UN Committee on NGOs Meets 21-30 MAY in NY

The UN Committee on NGOs will meet at the UN from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM on 21-30 May to discuss new and deferred NGO applications for ECOSOC status. These meetings are open to people with ECOSOC UN badges.

NGO representatives are encouraged to attend. 

NGO ATTENDANCE IS IMPORTANT TO HELP MAKE THE COMMITTEE AWARE THAT MAJOR GROUPS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS ARE  CONCERNED ABOUT THE ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE AT THE UN IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

Google UN Committee on NGOs for the schedule and a list of NGOs that are being considered. The meetings will be webcast.

THE PORTENIER HUMAN RIGHTS BURSARY Competition

THE PORTENIER HUMAN RIGHTS BURSARY competition for 2018 is now open for applications. It provides an opportunity for independent journalists and documentary-makers of any nationality working on significant human rights projects that may place them in danger to obtain hostile environment training. 

The bursary provides $3,000 (CAD) to help the winner attend a hostile environment and first aid training (HEFAT) course run by open of our approved course providers. These courses are currently available in Canada, the USA, Britain, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere. Potential applicants should first read the competition rules. An on-line application form can be accessed from a link at the bottom of the rules page until the end of June 15, Eastern time (11:59 pm New York/Toronto)

Read more at: http://www.journalismforum.ca/home/fff-1-in-progress/portenier-under-constuction

UNPFII Chair at the 27th Session on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, intervened today via video message at the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

See video here: https://bit.ly/2Grqiod

For more information on the session click here: https://bit.ly/2IwYZuf

Source: UNPFII News

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The Game-Changers: 5 Inspiring Women You Need To Know Now

Mikaela Jade

Over the last ten years, the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award have celebrated some of the most inspiring women in Australia. This year, founder and CEO of technology company Indigital, Mikaela Jade, took out the prestigious Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award (at an event hosted by Freida Pinto none-the-less!), which recognises the success and vision of up-and-coming entrepreneurial women – specifically those under 40 years old.

Jade was spurred to develop the first-of-its-kind app, Indigital Storytelling, after discovering she had Indigenous heritage at the age of 29. From there, she focused on bringing to life the cultural stories, places and artworks of the elders through the use of technology, effectively bridging the gap between generations.

The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award given to Jade is a nod to the brand’s founder, Madame Clicquot, who took over the company’s reins at the tender age of 27, and went on to invent Rose Champagne blend in 1818 through the use of pioneering techniques that are still used today.

In May 2018, Jade was also awarded the Creative Visionary accolade and overall Judge’s Award at the InStyle and Audi Women Of Style awards.

Read full article here: https://www.instylemag.com.au/inspiring-women-changing-the-world?utm_source=FacebookPaid&utm_campaign=CPV&utm_content=veuve

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NJ Town Hauled Into Court by Ramapough Nation

NEWARK, N.J. (CN) – A Native American tribe brought a federal complaint Monday that accuses a New Jersey town and homeowner’s association of levying illegal fines and trying to intimidate them into stopping open-air prayers on ceremonial grounds.

Represented by attorney Valeria Gheorghiu in the lawsuit, the Ramapough Lenape Nation claims town officials have used zoning ordinances and nearly $500,000 in fines to force it off private property on 95 Halifax Road in Mahwah, N.J.

The land is “a sacred site of immense importance to the Ramapoughs,” and is used for religious ceremonies involving Mesingw masks, pipe ceremonies and sweat-lodge sessions, the complaint states.

At the behest of a homeowner’s association, the complaint says the Ramapoughs have faced a “historical pattern and practice of harassment” from Mahwah intended to drive them off the land.

For the past several weeks, according to the complaint, the Ramapoughs have faced daily fines of up to $12,500 per day for using the land for open-air prayer, carving the Mesingws masks into tree trunks, and erecting a stone altar.

“The Ramapough Lenape Nation is being attacked by the town of Mahway and the Polo Club,” the 46-page lawsuit states.

The Ramapough tribe, sometimes referred to disparagingly as “Jackson Whites,” has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits over the last couple years with Mahwah over the site, as well as skirmishes with state officials over a proposed pipeline through their land.

The tribe claims it acquired the rights to the land in 1995 as a private gift from developer Charles Elmes, and its members have conducted prayers and ceremonies on it for decades.

Starting in the 1990s, however, Mahwah allegedly began using various tactics to push the tribe off the land, including condemning homes occupied by tribe members and issuing several zoning infractions.

