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(June 15, 2015) By not appointing the indigenous expert nominated by the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Movement, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, last week, broke with a well established principle of respecting indigenous peoples' own selection process for indigenous expert members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“We need to assert respect for indigenous peoples-led selection process and safeguard the integrity and independence of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that resulted from the global movement of indigenous peoples,” says Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education).
Tebetabba and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus, have expressed concern regarding the non-appointment of Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member from Asia to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and written a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they point out the following:
As per ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which established the Permanent Forum, the President of the Council shall appoint eight of the 16 members of the Permanent Forum “following formal consultation with the Bureau and the regional groups through their coordinators, on the basis of broad consultations with indigenous organizations, taking into account the diversity and geographical distribution of the indigenous people of the world as well as the principles of transparency, representativity and equal opportunity for all indigenous people, including internal processes, when appropriate, and local indigenous consultation processes…”
Break with well established procedure
Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Asia have since then established a process of consultation through which the past and current indigenous-nominated members of the Permanent Forum from the region were nominated.
It was also through this process that Ms. Joan Carling, current member of the Permanent Forum, was nominated for a second term. The process, facilitated by Tebtebba, was undertaken from October 2015 to January 2016.
“The non-appointment of Ms. Carling, being the person nominated by indigenous peoples’ organizations in the region, is inconsistent with ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which could serve as a bad precedent affecting the integrity of the defined selection process. Furthermore, this is an affront to an indigenous-led and indigenous-defined process”, says Tebtebba.
Call for endorsement of letter
Tebtebba has therefore prepared a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they strongly urge the President to give due respect to the consultation processes of the indigenous peoples in Asia, which has been the past practice, and reconsider Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member to the Permanent Forum without further delay.
The letter has been circulated within indigenous organisations and support NGOs for endorsement. IWGIA encouarages all indigenous organisations, networks and NGOs to endorse Tebetebba's letter.
If you wish to endorse the letter you can contact:
- Attached is the letter sent to the President of the UN ECOSOC about the recent Appointment of UNPF Expert Members, whereby the process and resulting nomination of indigenous peoples’ organizations and networks in Asia, was not upheld.
Follow-up of Abduction of Kalpana Chakma : Police fail to submit its report to the court for the 30th time in last 20 years13 June 2016, 1:49 am Written by Kapaeeng Foundation
One of the much-talked about incidents of abduction in the CHT is the abduction of Kalpana Chakma who was, allegedly, kidnapped by a group of army and Village Defense Party (VDP) men on 12 June 1996 from her home at New Lalyaghona under Baghaichari Upazila in Rangamati District. It has been 20 years since Kalpana Chakma was abducted. Still none of the perpetrators has been brought to justice. The update of the Kalpana Chakma’s case was scheduled is for 8 May 2016. The Investigating Officer was scheduled to submit, on this day, an investigation report to the court for the 30th time since her abduction. However, as the investigating officer failed to submit the report, a new date 12 July 2016 was fixed. But the scheduled date came and went by without submitting any investigating reports. It was learnt from the assigned lawyer Advocate Juwel Dewan of BLAST that many such dates were, in the meantime, fixed up and as usual they went by before a date on 8 May 2016 was once again fixed. Unfortunately, even on that set date the court did not receive any investigation report. A new date 12 July 2016 was again set for producing the investigation reports.
Kalpana Chakma, the then organizing secretary of Hill Women’s Federation, was allegedly abducted on 12 June 1996 at mid-night from her home at New Lalyaghona in Baghaichari Upazila under Rangamati District by a group of army and Village Defense Party (VDP) men. On the same night, when Kalpana was kidnapped, the perpetrators also allegedly tried to shoot two of her elder brothers dead in front of their house. Lal Bihari Chakma, one of the elder brothers of Kalpana, was able to identify Lt. Ferdous Kaisar Khan, the then Commander of Kajoichari army camp and Md. Nurul Haque and Md. Saleh Ahmmed, VDP Platoon Commanders. In the face of a tremendous protest, the government formed a 3-member inquiry committee headed by retired justice Abdul Jalil after three months of the incident. The other two members of the committee were Dr. Anupam Sen, professor of Sociology Department of Chittagong University and the then Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong division. The committee failed to rescue Kalpana Chakma and even to identify the perpetrators.
