[atp-news] Fw: Fourth report on the 10th Working Group on the Draft Declaration (fwd)

Petra Bursee (Adivasi-Tee-Projekt) petra.bursee at adivasi-tee-projekt.org
Die Sep 21 16:52:02 CEST 2004

Liebe ATP-MitgliederInnen,
hier zur letzten mail eine Fortsetzung über die aktuellen Verhandlungen zur
Draft Declaration der Rechte der indigenen Völker.
Liebe Grüße, Petra Bursee

Adivasi-Tee-Projekt (ATP)
c/o Petra Bursee
Kopernikusstraße 41, 14482 Potsdam
Tel./Fax: 0331 - 718327

>  Greetings,
>  I would just firstly like to thank everyone who has demonstrated their
> appreciation of these reports in one form or another and would like to
> extend my own appreciation of their appreciation!  As you may or not may
> not know, I do these reports on a voluntary basis and in honor of Grampa
> Tony Black Feather, for whom I wrote them last year, and I am glad that
> people are finding them helpful.  I know he would want all of us to
> continue this work in whatever form that we can no matter how hard it may
> get for us with our roles in this struggle and the strong opposition from
> so many sides.
>  Today discussions preceded much in the same manner as they did yesterday,
> with people seriously polarizing on the Nordic Proposal (CRP1) both on the
> governmental and indigenous sides of the discussions.  Based on my
> previous reports, I will say that most organizations and governments carry
> the same positions that they have expressed thus far and thus I will begin
> using my own discretion to note positions that are distinct from what has
> been made up to this juncture.  I hope that people will not think I am
> assuming a similar role as the Chairman in generalizing the points of
> views, but for brevity and clarity's sake, I feel that you will still be
> able to follow the threads of discussions.
>  PP19: Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the
> Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
>  *Yes, you would think it would be quite simple to adopt this one, but the
> CRP1 text adds quite a wordy ending to this introduction of the operative
> articles.  The additional text was inspired by the Universal Declaration
> on Human Rights (UDHR) but comments of indigenous delegates demonstrated
> that the CRP1 language was lacking.
>  *It was noted that the wording is disingenuous and actually contradicts
> the UDHR.  Many noted that if the drafters of the proposal are interested
> in improving the original sub-Commission text then they should use actual
> text from the UDHR and several proposals were made to this effect from
> FAIRA, ICC, AILA, the African Caucus among others.  Most every
> organization, though flexible, noted that the original text was the
> preferable language.
>  A22: Indigenous peoples have the right to special measures for the
> immediate, effective and continuing improvement of their economic and
> social conditions, including in the areas of employment, vocational
> training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.
>  Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of
> indigenous elders, women, youth, children and disabled persons.
>  *There was a dramatic debate about procedure during the discussion of
> this article as Mr. Chavez was only allowing about 30 minutes for
> discussion, along with the same limitation of time for a series of
> articles that have, until now, never been discussed in the WGDD.
> Furthermore, the basis of discussion as determined by Mr. Chavez is CRP1,
> instead of the sub-Commission text.  Government delegations including
> indigenous organizations and delegations found this very problematic and
> against procedure.  The Chair noted in response that he was attempting to
> do several things at once, the first being discussing all the articles
> that have never made it to discussions for the report to the CHR next
> year, the second being an attempt to continue consensus-building by using
> the CRP1 as States have expressed already that the sub-Commission text is
> unacceptable as is, and third that there is simply no time to be giving an
> open reign on discussions as this is the last session of the WGDD.
>  *There were several proposals that were made regarding this article and
> following articles and so the Chair created working groups of
> proposal-makers to get together and come up with one text which would be
> presented before next Wednesday.  These groups will begin meetings
> tomorrow and will present texts as they have them.
>  *The substantial discussion on the text centred on the right to special
> measures, to which the CRP1 drafters said there is no such right that
> would be provided for in international law, and a few other changes in the
> CRP1 were purely grammatical.  The grammatical changes could be accepted
> by a majority of people, but the issue of special measures became
> problematic for indigenous peoples and some States, who would prefer the
> text to remain as it is originally drafted.
>  A32: Indigenous peoples have the collective right to determine their own
> citizenship in accordance with their customs and traditions.  Indigenous
> citizenship does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain
> citizenship of the States in which they live.
>  Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to