According to the suit, a member of the Polo Club told tribal Chief Dwaine Perry that, if the tribe did not sell the land, “unnamed members of the Polo Club were prepared to attack the Ramapough Lenape Nation.”

Other club members and town officials have allegedly said they wanted “something done” to remove the prayer rocks on the sacred sites. The complaint quotes town attorney Brian Chewcaskie as asking during a council meeting: “Do we go in and take the rocks down ourselves?”

Since then the tribe says they have heard gunshots at night, suffered slashed tires and tents, and faced other incidents of vandalism. The Polo Club has also allegedly hired a public relations firm to smear the tribe in the media and has called police several times following complaints from neighbors to intimidate the tribe.

“We’re willing to talk to them in good faith, but we’re not going to give up our rights,” Steven Smith, a member of and adviser to the tribe, said in an interview. “We are the decedents of the original people of Manhattan. This land is part of what little we have left and they want to take that.”

Smith denied that tribe members are breaking the law when they pray on the land, saying town officials are rewriting laws so that they drive the tribe off the land.

“This isn’t law, this is Jim Crow,” he said.

In 2018, according to the suit, the town attorney said the town would issues rules to prohibit prayer on the site and to remove the tribe’s sacred alter from the site. A Bergen County judge denied a proposed injunction by the town and Polo Club in December to destroy the sacred sites and prevent religious ceremonies on the land.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against removal of the tribe’s sacred altar and prayer circle, as well as to prevent the fines.

Mahwah has clashed with other groups, including a group of Orthodox Jews whom the town had tried to prevent from setting up religious boundaries known as eruvs. The town backed down from its ordinance prohibiting the eruvs and settled earlier this year with the group.

An email to Chewcaskie seeking comment was not immediately returned. A representative for the Mahwah mayor’s office declined to comment on the suit.

Gheorghiu, an attorney for the tribe, did not immediately return an email seeking comment, and her voicemail box was full.

Source: https://www.courthousenews.com/nj-town-hauled-into-court-by-ramapough-nation/

Questionnaire: Business and Human rights - Inter-American Standards

The Special Rapporteurship on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (SRESCER) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) initiates a public consultation in order to receive information for the preparation of the thematic report on "Business and Human Rights: Inter-American Standards".

Download Questionnaire here: 

http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/docs/pdf/2018/CuestionarioEmpresasDDHH-EN.pdf

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UN Climate Change Launches First-Ever Annual Report

UN Climate Change News, 30 April 2018 – UN Climate Change today launched its first-ever Annual Report, laying out the key 2017 achievements and pointing to the future of the climate change process.

"Climate Change is the single biggest threat to life, security and prosperity on Earth," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “This annual report shows how UN Climate Change is doing everything it can to support, encourage and build on the global response to climate change.”

The report covers many areas of the 2017 work of UN Climate Change, which includes the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, as well as their bodies, institutional arrangements, organs and the secretariat.

For example, at the UN Climate Change conference (COP23) presided over by Fiji last November, almost 30,000 people from all levels came together in Bonn, Germany, to drive action on climate change. The conference saw financial commitments amounting to almost USD 1 billion to tackle climate change.

Governments took key decisions, among them launching the Talanoa Dialogue, the first-ever Gender Action Plan, a platform for indigenous peoples and local communities, and an agreement on agriculture.

Throughout 2017, UN Climate Change continued to deliver on its core tasks: supporting the intergovernmental process, bringing transparency to climate commitments, supporting Parties in building resilience and adapting to climate change, facilitating the mobilization of finance and diffusion of technology, and fostering cooperation with non-Party stakeholders to realize the Paris Agreement’s potential.

The report also looks at the outlook for the year ahead, including increasing the number of ratifications of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol so it can enter into force, the Talanoa Dialogue which will inform and inspire Parties as they increase their commitments, and adopting the outcomes of the work programme of the Paris Agreement at the end of 2018.

“Throughout 2018 and beyond, let us do all in our power, together, to accelerate action,” said Ms. Espinosa. “Only by doing so can we succeed in protecting our planet from climate change and securing a low-carbon, sustainable future.”

Countries are now gathered in Bonn focused on critical interim work leading to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, including preparation of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, which will guide implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Read the full UN Climate Change Annual Report 2017.

Students build tiny homes to tackle Alberta First Nation's housing crisis

A southern Alberta First Nation is testing out a tiny home pilot project in the hope of both tackling its housing crisis and setting up high school students for careers in the trades.

On Wednesday, Piikani Nation broke ground on the federally-funded pilot program. Over the coming eight weeks, a dozen high school students from ages 15 to 18 will work from the ground up to build a one-bedroom tiny home for a local elder.