Kalindi Kumar Chakma (Kalicharan), elder brother of Kalpana Chakma along with Diptiman Chakma, local UP Chairman, informed the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Baghaichari Upazila of the incident on the same day. After dilly-dallying for long, the police finally accepted the complaint as a case (no 2, dated 12/06/1996, Section 364). On 17 January 1997 the case was transferred to the District Special Branch. Later the case was again transferred to Baghaichari Police Station on 26 December 2004. After 14 years, on 21 May 2010, police submitted the final probe report replete with deliberately misleading contents, allegedly, to save the perpetrators from being accused. Kalicharan, complainant, protested against the flawed probe report of the police. Later on 2 September 2010, the court ordered the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Police for further investigation of the case. On 26 September 2012, a final report was submitted on behalf of the CID, Chittagong Zone. In that report, the CID argued that they could not find the victim. The complainant again expressed his disagreement with the inquiry report and demanded once again for further investigation. On 16 January 2013, the court handed over the case to the Superintendent of Police of Rangamati district. On 22 December 2013 the court ordered to collect DNA of Kalindi Kumar Chakma and Lal Bihari Chakma, both elder brothers of Kalpana Chakma claiming it as a part of the investigation. This directive is a deliberate harassment to the Kalapana’s family to mislead the case. After a hearing on 8 May 2016, the court again set the date of hearing on 12 July 2016.Thecourt hearings of the case of Kalpana Chakma have been continuing for years together without showing any significant progress in sight.
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)
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Indigenous women demand peace at the UN, reparation and conflict resolution in indigenous territories30 May 2016, 1:15 am Written by IIWF/FIMI
They also advocated for the empowerment of girls, young and indigenous women in the world as agents of change.
The International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) in conjunction with the participation of 21 indigenous women from six regions of the world (North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Arctic and Pacific), participants of the Indigenous Women's Global Leadership School, attended the fifteenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on indigenous Issues(UNPFII by its acronym in English) held in New York City to discuss and advocate on this year's theme "indigenous peoples: conflict resolution and peace"
FIMI actively supported the articulation and coordination between indigenous women and other strategic actors for the positioning of indigenous women's political statement related to their role, participation and contribution in peace processes and conflict resolution. It is of great concern the critical conflict situations that indigenous communities still face, where children, youth and indigenous women are daily exposed to multiple expressions of violence because of the defense of their individual and collective rights.
In this context, FIMI developed, for the fourth consecutive year, the face-to-face session of the International Program on Human Rights and International Advocacy Skills from the Indigenous Women's Global Leadership School; which parts from the intersectionality of processes, combining capacity building, participation and advocacy, empowerment and the strengthening of indigenous women's movement. The program took place from May 2nd to May 13th in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights(ISHR) from Columbia University.
The first week of the face-to-face workshop was focused on the strengthening of knowledge and experiences, preparing the participants for the second week of the program that coincides with the beginning of the session of the Permanent Forum, important platform to carry out advocacy. The participants organized a side event as part of the implementation and sharing of knowledge that they acquired. They spoke on behalf of their regional organizations through interventions in interactive dialogues and sessions with a list of speakers.
For the third consecutive year, FIMI promoted a coordination meeting of indigenous women, held a day before starting the session of the Permanent Forum, bringing together 46 indigenous women from different regions of the world, in order to exchange information, get to know the participation methodology for the Forum and generate articulations and support on their political statements.
In addition, with the aim to strengthen the partnerships with local, regional and international networks of indigenous women, a discussion with strategic partners such as the Ford Foundation, the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and MADRE was developed; focusing the analysis and debate on the challenges and progress in the empowerment of indigenous women.
FIMI envisions that the empowerment of indigenous women is possible through continuous horizontal dialogues between decision-making stakeholders. In this sense, a side event was organized on March 16th addressing "Peace, justice and dignity", with the purpose of providing guidelines and make commitments to implement strategies on conflict resolution and achieve a dignified life and social justice.
The panel began with a spiritual reflection by Rosalina Tuyucof Conavigua, Guatemala, moderated by Mirna Cunningham, First Vice President of the Indigenous Fund and integrated by the Ambassadors of Brazil and Canada, the Section of Women, Peace and Security of UN Women, the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico, the President of the Indigenous Fund and renowned women's leaders in peace processes such as Aida Quilcue of Colombia; Sandra Creamer of Australia; Winnie Kodi of Sudan, and the intervention of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.
