLA RODRIGUEZ MANCIA (Guatemala), in a general comment, said enough time had gone during the last 20 years in drafting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration would be a historical achievement in the efforts of the international community towards the rights of the indigenous peoples. The adopting the draft declaration would help the indigenous peoples. Guatemala called on all States to adopt the draft by consensus.

JEAN-DANIEL VIGNY (Switzerland), in a general comment, said the text was a compromise one which met with agreement with most of the delegations and most of the representatives of indigenous groups. Switzerland would have wished for the text to be adopted by consensus, but if this was not the case, it would vote in favour of the text.

XOCHITI GALVEZ (Mexico), in a general comment, said that they had finally closed the circle. They were at an historic point in time, finally acknowledging the fundamental rights of the world's indigenous peoples. Mexico was prepared to support the adoption of the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Where there was a collective political will, they could achieve a great deal. That had been seen in the Working Group, where the spirit of cooperation and dialogue had prevailed.

Mexico exhorted those countries that still had misgivings to vote favourably on this resolution. It was important for the Human Rights Council to give a clear signal to indigenous peoples throughout the world that it was working to promote and protect their human rights.

PAUL MEYER (Canada), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, acknowledged the important role that Canada, as well as other indigenous organizations, had played in the process of the drafting of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The proposal did not receive the necessary support, even though Canada, some other countries and a few indigenous representatives noted in their statements difficulties with a process where all parties had not discussed proposed language on several key issues. Canada had worked for a declaration that would promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every indigenous person without discrimination and recognized the collective rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Canada had a long and proud tradition of not only supporting but also actively advocating Aboriginal and treaty rights at home and was fully committed to working internationally on indigenous issues. Regrettably, however, Canada would vote against the resolution.

AJAI MALHOTRA (India), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said India had consistently favoured the rights of indigenous peoples, and had worked for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The text before the Council was the result of 11 years of hard work. The text did not contain a definition of "indigenous". The entire population of India was considered to be indigenous. With regards to the right to self-determination, this was understood to apply only to peoples under foreign domination, and not to a nation of indigenous persons. With this understanding, India was ready to support the proposal for the adoption of the draft Declaration, and would vote in its favour.

GUSTI AGUNG WESAKA PUJA (Indonesia), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that Indonesia had been following closely over 11 years the negotiations on this draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Human Rights Council, as a new body, had to address such important issues as this draft declaration. Therefore Indonesia supported the adoption of the draft declaration to protect and support the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. Indonesia was a multicultural nation that did not discriminate against its population on any grounds. All of Indonesia's citizens enjoyed the right to equal treatment before the law.

TOUFIQ ALI (Bangladesh), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the text did not follow the usual procedure before it was put as a final text for adoption. Bangladesh was a party to the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Civil and Political Rights and was making all efforts to implement them. Until some of the articles in the text were not amended, Bangladesh would abstain from the voting.

ALEXEY AKZHIGITOV (Russian Federation), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said great importance was given to defending the rights of indigenous peoples. The adoption by consensus of the draft would constitute a major step forward in ensuring the powers of indigenous peoples. Many provisions of the draft were acceptable. The draft should be effective and an authoritative international document. To date, the proposed text which had been submitted to the Council did not represent all of these characteristics, as the text did not enjoy genuine consensus, and had not been agreed on by all sides. Its adoption would set a negative precedent, and in this context Russia could not support the draft declaration in this form and in the procedure that had been used, and would vote against it. However, this did not mean that Russia was against a continuation of a discussion of the issue, and would work for international cooperation in the protection of the rights of indigenous persons.

SHA ZUKANG (China), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that China was in favour of the draft resolution under review on a draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The adoption of this United Nations instrument would be done after extensive consideration, China noted. China regretted that this instrument would have to be adopted by voting, at this very early stage of the work of the Human Rights Council. China hoped that in the future work of the Council members would conduct their work in a constructive spirit of cooperation.