"We're giving these kids an experience as a team, empowerment, pride and a sense of community," said Jay Noel, the program manager and business development community partner with Your Choice Homes.

Read the full story here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/students-build-tiny-homes-to-tackle-alberta-first-nation-s-housing-crisis-1.4615659

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President of the General Assembly's Youth Dialogue - 30 May 2018

  DEADLINES:    20 April 2018 – Apply to speak or for Stakeholder Selection Committee  6 May 2018 – Apply to attend as an observer    PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS IN FULL BEFORE COMPLETING THE FORM.    The President of the General Assembly is convening a one-day Youth Dialogue on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 at United Nations Headquarters in New York with the aim to discuss education, employment, and the prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism. The format of the Youth Dialogue consists of an opening segment and two interactive chats in the morning, and a standing lunch and an “open mic” session in the afternoon. Additionally, there will also be an interactive space showcasing youth participation and empowerment.   At the request of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), UN-NGLS is facilitating a process to identify stakeholders to speak during the "open mic" session, and for stakeholders to apply to attend this event as observers.   For the selected speakers:  Travel funding will be available from the UN to support the participation of two of the selected stakeholder speakers in this meeting. The selected speakers will need to make their own visa arrangements, if needed for travel to the US, and cover the cost of the visa.  For approved observers: Travel funding is NOT available from the UN to support the participation of stakeholder observers in this meeting.  Representatives not selected for the speaking roles who are approved to attend the meeting as observers will need to secure their own funding for travel, accommodation and subsistence, and also need to make their own visa arrangements, if applicable. The United Nations cannot provide invitation letters to stakeholders approved to attend the meeting as observers.    Before submitting an application to attend the event, please:   1) Review the background information for this event:   https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/youth-dialogue/   2) Confirm that the candidate meets all of the following criteria:     • is a representative of a stakeholder organization that has had a long-term programmatic focus on youth issues;      • is between 16 to 30 years old in order to apply for any of the speaking roles (applicants who are older then 30 years old may apply to attend the event as observers using the form below);     • is able to communicate in at least one of the six official languages of the United Nations;      • has demonstrated the ability to engage constructively with a variety of stakeholders;     • is available to be in New York on 30 May 2018;     • has a visa for travel to New York, or is able to obtain one for travel to New York without assistance from the UN. Please check with the US Embassy or Consulate in the candidate's country or place of residence.  The prospective participants would include representatives of youth-focused or youth-led organizations, networks or movements and have the ability to consult with a wider group of young people.  The organizations and networks represented should:      • adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles and values of the Charter of the UN;     • demonstrate a commitment to promoting the priorities of the World Programme of Action for Youth and the 2030 Agenda;     • have internal democratic and transparent process of leadership, decision-making and consultation.  UN-NGLS will facilitate a stakeholder Selection Committee for the evaluation and short-listing of the candidates for the speaking roles to be presented to OPGA for their consideration. The Committee will ensure regional and gender balance, and diversity of constituency and expertise in the overall set of candidates. The President of the General Assembly will make the final selection of the speakers for this event.  Apply for the Stakeholder  Selection Committee  here by  20   April 2018:   http://bit.ly/30-May-PGA-Youth-Apply-Selection-Committee   Apply for speaking roles or to attend the event using the form below. Deadlines are at the top of this form.  All applications received to speak at the event, or attend as an observer can be viewed here:  http://bit.ly/30-May-PGA-Youth-Received  For the questions preceded by a # in the form, responses will not be made public.

DEADLINES:

20 April 2018 – Apply to speak or for Stakeholder Selection Committee
6 May 2018 – Apply to attend as an observer

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS IN FULL BEFORE COMPLETING THE FORM. 

The President of the General Assembly is convening a one-day Youth Dialogue on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 at United Nations Headquarters in New York with the aim to discuss education, employment, and the prevention of radicalization leading to violent extremism. The format of the Youth Dialogue consists of an opening segment and two interactive chats in the morning, and a standing lunch and an “open mic” session in the afternoon. Additionally, there will also be an interactive space showcasing youth participation and empowerment.

At the request of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), UN-NGLS is facilitating a process to identify stakeholders to speak during the "open mic" session, and for stakeholders to apply to attend this event as observers.

For the selected speakers:

Travel funding will be available from the UN to support the participation of two of the selected stakeholder speakers in this meeting. The selected speakers will need to make their own visa arrangements, if needed for travel to the US, and cover the cost of the visa.