One of the recommendations emphasized by indigenous women at the Permanent Forum was the inclusion of the issue of empowerment of indigenous women in the next session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2017, the in-depth analysis of the Declaration of the Rights of indigenous Peoples, the Final Document of the World Conference and the States' commitment on the implementation of the Development Agenda 2030 with the full participation of indigenous women.
The indigenous women's leaders took advantage of the Forum to urge States to promote actions for the reparations of indigenous women victims of armed conflicts and put to an end the militarization of the indigenous territories. They also demanded justice and protection for the criminalization of human rights indigenous peoples' women defenders, who daily, and in various regions of the world are victims of violations of their human rights, where impunity for these actions still remains.
They also added, that the processes of conflict resolution and peace will only be possible when the right to free, prior and informed consent is respected, both by States and by large corporations, materializing this practice in plans and programs aimed to strengthen the role of indigenous women as agents of change.
"One of the main conclusions as indigenous women, brothers and sisters, is that women and indigenous peoples want peace in our territories, peace in our homes, and we want peace and respect in our bodies, in our public lives, private, spiritual and physical", added Tarcila Rivera Zea, FIMI's President, a well-known Quechua leader from Peru.
United Nations, 20 May 2016 — The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concluded its 15th session today with the adoption of a report, including recommendations for States, UN bodies and indigenous peoples. The report adopted by the expert members of the Permanent Forum, as orally revised (unedited), is available below, with the official document expected in June. The report will be presented to the Economic and Social Council in July 2016.
More than 1,000 indigenous peoples’ representatives attended the session, which took place from 9 to 20 May 2016 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Forum heard statements from indigenous peoples, UN Member States, UN agencies and other stakeholders. The discussions covered the main theme of “Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution” as well as other pertinent topics for indigenous peoples, including their participation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming ten-year anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2017.
“After two weeks of dialogue with indigenous peoples, Member States and UN entities, the Permanent Forum has today made strong recommendations to ensure indigenous peoples’ rights in times of conflict which is increasingly affecting them on their lands and territories,” said Mr. Alvaro Pop, the Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He added that, “the statements made during the 2016 session show a worrying trend of increased threats and violations against indigenous human rights defenders – and that there is an urgent need to ensure indigenous peoples’ access to justice and to address impunity.”
At the closing of the session, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for indigenous peoples’ participation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and said that “States must be held accountable for implementing the 2030 Agenda, with full respect for the rights and minimum standards guaranteed for indigenous peoples in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
See the report adopted by the expert members of the Permanent Forum, as orally revised (unedited) here:
Delivered by: Eleanor P. Dictaan – Bang-oa
18 May 2016
Today, we see the destruction of mother earth because of the continuing aggression of consumerism and cash economy within and outside our communities. Most of us are resisting because we still hold on to our notion of stewardship. And this has cost us lives as it will cost us the lives of our children if we do not do something about it. Enough of these human rights violations!
In the light of the full and effective implementation of the UNDRIP and state commitments to the SDGs, Paris Agreement, the CBD, the UN Agencies’ System- Wide Action Plan resulting from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples of 2014, and human rights, in general, we recommend the following for consideration under “Future Work” :
1. The SDGs or Agenda 2030 and the System-Wide Action Plan be part of the outstanding issues under the “Follow-Up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples” theme;
2. Particularly under the SWAP, that there be a special session assessing the implementation of the UNDRIP marking its 10 years of adoption;
Mr. Chairman, members of the UNPF, member states and concerned agencies of the UN, conflict is not just about arms nor is peace its absence. The culture of impunity grossly attacking indigenous peoples rights has to stop. The manipulation of indigenous peoples rights to free prior and informed consent and self-determination by state and business interest has to stop! Sustainable development can only be pursued in an atmosphere of peace where the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples and their communities are secured. And peace comes with healing; healing with justice.
Given the magnitude of human rights issues with high probability of being galvanized in the race to Agenda 2030, we recommend that a full day session be allotted for the UNSRIP to facilitate a dialogue with indigenous peoples and states under the Human Rights agenda item.