ENRIQUE MANALO (Philippines), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the Government of the Philippines was fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the rights of its indigenous peoples. Because of that commitment, the Government had enacted a national indigenous people's rights act and had two autonomous regions in the country. If the draft resolution on the declaration were to be put for a vote, the delegation of the Philippines would abstain.

CLODOALDO HUGUENEY (Brazil), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said Brazil had voted for the resolution, and believed that the decision was a major achievement which augured well for the Council's work, and commended States and indigenous peoples who had made great efforts to ensure this memorable result. The Declaration asserted the importance of the indigenous peoples in societies, acknowledged diversity as a richness of countries, and aligned the past and present contribution of indigenous peoples to States. Brazil recognised the invaluable contribution of indigenous peoples to the political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual development of its society. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would be of utmost importance to fight discrimination against indigenous peoples and distortion created by centuries of discrimination. It would help to create societal harmony. Brazil had no doubt that the declaration was a reaffirmation of the commitment of the international community to ensure the enjoyment of indigenous peoples of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to respect the value of their indigenous cultures and identity.

IDRISS JAZAÏRY (Algeria), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that he wanted it to be noted that he had joined in the standing ovation that had marked the adoption of this declaration by the Council. Unfortunately, Algeria had had to abstain. He would like to plead for this declaration to have the maximum number of positive votes. In fact, Algeria had numerous indigenous peoples and had hoped the declaration would have been adopted unanimously, in which case it would have been able to join the consensus. Unfortunately the declaration was in conflict with the Constitution of Algeria, which contained a provision on political parties that stipulated they could not be on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity. For that reason Algeria could not vote in favour.

HIROSHI MINAMI (Japan), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said the delegation of Japan had been participating in the Working Group for the drafting of the Declaration on the Rights Indigenous People for the last 12 years and it had voted in favour of the draft resolution. The Government would interpret the declaration that the meaning of autonomy that it might not affect the territorial integration of State sovereignty. Further, the Government did not recognize collective rights.

SERGIO CERDA (Argentina), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said Argentina had abstained, and regretted it had not been able to join the favourable vote. Despite Argentina's clear adhesion to the rights of indigenous peoples, Argentina regretted the lack of time to deal with certain provisions of the declaration, which were of particular importance, namely the process of self-determination and territorial integrity. Argentina hoped that the situation would be rectified in the General Assembly, and Argentina would be able to vote in favour there, especially as this was one of the most important and legitimate topics to be dealt with by the international community.

VOLODYMYR VASSYLENKO (Ukraine), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that Ukraine had always supported the elaboration of an international instrument for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. The protection of indigenous peoples was one of the core rules of Ukrainian law. For that reason, Ukraine had been striving to elaborate an instrument that would provide the proper balance between the rights of indigenous peoples and those of sovereign States.

Ukraine said that the document just adopted by the Council contained important protections for the rights of indigenous peoples, but it also contained important flaws. It purported to define a right of self-determination for indigenous peoples. For that reason, and because it failed to fulfil the need to preserve the territorial and political integrity of sovereign States, Ukraine could not support it. Ukraine regretted that the text had been adopted without allowing Member States to improve the document so that it could reach consensus.

NARSINGHEN HAMTYRAGEN (Mauritius), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said the declaration would consolidate the existing universal human rights. It was expected that all States would contribute in resolving the difficulties of indigenous peoples. There was a fear that some self-designated indigenous groups might threaten the sovereignty of a State by following a wrong interpretation of the declaration. The concept of autonomy should not be interpreted to jeopardize the sovereignty of a State.