For approved observers:
Travel funding is NOT available from the UN to support the participation of stakeholder observers in this meeting.

Representatives not selected for the speaking roles who are approved to attend the meeting as observers will need to secure their own funding for travel, accommodation and subsistence, and also need to make their own visa arrangements, if applicable. The United Nations cannot provide invitation letters to stakeholders approved to attend the meeting as observers. 

Before submitting an application to attend the event, please:

1) Review the background information for this event: 
https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/youth-dialogue/

2) Confirm that the candidate meets all of the following criteria:
    • is a representative of a stakeholder organization that has had a long-term programmatic focus on youth issues;

    • is between 16 to 30 years old in order to apply for any of the speaking roles (applicants who are older then 30 years old may apply to attend the event as observers using the form below);
    • is able to communicate in at least one of the six official languages of the United Nations;

    • has demonstrated the ability to engage constructively with a variety of stakeholders;
    • is available to be in New York on 30 May 2018;
    • has a visa for travel to New York, or is able to obtain one for travel to New York without assistance from the UN. Please check with the US Embassy or Consulate in the candidate's country or place of residence.

The prospective participants would include representatives of youth-focused or youth-led organizations, networks or movements and have the ability to consult with a wider group of young people.

The organizations and networks represented should:

    • adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles and values of the Charter of the UN;
    • demonstrate a commitment to promoting the priorities of the World Programme of Action for Youth and the 2030 Agenda;
    • have internal democratic and transparent process of leadership, decision-making and consultation.

UN-NGLS will facilitate a stakeholder Selection Committee for the evaluation and short-listing of the candidates for the speaking roles to be presented to OPGA for their consideration. The Committee will ensure regional and gender balance, and diversity of constituency and expertise in the overall set of candidates. The President of the General Assembly will make the final selection of the speakers for this event.

Apply for the Stakeholder Selection Committee here by 20 April 2018:
http://bit.ly/30-May-PGA-Youth-Apply-Selection-Committee

Apply for speaking roles or to attend the event using the form below. Deadlines are at the top of this form.

All applications received to speak at the event, or attend as an observer can be viewed here:
http://bit.ly/30-May-PGA-Youth-Received
For the questions preceded by a # in the form, responses will not be made public.

Key Questions on Patent Disclosure Requirements for Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge

Now available: WIPO Study of "Key Questions on Patent Disclosure Requirements for Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge"

Policymakers and other stakeholders often raise operational questions and seek practical and empirical information about patent disclosure requirements in relation to genetic resources and traditional knowledge. This authoritative study offers a comprehensive and scrupulously neutral overview of key legal and operational questions arising within this context.

Download the Report here: http://www.wipo.int/publications/en/details.jsp?id=4194

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'When you do wrong, you apologize': Indigenous leaders disappointed with Pope Francis

Residential school survivor saddened Pope won't come to Canada to issue apology

A residential school survivor says he's disgusted Pope Francis has decided not to apologize for the Catholic Church's role in the schools.

"They haven't changed their position from day one. And they never will. The only thing (the Church) could say is sorry he got caught, that's all," said Ted Quewezance, who was abused while attending St. Phillip's residential school near Kamsack.

The Pope's decision was announced this week in an open letter "to the Indigenous peoples of Canada" by Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The call for an apology on Canadian soil was one of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made the request during a visit last year to the Vatican.

"The Holy Father is aware of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he takes seriously," stated the letter. "As far as Call to Action #58 is concerned, after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the Bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond."

According to the letter, the Pope encouraged bishops to continue working with Indigenous elders and others and to "collaborate on concrete projects" toward reconciliation.

Apology should have been simple: survivor

Quewezance, one of the first survivors to speak openly about the abuses he faced, said the apology should have been a simple matter.

"They know they did wrong. When you do wrong, you apologize," he said.

Former Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas, Regina Archdiocese Archbishop Don Bolen and others have been working for months to bring the Pope to Wanuskewin Heritage Park near Saskatoon for the apology.

Both said Wednesday they were disappointed.

"Most First Nations people that went to residential schools should be disappointed. It was a dark time in history. We were confident he would come here," said Thomas, who now sits on the Wanuskewin board.

Current STC Chief Mark Arcand said residential schools damaged the students irreparably, but that the legacy continues. He said the high rates of illness, incarceration and other maladies in Indigenous people can be traced in part to residential schools.

Pope apologized for wrongs in Ireland, Peru

Arcand noted the Pope has apologized to victims of abuse and colonization in Peru and Ireland.

"Why are First Nations people not allowed to get the same thing. We're looking for the same respect," Arcand said.