Further, we would like to recommend that the theme for the 16th Session of the UNPFII next year be on “Protection of indigenous peoples’ rights defenders and access to justice”. We support earlier recommendations to invite other specific human rights mandate holders, in this regard.
In 2014, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues decided to review its own methods of work in order to become a more effective mechanism within the UN system. In order for the Permanent Forum to be more responsive to its mandate which includes economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights, there must be an examination of, and reform in the way the Forum conducts its work.
The reform initiative is designed to involve all aspects of the Permanent Forum, ranging from its annual sessions, the role of the Expert Members and their inter-sessional work, the secretariat, and engagement with indigenous peoples, NGOs, UN agencies, member states and others.
1. The Permanent Forum has chosen to focus upon three areas for reform: Expanding and strengthening the work of the independent Expert Members of the Forum;
2. Increasing the effectiveness of the secretariat of the Forum; and
3. Enhancing the various inter-sessional activities and work of the Permanent Forum Expert Members, including their relationship with UN agencies through the Inter-Agency Support Group. There is the need to ensure close coordination with the other Indigenous specific UN mechanisms (UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples; Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) to avoid duplication and where possible to seize upon opportunities to advance urgent agenda items collectively within the UN system.
Previous organisation of work of the annual session
The previous organization of work during the annual sessions of the Permanent Forum included discussions on special themes or from the six mandated areas of the Forum; high-level panels on specific issues; dialogue with UN Agencies; and a regional focus. In addition, a large number of side-events are organized during the annual sessions by Governments, UN Agencies, Indigenous Peoples and others on a wide range of issues that are relevant to indigenous peoples.
A new way of working
In regard to reforming the work of the annual sessions, the Forum has identified the following options to improve its methods of work:
1. Identify specific issues/themes to be explored in a more comprehensive fashion at the annual sessions. This entails advance notice to all participants by posting brief concept notes on the Permanent Forum’s website and requesting participants to focus upon these issues and the corresponding questions set out in the concept notes.
2. Dividing the two-weeks of the annual session. One option is to hold open sessions for all the participants to the Permanent Forum in the first week and dedicate the second week to interactive sessions with each group, e.g. one day with member states, two days with UN agencies, funds and programmes, and two days as closed door meetings of the Forum to deliberate on its report and other urgent matters.
3. Sharpening focus on, and limiting the number of recommendations that the Permanent Forum adopts as well as limit the number of studies to be concluded by the members. This would involve creating clear and strict criteria for the adoption of recommendations. For example, they should be time bound, actionable, and with specific targets. This would streamline interventions and produce recommendations that avoid repetition and duplication. In addition, this would require a cultural change in the conduct of the session. A change in conference room dynamics also requires participants to limit their interventions and recommendations.
4. Urge indigenous peoples, member states, and interested UN agencies, NGOs, etc. to hold regional preparatory meetings (and national meetings, if possible) or thematic indigenous caucuses.
5. Explore the potential of such regional meetings to be held during times when the Permanent Forum members are in closed session in order for regional groups to dialogue and potentially reach consensus on recommendations for joint interventions (see paras 26 -29 of E.C.19/2006/10).
6. Ensuring equity in relation to indigenous peoples present at the annual session to have the opportunity to speak including the development of an advance speaker’s list
7. Improve upon the ways and means that the Permanent Forum report is adopted.
Changes for the Fifteenth Session
The Programme of Work for the fifteenth session of the Permanent Forum outlines some of the changes.
1. There will be an oral report on the follow-up to the recommendations of the Permanent Forum’s (previous) fourteenth session on the first day of the session.
2. There will one primary agenda item, Item 4 (Implementation of the six mandated areas of the Permanent Forum with reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).
3. The major change is the introduction of a half-day closed meeting where the Permanent Forum will hold separate dialogues with:
- Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations,
- UN Agencies, programmes and Fund and
- Members States.
Each of these dialogues will provide the opportunity to focus on specific issues and identify ways forward and ways the Permanent Forum members are able to address such matters.
4. The thematic panels will be conducted in a true interactive style. This requires panellists to speak for no longer than 5-10 minutes. There is no speaker’s list and no interventions will be sought from the floor. Instead there will be true interaction between the panellists and the participants.