ANDREAS PFAFFERNOSCHKE (Germany), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said along with other efforts undertaken during the past decade to improve the situation of indigenous peoples throughout the world, Germany had closely monitored the development of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The adoption of the document proved that the new Council was able to produce concrete results for the benefit of indigenous peoples, who were entitled to the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as everybody else. The respect and application of existing binding international human rights law remained essential. The primary importance of individual human rights protection was asserted in the Declaration. Germany understood the right to self-determination set out in the Declaration to be a new right, specific to indigenous peoples, and it could not influence the territorial integrity of a State. The Declaration, being an important instrument to enhance the rights of indigenous peoples was non-legally binding. Germany's own national minorities and ethnic groups, which enjoyed protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, did not fall under the scope of the Declaration.

NICHOLAS THORNE (United Kingdom), speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that the United Kingdom welcomed the declaration as an important tool to enhance the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, and regretted that the declaration had had to come to a vote. The United Kingdom felt that its concerns had been addressed in negotiations, as reflected in the declaration, and it fully supported the provisions of the declaration that recognized the rights of indigenous peoples under international law, on an equal footing with all. The United Kingdom observed that it did not accept the concept of collective rights in international law. The United Kingdom clarified that it understood the right of self-determination as set out in the declaration as one which was to be exercised within the territory of a State and which was not designed to impact in any way on the territorial integrity of States. The United Kingdom emphasized that the declaration was not legally binding and that the citizens of the United Kingdom and its territories overseas did not fall within the scope of the declaration.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said the delegation of Morocco had abstained during the vote. The delegation of Morocco would have preferred that the resolution be adopted by consensus so that Morocco could have joined. Morocco was making progress in building its democratic system and in strengthening the human rights of its people.

ADELE WILDSCHUT of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus, said on the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that the League of Nations had not acted on the demands of the envoys of the Maoris and others, and the roots of the discrimination went back to the 1970s, a time when the international community had been prompted to pay attention to the indigenous peoples in the Americas. The repeated demands for the distinction of the distinct status of the indigenous peoples had at last been addressed, after substantive debate with positions that had been consistent with international law. The international community had been educated as to the status, rights, and lives of indigenous peoples in every corner of the world. The true legacy of the declaration would be the way in which the lives of the indigenous peoples would be affected on a daily basis. It was the implementation of the declaration at the community level which would have the greatest impact. The States that had worked with the indigenous peoples would not be forgotten. It was hoped that each State would stand with the indigenous peoples at the General Assembly. Indigenous peoples wished for harmony in accordance with the natural world and hoped that all would be brought together to embrace the positive contribution that indigenous peoples made to mankind.

Action on Resolution on Working Group on Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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UNITED NATIONS A General Assembly Distr.

LIMITEDA/HRC/1/L.3

23th June 2006

Original: ENGLISH

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

First session The Human Rights Council - Agenda item 4

IMPLEMENTATION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 60/251 OF 15 MARCH 2006 ENTITLED "HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL"

Armenia*, Benin*, Congo*, Costa Rica*, Cuba, Cyprus*, Denmark*, Estonia*, Finland, France, Greece*, Guatemala, Haiti*, Lesotho*, Mexico, Nicaragua*, Norway*, Panama*, Peru, Portugal*, Slovenia*, Spain*, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)*

Working group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994

Recalling Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/32 of 3 March 1995, in which it established an open-ended intersessional working group with the sole purpose of elaborating a draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, considering the draft contained in the annex to resolution 1994/45 of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly within the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous People,

Aware that the working group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 has held 11 sessions between 1995 and 2006,

Considering that the General Assembly, in its resolution 59/174 of 20 December 2004, urges all parties involved in the process of negotiation to do their utmost to carry out successfully the mandate of the working group and to present to the General Assembly for adoption as soon as possible a final draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples,

Stressing that paragraph 127 of the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 60/1 of 16 September 2005, reaffirms the commitment of the international community to adopt a final draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples as soon as possible,

Taking note of the report of the working group on its eleventh session, which took place in Geneva from 5 to 16 December 2005 and from 30 January to 3 February 2006 (E/CN.4/2006/79),

Welcoming the conclusion of the Chairperson-Rapporteur in paragraph 30 of the report of the working group and his proposal as contained in annex I to the report,

1. Adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as proposed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the working group of the Commission on Human Rights to elaborate a draft declaration in accordance with paragraph 5 of the General Assembly resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 in annex I to the report of the working group on its eleventh session (E/CN.4/2006/79);

2. Recommends to the General Assembly that it adopt the following draft resolution:

The General Assembly,

Taking note of Human Rights Council resolution 2006/. of . June 2006, in which the Council adopted the text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Council for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

2. Adopts the Declaration as contained in the annex to Council resolution 2006/..

Annex

UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES*

PP1 Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,

PP2 Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,

PP3 Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin, racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,

PP4 Reaffirming also that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind,

PP5 Concerned that indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests,

PP6 Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources,

PP6 Further recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,

PP7 Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring an end to all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,

PP8 Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,

PP9 Recognizing also that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment,

PP10 Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world,

PP11 Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child,

PP12 Recognizing also that indigenous peoples have the right freely to determine their relationships with States in a spirit of coexistence, mutual benefit and full respect,

PP13 Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of international concern, interest, responsibility and character,

PP13 Also considering that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States,

PP14 Acknowledging that the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights affirm the fundamental importance of the right of self-determination of all peoples, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,

PP15 Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples their right of self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,

PP15 bis Convinced that the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in this Declaration will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between the State and indigenous peoples, based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith,

PP16 Encouraging States to comply with and effectively implement all their obligations as they apply to indigenous peoples under international instruments, in particular those related to human rights, in consultation and cooperation with the peoples concerned,

PP17 Emphasizing that the United Nations has an important and continuing role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples,

PP18 Believing that this Declaration is a further important step forward for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples and in the development of relevant activities of the United Nations system in this field,

PP18 bis Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples,

PP19 Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect,

Article 1

Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.

Article 2

Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.

Article 3

Indigenous peoples have the right of self?determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 3 bis (former Article 31)

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

Article 4

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their rights to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

Article 5

Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.

Article 6

1. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.

2. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.

Article 7

1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.

2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:

(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.

Article 8 (deleted)

Article 9

Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.

Article 10

Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

Article 11 (deleted)

Article 12

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.

2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

Article 13

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.

2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 14

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

Article 15

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.

2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.

3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.

Article 16

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.

2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.

Article 17

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately-owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.

Article 18

1. Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rights established under applicable international and domestic labour law.

2. States shall in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples take specific measures to protect indigenous children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, taking into account their special vulnerability and the importance of education for their empowerment.

3. Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary.

Article 19

Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

Article 20

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.

Article 21

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.

2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress.

Article 22

1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.

2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.

Article 22 bis

1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.

2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.

Article 23

Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.

Article 24

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.

2. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.

Article 25

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 26

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 26 bis

States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples' laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.

Article 27

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, of a just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.

2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.

Article 28

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.

3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.

Article 28 bis

1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a significant threat to relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.

2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities.

Article 29

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

2. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.

Article 30

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.

2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of their mineral, water or other resources.

3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.

Article 31 (deleted - new Article 3 bis)

Article 32

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

Article 33

Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain their institutional structures and their distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions, procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs, in accordance with international human rights standards.

Article 34

Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities.

Article 35

1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.

2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.

Article 36

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such Treaties, Agreements and other Constructive Arrangements.

2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as to diminish or eliminate the rights of Indigenous Peoples contained in Treaties, Agreements and Constructive Arrangements.

Article 37

States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

Article 38

Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.

Article 39

Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights.

Article 40

The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration through the mobilization, inter alia, of financial cooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring participation of indigenous peoples on issues affecting them shall be established.

Article 41

The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States, shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.

Article 42

The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.

Article 43

All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaranteed to male and female indigenous individuals.

Article 44

Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as diminishing or extinguishing the rights indigenous peoples have now or may acquire in the future.

Article 45

1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations.

2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law, in accordance with international human rights obligations. Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a democratic society.

3. The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith.

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