"We hope you reconsider. The door is open. You're always welcome to Treaty Six territory."

In 1991, Canadian Catholic Bishops issued an apology, saying, "We are sorry and deeply regret the pain, suffering and alienation that so many experienced" at the residential schools. The TRC call to action had called for the pope to make a public apology on Canadian soil.

Bolen said he and others in the Catholic Church will continue to reach out to the Indigenous community and make amends for the damage caused.

Reconciliation still church's top priority: Bishop

"We're not shying away from that here. I would say that our work with Indigenous people is our number one pastoral priority in the church here," Bolen said.

Saskatoon Diocese Bishop Mark Hagemoen agreed.

"I too regret that Pope Francis is not coming at this time," Hagemoen said in a written statement.

"Our Indigenous communities are highlighting the need for concrete actions and positive relationships to accompany the many words and expressions of commitment."

The Catholic Church ran more of Canada's residential schools than any other church. More than 150,000 students attended the schools, which first opened in the 1870s, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Saskatchewan had more students and more schools per capita than any other province.

Author: Jason Warick
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/when-you-do-wrong-you-apologize-indigenous-leaders-disappointed-with-pope-francis-1.4596824

 Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Philippines seeks 'terrorist' tag for 600 alleged communist guerrillas

MANILA (Reuters) - A U.N. special rapporteur, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerrillas the Philippines wants declared “terrorists”, according to a government petition filed in court.

The justice ministry last month said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), “terrorist” bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would also target.

The petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, suggests President Rodrigo Duterte is following through on his threats to destroy a movement he now regards as duplicitous.

Since taking office in July 2016, Duterte freed some communist leaders and put leftists in his cabinet, to show his commitment to finding a permanent solution to a five-decade conflict.

But he abandoned the process in November, after what he called repeated attacks by the NPA during talks.

The petition said the rebels were “using acts of terror” to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government.

Duterte has been regularly venting his fury at the Maoists and considers them as much of a security threat as the domestic Islamist militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

By declaring groups and individuals terrorists, the government would be able to monitor them more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures.

But Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the petition was “a virtual hit list”.

“There’s a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labeled as NPA members or supporters,” he said in a statement.

‘BASELESS, MALICIOUS’

The government petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

Tauli-Corpuz denounced the government, calling the complaint “baseless, malicious and irresponsible”.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein defended the independence, impartiality and expertise of special rapporteurs in the face of smear and hate campaigns, some involving incitement to violence.

“Instead of attacking the messenger, states and other stakeholders should engage and address the human rights concerns raised by mandate-holders,” he said in Geneva.

Two other U.N. special rapporteurs, Michel Forst and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, expressed “grave concern” about Tauli-Corpuz being on the list, and said she was being punished by Duterte for speaking against some of his policies.

Also on the list were four former Catholic priests and former congressman Satur Ocampo, who told Reuters he would challenge any “terrorist” label.

The petition included 18 top leaders of the CPP, including founder Jose Maria Sison and peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni, both based in the Netherlands for three decades.

There was no basis for the charge of terrorism, said Sison, who was a mentor of Duterte when he was at university, although the two are now bitter rivals.

“Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witchhunt under the guise of anti-terrorism,” he said. “Duterte is truly the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines.”

Duterte’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the Maoist rebellion. Negotiations to end the revolt have been on and off since being brokered by Norway in 1986.

Author: Manuel Mogato
Source: http://reut.rs/2plu6Se

Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in GENEVA; Editing by Martin Petty, Robert Birsel

Permanent Forum stands by indigenous human rights defenders in the Philippines

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues expresses its grave concerns about the Philippine government’s accusation against indigenous human rights defenders as terrorist group affiliates.

The indigenous human rights defenders include, among others, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Joan Carling, former member of the Permanent Forum and Jose Molintas, former member of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

Read more at the UNPFII Website: 

https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/news/2018/03/unpfii-indigenous-human-rights-defenders-in-the-philippines/#more-28749

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President of the General Assembly's High-level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace 24-25 April 2018

Stakeholders: Apply to speak or attend

DEADLINES:

18 March 2018 – Apply to speak or for Stakeholder Selection Committee
31 March 2018 – Apply to attend as an observer

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS IN FULL BEFORE COMPLETING THE FORM. 

The President of the General Assembly is convening a two-day high-level meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, 24-25 April 2018 at United Nations Headquarters in New York with the aim to discuss ways to support peace in practice. The format of the high-level meeting consists of an opening segment, a high-level plenary debate, four interactive dialogues and a closing segment.