5. The theme of the Permanent Forum’s fifteenth session is Indigenous Peoples: conflict, peace and resolution. As this is such an important topic for indigenous peoples, a whole day has been devoted to the theme. As in previous sessions, the Programme of Work also includes Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Future Work.
6. The biggest change will be Speakers arrangements during the plenary. The Programme of Work lists both Speaker’s Lists and Interactive Dialogues.
The Speaker’s Listsare open to all those who are registered to attend the Permanent Forum as observers. These include representative from Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations, National Human Rights Institutions and Indigenous Members of Parliament. The indigenous women’s caucus and the indigenous youth caucus will be able to make statements however this does not necessarily mean they will have priority over other speakers. All speakers from these categories must put their name on the advanced speaker’s list. Speakers are only allowed to speak once under an agenda item. Speaker’s List opened on the Permanent Forum’s website in April 2016.
ForInteractive Dialogues, speakers can inscribe to the speaker’s list at the beginning such session simply by pressing the microphone button on their desk, or where desks have been set aside for this purpose – especially for those who do not have access to a microphone button. You may be asked your name and organization by staff assisting the Chairperson.
At the beginning of each meeting, Permanent Forum members will introduce the agenda item. They will also ask questions and make statements whenever they judge appropriate. Time constraints are considerable given the great number of observers who ask for the floor. The Chairperson will explain the procedure to follow at the beginning of each plenary session regarding the list of speakers and also sets time limits for interventions (3 to 5 minutes is the usual practice).
The order of speakers is determined by the Chair of the Permanent Forum
We hope that you will be able to participate in a meaningful way during the fifteenth session of the UN Permanent Forum.
(4 April 2016)- The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women invites civil society organizations and governments to apply for funding through the 20th grant cycle (2016). The deadline for submitting concept notes is 4 May 2016, 23:59 EDT (GMT–4).
Since its creation, the UN Trust Fund has awarded USD 116 million to 426 initiatives in 136 countries and territories. Its current portfolio consists of 111 grants in 76 countries and territories totaling USD 57 million.
The UN Trust Fund’s annual call for proposals accepts multi-year grant applications for up to USD 1 million. With its 20th funding cycle in 2016, the UN Trust Fund will fund organizations that qualify for funding under one of three categories: The three programmatic areas of the UN Trust Fund Strategic Plan 2015–2020, the “special window” addressing violence against women and girls in the context of the current refugee crisis and under the “by invitation only” category. In all cases, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ability to clearly articulate the contextual challenges, expected, specific and measurable results and strategies to achieve them, with a focus on tailored approaches and interventions to adequately address the proposed form of violence.
The ideal proposal will include references to rigorous and documented evidence to justify the investment on the basis that the approach is likely to be effective in addressing violence against women and girls at the local or national level. As the UN Trust Fund aims to expand the global knowledge base on ‘what works’ to end violence against women and girls, applications from organizations piloting, testing, up-scaling or replicating evidence-based innovative and promising results-based approaches that carry the promise of broader application are also welcome.
For more information on applying visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en/trust-funds/un-trust-fund-to-end-violence-against-women/application-guidelines
MANILA, 31 March 2016 -- Sixteen women from across the Cordillera Autonomous Region and Mindanao are representing the Philippines in the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Indigenous Women Forum (IIWF-FIMI).
Implemented in Bolivia, Peru, India and the Philippines, the programme seeks to empower indigenous women leaders and activists to advocate for human rights, food and nutrition security.
FAO reports that while indigenous peoples constitute only about five percent of the world’s population -- most are in Asia -- they account for about 15 percent of the world’s poor.
The main causes of marginalization, said Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, FAO’s Global Advocacy officer on Indigenous Peoples, are related to the violation of their rights.
“It is crucial that we pave the way for indigenous women to have a strategic role in our quest to achieving zero hunger and other interrelated goals for sustainable development,” he said.
Capping off the observance of National Women’s Month in the country, Filipino participants of the Global Leadership School gathered in Manila for intensive face-to-face seminars with experts that will reinforce the lessons they have learned through an earlier virtual learning platform.
Addressing participants, FAO representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández said, “Indigenous women bear the burden of discrimination related to gender and ethnicity, among others but this should not deter you from moving forward in charting a brighter future for your communities. In the years that FAO has been working in the Philippines, we have witnessed how Filipino indigenous women are extremely capable of advocating for positive change and being development partners.”