> select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own
> procedures.
>  *This discussion focused on the issue of identity versus citizenship as
> the CRP1 text substitutes identity for citizenship.  Many indigenous
> delegates noted that citizenship within an indigenous group is a separate
> issue, and if States are concerned about this, they noted that people are
> able to have several citizenships in the world.  There were again several
> proposals for alternate text, one of which was substituting the word
> 'membership' and many found this agreeable.  A new proposal will be
> gleaned from the group of proposals and I will present it when I have more
> news on that.  From here on out, you can assume that everyone favourable
> prefers the sub-Commission text as it is, without changes.  The Saami
> Council noted that they found either the sub-Commission text or CRP1
> acceptable with this article.
>  *The UK again opposed the term 'peoples' and would prefer 'people' or
> 'individuals.'
>  A34: Indigenous peoples have the collective right to determine the
> responsibilities of individuals to their communities.
>  *Again, you would think this is simple enough but the CRP1 adds a whole
> lengthy verbiage about collective rights, individual rights and third
> party rights and outlines the relationships between them.  This is due to
> the concern of some states that collective rights will be used to trample
> on individual rights as well as legitimate third party rights.
>  *Interestingly, Ecuador asked the drafters of CRP1 to please withdraw the
> text from discussion as the original text is clear as it stands.  Mr.
> Chavez would not allow them to withdraw it (not that they agreed anyway,
> but he didn't give them a chance to respond) as he noted it reflected
> concerns of many states about third party rights that needed to be
> addressed within the DD.  Most everyone was okay with the first paragraph
> amendment which adds only a clarifying few words.  But the additional
> paragraph with text regarding third party rights will be discussed at a
> later time.
>  *Mr. Chavez also noted that it was completely impossible to achieve
> consensus on the original text and that delegates stuck on that must
> simply accept that changes will have to be made.
>  A35: 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 other peoples across borders.
>  States shall take effective measures to ensure the exercise and
> implementation of this right.
>  *The amendments made to the original text were actually brought up in
> consultations with the CRP1 drafters because of concerns they had for
> groups that crossed several (false) borders.  The changes in the first
> paragraph of this article were acceptable by most people, but within the
> second paragraph the change of 'ensure' to 'promote' was problematic for
> indigenous peoples and a few governments alike.  New language proposals
> were made for this sentence and I will let you know about them once the
> unified proposals have been made.
>  A37: States shall take effective and appropriate measures, in
> consultation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to give full effect to
> the provisions of this Declaration.  The rights recognized herein shall be
> adopted and included in national legislation in such a manner that
> indigenous peoples can avail themselves of such rights in practice.
>  *CRP1 proposes to cut the last sentence as a Declaration does not have
> the power to require States to adjust legislation to meet them, as do
> conventions.  There were, again, several proposals made for new language,
> and there seemed to be split between those who wanted the original text
> and those who were flexible on the issue.  Another working group was
> established to unite all of the various proposals.
>  As I previously pointed out, the unified proposals that go along with
> each article will have to be presented to the Secretariat before next
> Wednesday for official translation and distribution.  Also, on account of
> being quite behind in the schedule that had been planned for the week, as
> well as what he said was a stupendous energy of collaboration between
> government delegations and indigenous peoples, he would rather forego the
> informal consultations and continue with the discussions of previously
> undiscussed articles tomorrow.  The discussion on self-determination will
> also begin tomorrow in the afternoon.
>  This weekend is also the IndiGeneve event that has been organized by
> several indigenous and local Swiss organizations will take place all
> weekend.  The opening ceremonies are tomorrow, Friday at 7PM and the event
> will continue until Sunday night.  There will be panels, discussions,
> presentations, performances, music, art exhibitions, children's activities
> and oh so much more, so for those who can be there it will be wonderful.
>  I hope this finds you all doing well, and I will not be writing the next
> report until Monday on account of the event this weekend.
>  Have a wonderful few days!
>  Sezin
>  P.S. There is still no word back on the status of Mr. Pary in the
> conferences, although both indigenous and governmental delegates enquired
> several times today on whether a decision had been received from New York.