At the request of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), UN-NGLS and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office are facilitating a process to identify 8 stakeholder respondents to speak from the floor during the interactive dialogues, and for stakeholders to apply to attend this event as observers.

Two stakeholder respondents are to be identified for each of the following 4 interactive dialogues through this process:

1) Interactive Dialogue I - Sustainable Financing for Peace

2) Interactive Dialogue II - Strengthening the United Nations Work on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in the Field

3) Interactive Dialogue III - Strategic Partnerships with the United Nations in the Field for Peace

4) Interactive Dialogue IV - UN Comprehensive and Integrated Approach to Peace

For the selected respondents:

> Travel funding will be available from the UN to support the participation of the selected stakeholder respondents in this meeting. The selected respondents will need to make their own visa arrangements, if needed for travel to the US, and cover the cost of the visa.

For approved observers:
Travel funding is NOT available from the UN to support the participation of stakeholder observers in this meeting.

Representatives not selected for the speaking roles who are approved to attend the meeting as observers will need to secure their own funding for travel, accommodation and subsistence, and also need to make their own visa arrangements, if applicable. The United Nations cannot provide invitation letters to stakeholders approved to attend the meeting as observers. 

Before submitting an application to attend the event, please:

1) Review the background information for this event: 
https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/sustaining-peace/

2) Confirm that the candidate meets all of the following criteria:
    • is a representative of a stakeholder organization that has had a long-term programmatic focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace;
    • has demonstrated the ability to engage constructively with a variety of stakeholders;
    • is available to be in New York on 24-25 April 2018;
    • has a visa for travel to New York, or is able to obtain one for travel to New York without assistance from the UN. Please check with the US Embassy or Consulate in the candidate's country or place of residence. 

UN-NGLS will facilitate a stakeholder Selection Committee for the evaluation and short-listing of the candidates for the respondent speaking roles to be presented to OPGA for their consideration. The Committee will ensure regional and gender balance, and diversity of constituency and expertise in the overall set of candidates. The President of the General Assembly will make the final selection of the speakers for this event.

Apply for the Stakeholder Selection Committee here by 18 March 2018:
http://bit.ly/24-25-April-PGA-Peace-SC-Apply
Apply for respondent speaking roles or to attend the event using the form below. Deadlines are at the top of this form.

All applications received to speak at the event, or attend as an observer can be viewed here:
http://bit.ly/24-25-April-PGA-Peace-Received

For the questions preceded by a # in the form, responses will not be made public. 

IMPORTANT NOTES:
1) Government bodies and intergovernmental organizations please do not use this registration form. Please observe standard protocol arrangements via your official UN delegation or organization.

2) Capacity for observers is limited for this event. During application review, considerations will include sufficiency and quality of responses to the application questions, relevant expertise, regional and gender balance, and diversity of expertise, constituency, and age.

3) Applicants will be added to the UN-NGLS email list to receive notifications of decisions. An option to unsubscribe will be provided for if you do not wish to remain on the list.

Information Source: https://fs22.formsite.com/res/formLoginNew

United Nations General Assembly

#TimeisNow! Join the Global Campaign to Make Indigenous Women Visible!

We all know that#TimeisNow!

There are approximately 185 million indigenous women in the world, belonging to more than 5000 different indigenous groups.

Despite the broad international consensus about the important role indigenous women play in eradicating hunger and malnutrition, there are still limitations in the recognition and exercise of their rights.

The empowerment of indigenous women is not only a central issue but also a necessary condition to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the world!

To reach this goal and to leave no one behind, we need you!

Support the#IndigenousWomen Campaign: Make them visible, empower them!

  • Make your personal or institutional registration here
  • Send your logo here (so we can add it to the website)
  • Smile, soon you will receive a social media kit to make#IndigenousWomen visible!

Thank you,

Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa

FAO Indigenous Peoples team leader

PS: And please share this video on your social-media today!

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Statement on the Terrorist Accusation Against Ms. Joan Carling, co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group, 9th March 2018

It has come to my attention that the Government of the Philippines last month filed a legal petition to have a number of organizations, associations and persons declared as terrorist and outlaws pursuant to the National Security Act of 2007. To my dismay, the list includes my name, along with the name of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and several other indigenous human rights defenders from across the country.

I have fought for human rights and, in particular, the rights of indigenous peoples my entire life; as former leader of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and currently co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development. I therefore denounce this unfounded and false accusation, which not only pose a risk to my security, but is also an affront to the exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms associated with democratic governance, and to the human rights obligations of the Philippine government.

As noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, the Philippines is currently marked by a “context of widespread extrajudicial executions and ongoing attacks against voices who are critical of the current Government, including human rights defenders”.

I expect to have the possibility to take legal action to clear my name, and expect the Government to ensure the physical safety of those of us who are listed in the petition, as called for by UN experts.

I call on the international community to show solidarity and express their concern to the Philippine Government.

Link: 
See press release by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and the Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures at: 
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx… 

Article in the Inquirer: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/…/human-rights-group-slams-doj…

Reference: Joan Carling, Email: joan@indigenouspeoples-sdg.org

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Online Registration for the 17th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII17) is now OPEN

Online Registration for the 17th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII17) is now OPEN.

For NGOs with ECOSOC Status, IPOs and Academics that have participated at previous sessions of the Permanent Forum:

For New IPOs and Academics participating for the first time at a session of the Permanent Forum:

  • First, read carefully the participation guide. You must create a new profile in the integrated Civil Society Organizations (iCSO) System. Download the Participation Guide for New NGOs and Academics: http://bit.ly/unpfii17-new-ipos-academics
  • Deadline for online application for approval: 28 March 2018.

Please contact at: indigenous_un@un.org for questions related to your participation.

For details, see https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/unpfii-sessions-2/2017-2.html

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Indigenous Peoples welcome adoption of Green Climate Fund’s Indigenous Peoples Policy

NEW POLICY "A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION"

by IWGIA

Songdo, South Korea – Indigenous peoples welcome the adoption today of the GCF Indigenous Peoples Policy by the Green Climate Fund Board.

“As faithful stewards of nature often in the frontline of negative impacts of climate change and unsafeguarded climate change response actions, indigenous peoples have seen a ray of hope and a potentially promising future in the context of climate change and mitigation actions,” stated Kimaren Ole Riamit, a Maasai and member of the Indigenous Peoples Advocacy Team on the GCF.*

Part of a package of three human rights-based policies, the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Policy represents a high-level rights-based benchmark for the Fund’s operation and for climate finance at large. The other equally important policies still up for adoption are those on gender and environmental and social implications of Fund’s operations.

For Eileen Mairena-Cunningham, an indigenous Miskitu from Nicaragua, “This adoption is a great step forward towards the recognition of our rights. It gives us clear and strong voice to say: We are here and now and our rights have to be respected!.”

“This is a sign of willingness of the GCF to recognize, respect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples in climate actions,” added Tunga Bhadra Rai, an indigenous Rai from Nepal.

As the outcome of a detailed and participatory process of elaboration and consultation with indigenous organizations, civil society and other stakeholders, the policy recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land, territories and natural resources, their crucial and active contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the importance of the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and their livelihood systems.

It will also significantly contribute to enable effectiveness and support the transformative character of Fund’s initiative in adaptation and mitigation while delivering benefits to indigenous communities.

The relevance of international standards such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and principles such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) are also acknowledged.

Once implemented it will offer an effective toolbox to improve the capacity of countries-recipient of GCF funds as well as Accredited Entities to fully and effectively engage Indigenous Peoples at all levels of climate policies and programs and prevent possible negative impacts of their activities on indigenous peoples’ rights.

Indigenous peoples’ organizations will therefore continue to engage with the Fund in the further steps of elaboration and adoption of operational guidelines, of the envisaged guidance on FPIC and new Environmental and Social Safeguards.

“The opportunity that the IP Policy opens to Indigenous Peoples is enormous. We still have a lot of work to do but we learned that with dedication and hard work, nothing is impossible,” said Helen Biangalen-Magata of Tebtebba. (Tebtebba and International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs on behalf of the IP Advocacy Team).

* The Indigenous Peoples Advocacy Team has been consistently participating in GCF processes to highlight indigenous peoples’ issues and concerns and has led efforts to adopt the IP Policy. It is composed of Indigenous peoples’ organizations and advocates: Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, Nicaragua; Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners, Kenya; Indigenous Peoples Foundation for Education and Environment, Thailand; International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Denmark; Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities; and Tebtebba.

Source: https://intercontinentalcry.org/indigenous-peoples-welcome-adoption-green-climate-funds-indigenous-peoples-policy/

 

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UN expert urges consistent policies for US on indigenous peoples’ rights for projects like Dakota Access Pipeline

By UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

A UN human rights expert has called on all levels of government in the United States to adopt consistent practices when consulting with indigenous tribes on projects that could affect their rights, like the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The appeal was made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, at the end of a mission to the US to assess the impact of energy development projects. During the visit, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, noted that, in spite of a US commitment to positive and meaningful engagement with tribal governments, challenges remained.