“This is the first time that I am able to join a gathering of indigenous women from different parts of the country and even from outside our country. We can see a democratic dialogue and we are learning through sharing our experiences and listening to the experiences of others,” said Elsie Mokudef, a Teduray from Maguindanao province.
“It’s time for us indigenous women to break our silence. It’s time for us to speak up. Then and now, we see in communities that only a few women are given the opportunity to participate in decision making and this is usually because they are insecure about speaking,” she added.
Gender equality and empowering indigenous peoples are central to FAO’s mandate of achieving food security for all. In the Philippines, FAO has been working with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government units to build the resilience of vulnerable indigenous communities and indigenous women to natural disasters through climate adaptive agroforestry methods that take into account their centuries-old farming systems. (PR)
New York, March 24, 2016 — The 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women concluded today with UN Member States committing to the gender-responsive implementation of Agenda 2030. A set of agreed conclusions called for enhancing the basis for rapid progress, including stronger laws, policies and institutions, better data and scaled-up financing.
The Commission recognized women’s vital role as agents of development. It acknowledged that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of Agenda 2030 will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka welcomed the agreement and the commitment of UN Member States to make the 2030 Agenda, adopted last September, a reality in countries around the world. She said: “Countries gave gender inequality an expiry date: 2030. Now it is time to get to work. These agreed conclusions entrench and start the implementation of a gender-responsive agenda 2030 with which we have the best possibility to leave no one behind.”
Growing global commitment was already in evidence with a record number of more than 80 government ministers from around the world attending the Commission. Around 4,100 non-governmental representatives from more than 540 organizations participated as well, the highest number ever for one of the Commission’s regular annual meetings.
The agreed conclusions urge a comprehensive approach to implementing all 17 Sustainable Development Goals through thorough integration of gender perspectives across all government policies and programmes. Eliminating all forms of gender-based discrimination depends on effective laws and policies and the removal of any statutes still permitting discrimination. Temporary special measures may be required to guarantee that women and girls can obtain justice for human rights violations.
The Commission endorsed significantly increased investment to close resource gaps for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Funds should be mobilized from all sources, domestic and international, ranging from fulfilling official development assistance commitments to combatting illicit financial flows that shortchange public resources for gender equality.
With humanitarian crises and other emergencies disproportionately affecting women and girls, the Commission underlined the imperative of empowering women in leadership and decision-making in all aspects of responding to and recovering from crisis. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit, it stressed prioritizing women’s and girls’ needs in humanitarian action and upholding their rights in all emergency situations. Every humanitarian response should take measures to address sexual and gender-based violence.
Members of the Commission united behind ensuring women’s equal participation in leadership at all levels of decision-making in the public and private spheres, encompassing governments, businesses and other institutions, and across all areas of sustainable development. Depending on different circumstances, this may involve establishing temporary special measures, setting and achieving concrete benchmarks and removing barriers to women’s participation.
Given the major contributions to Agenda 2030 of civil society, including women’s and community-based organizations, feminist groups, human rights defenders and girls’ and youth-led organizations, the Commission welcomed open engagement and cooperation with them in gender-responsive implementation. It emphasized fully engaging with men and boys as agents of change and allies in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
To guide systematic progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the 2030 Agenda, the Commission stressed enhanced national statistical capacity and the systematic design, collection and sharing of high-quality, reliable and timely data disaggregated by sex, age and income. Members also agreed to bolster the role of national mechanisms for women and girls in championing their equality and empowerment.
On Thursday, March 24th concludes the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women CSW 60. Indigenous women delegations from six cultural regions worldwide attended the session to highlight the importance of indigenous women's empowerment. The International Indigenous Women's Forum facilitated the participation of eight indigenous women during the first week of the Commission in different advocacy arenas to make visible the urgent need of "empowerment of indigenous women" in various spheres and to demonstrate that indigenous women are agents of change and actives actors in transformative processes.
