Document - UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Joint statement on United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals


AI Index: IOR 41/011/2010

New York, 19 -30 April, 2010


UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Ninth Session

Item 3. Discussion on the special theme for the year, “Indigenous peoples: development with culture and identity: articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.


UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues:joint statement on United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals


Madam Chair,


This is a Joint Statement by Amnesty International, Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact, Native Women’s Association of Canada, National Native Title Council (Australia), Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), First Peoples’ Human Rights Coalition and Indigenous World Association.


On this critical theme of Indigenous peoples: development with culture and identity, we wish to comment on the United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, [the MDG Summit] to be held on 20-22 September 2010.


The MDG Summit’s goal is to accelerate progress towards the sustainable achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 through a concise and action-oriented outcome agreed by all Member States


In this regard, we recall the many recommendations issued by the UNPFII since its inception on the MDGs, particularly the recommendations made in its reports of the 2005 and 2006 sessions. Four key points raised by the UNPFII are:


  1. To ensure that MDGs incorporate Indigenous peoples’ perspectives, concerns, and experiences, including Indigenous definitions of poverty and development;

  2. The need for a rights-based approach to the implementation of the MDGs;

  3. The full participation and representation of Indigenous peoples in all MDG processes, including the planning/policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all MDG plans/strategies

  4. The need for disaggregated data (to be collected by states and UN-agencies) in conjunction with culturally sensitive indicators


We are concerned with the continued failure of many states to give effect to these recommendations of the UNPFII as is evident in the Forum’s annual desk reviews of national MDG reports.


Of particular concern for our organizations is the failure of states to ensure full compliance with the key rights in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as they relate to development, including Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, gender equality, and non-discrimination; and the recognition of traditional lands.


Madam Chair,


We therefore urge the UNPFII to recommend to Member States, the UN Secretariat and agencies that:


  1. The MDG Summit address directly all of the recommendations made by the UNPFII on MDGs and particularly that States take concrete steps to audit/review their plans and policies to ensure they are consistent with, and promote and protect, the human rights of IPs (most authoritatively outlined in the UNDRIP);

  2. IPOs, particularly Indigenous women and youth, fully participate in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of MDG policies and programmes. This includes participation in preparations for the MDG Summit through national consultation processes, and in decision-making on the proposed Summit outcome.


We also urge UNPFII, after due consideration to the proposals made during this session, to recommend the Economic and Social Council take appropriate action to promote Indigenous Peoples’ development under the MDGs.


I thank you.

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