UN Women through the generous donation of the Yvonne M.T. Hebert' Scholarship supported the attendance of four young indigenous women, who participated for the first time at CSW60 and expressed their interest and commitment to continue strengthening themselves to contribute to improve the policies regarding indigenous women in their countries. Louis Wellington, representative of the Ingkerreke Commercial from Australia; Sharon Rose Sabato y Valerie Kasaiyian, representatives of the Indigenous Information Network from Kenya; Maria Judite da Silva Ballerio Guajajara, from the Indigenous Youth Network - Rede de Juventude Indígena- REJUIND, ECMIA from Brazil; and Paninnguaq Steenholdt from the Greenlandic National Academic Students Organization, ILI ILI; made substantial contributions in each intervention and dialogue.
Beside empowerment, other issue that was approached was the gender violence. Indigenous women from Norway and Guatemala hold a side event where they shared the multiple expressions of violence including domestic, sexual, institutional and spiritual that face indigenous women in those countries. The speakers concluded expressing that is important to include men in the design of strategies to eradicate this problematic. By the other hand, the Permanent Mission of Canada together with the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, US and the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples did a Panel on "Indigenous Women and Girls: Pathways to Equality"where it was highlighted approaches and experiences of indigenous women from Canada, Nicaragua and Bangladesh. The shared experiences converged in the fact that indigenous women are vital change agents to eradicate all the expressions of violence from their own Cosmo vision.
Multiple opportunities occurred to position the indigenous women voices in different spaces and to be considered as key actors in decision-making spaces at international level. FIMI in cooperation with The Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru (CHIRAPAQ) participated in a High Level interactive dialogue among Ministers with the objective to build alliances for gender responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Teresa Zapeta, FIMI's Program Coordinator, took the floor on behalf Tarcila Rivera Zea, President of FIMI and CHIRAPAQ, demanding an "effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development where no one is left behind; it is crucial that we, indigenous women, be recognized for our own specificities and we are not only rural women". At the same time, Mirna Cunningham Kain, President of the Centro para la autonomía y desarrollo de los pueblos indígenas (CADPI) expressed that "for indigenous women, the empowerment is part of our historic responsibility, sacred and permanent protection of the Mother Earth, which are enshrined in the rights of our peoples, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in others international instruments of human rights, also the commitments assumed by the States in the Outcome Document of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples".
A spiritual invocation guided by Teresa Zapeta preceded the Panel Discussion on Empowerment of Indigenous Women the last Wednesday March 16th, organized by the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples, UN Women, the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and FIMI. The event was aimed to recognize the leadership of indigenous women as key actors in the political participation processes, their struggle for the violence against indigenous women, the eradication of poverty and to enhance their empowerment at all levels. Around 125 people including representatives of the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples, Ambassadors, Ministers and representatives of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations, indigenous women worldwide, representatives from United Nations agencies and activists of Civil Society attended the panel.
One of the most touching interventions during this Panel Discussion, was held by Berta Zuniga, daughter of the Lenca activist Berta Cáceres, who demands justice for the recent murdered of the Lenca leader and for other indigenous brothers of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras COPINH who have been killed just recently. Berta emphasized that "the implementation of the Agenda 2030 will never be a reality if human rights defenders continue to be threatened, murdered and criminalized, and if there is a systematic violations of indigenous peoples for their right to free, prior and informed consent in the construction of infrastructure and extractive projects in their land and territories". On the other hand, the Minister of Canada, Ms. Carolyn Bennett expressed that is necessary "the reparation of historical debts, and this is going to be possible only if indigenous women are heard".
The CSW60 session was undoubtedly an enriching experience to position the demands of indigenous women worldwide. In this sense, the four young indigenous women from the regional networks were interviewed with UN Women and UN Radio. Additionally, the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in coordination with FIMI organized a press conference where Tarcila Rivera Zea, Louise Wellington and Valerie Kasaiyian participated emphasizing the importance of empowerment of indigenous women as key actors to the inclusive and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
FIMI is deeply thankful with the young indigenous women from the regional networks who with their enthusiasm, experience and passion for the human rights of indigenous women, achieved to advocate and to take full advantage of each space. We would also like to express our gratitude to Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Mirian Masaquiza and Julia Ravaad from the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, sisters and allies, for their ongoing support and for their professionalism and commitment which make an important work to favor indigenous peoples and particularly, indigenous women.
You can download the FIMI intervention here.
Source: International Indigenous Women's Forum (IIWF)/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indigenas