The Special Rapporteur said: “The legislative regime regulating consultation, while well intentioned, has failed to ensure effective and informed consultations with tribal governments. The breakdown of communication and lack of good faith in the review of federal projects leaves tribal governments unable to participate in dialogue with the United States on projects affecting their lands, territories, and resources.”

Nevertheless, the Special Rapporteur saw encouraging steps being taken by federal agencies to follow procedures set out in the UN’s Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.  She said: “Since 2012, the federal government has made commendable efforts to develop policies toward more robust measures.

“I also applaud the January 2017 joint report from the Departments of Interior, Army and Justice to solicit recommendations on engaging tribes in infrastructure-related activities. I am encouraged by the process of meaningful consultation with the tribes that the United States undertook in creating this report, and applaud the efforts made by the government to consider ways in which to improve consultation processes.”

In order to meet the obligations of the UN Declaration, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said the United States should continue to build efforts to incorporate principles of meaningful consultation with the goal of obtaining free, prior, and informed consent from indigenous peoples as set out in the Declaration.

She added that given the impacts on indigenous peoples of the Dakota Access Pipeline, she was deeply concerned by a presidential memo on 24 January clearing away the last hurdle so that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe could begin. The Special Rapporteur also expressed concern about similar issues on other projects.

The Dakota Access Pipeline issue and other examples in Ms. Tauli-Corpuz’s end of mission statement highlight the many water concerns associated with energy development. In places like the arid west, the substantial volumes of water used in drilling operations cause stress on water supplies. Contamination of underground and surface waters is also a concern, with many projects threatening vital resources in water-scarce regions.

Ms. Tauli-Corpuz said: “A recent Environmental Protection Agency study found scientific evidence that activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle can affect drinking water resources through spills, faulty well construction, discharges into surface waters, or disposal into underground injection wells. For indigenous peoples, water provides life, subsistence, and has undeniable spiritual significance. In Lakota, they express this belief as ‘Mni Wiconi: water is life’.”

However, the Special Rapporteur says the outlook is not entirely bleak.  A number of tribes have made entrepreneurial efforts to create tribal utilities for the benefit of their own and neighbouring communities, and are involved in a wide array of energy generation and transmission as large parts of tribal lands are used for the national electrical grid system.

“Indian tribes are owners and operators of new and emerging technologies, breaking the mold of reliance on outside entities,” the Special Rapporteur says. “These examples and many more are proving that by exercising political sovereignty, indigenous peoples can approach energy resource development in a diverse way to support economic sovereignty.”

Indigenous communities in the United States want more control over their energy resources as part of their overall desire for self-determination with respect to their lands, territories, and resources. They are committed to balancing many different sets of concerns in their own approaches to energy development.

The tribes rely on the income generated from natural resources to not only support critical government programs, but also to balance the protection of their lands, waters, and sacred places with the benefit of revenue and jobs.

“I have been very impressed by the remarkable and unshakeable resolve tribes have to find creative ways towards self-determination. Two such companies include the Missouri River Resources, a wholly-owned tribal company by Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation which is dedicated to using best practices in the oil and gas industry to generate economic benefits for the tribal community through responsible oil development. Similarly, the Red Willow Production Company, a company wholly owned and managed by the Southern Ute Tribe, has been generating revenue through oil and gas development on their reservation since 1992 and continues to maximize benefits for their tribal community while carefully managing their lands and resources.”

The Special Rapporteur says: “Tribes must continue to be supported to develop capacity and resources to realize self-determination to take advantage of their expanded authority in all areas including in energy development and law enforcement.

“I urge the government to continue to honour its treaty and trust obligations to indigenous peoples to ensure that native communities are not further plagued by violence,” said Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, adding that she hoped the government would provide adequate financing.

Finally, I recommend that for any extractive industry project affecting indigenous peoples, regardless of the status of the land, the United States should require a full environmental impact assessment of the project in consideration of the impact on indigenous peoples rights.”

During her official visit to the United States, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz met Government and State officials, a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations working on indigenous rights. She also visited indigenous communities to hear directly from them about their issues and concerns.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report containing her findings and recommendations to the United States Government and the UN Human Rights in September.

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (Philippines), is a human rights activist working on indigenous peoples’ rights. Her work for more than three decades has been focused on movement building among indigenous peoples and also among women, and she has worked as an educator-trainer on human rights, development and indigenous peoples in various contexts. She is a member of the Kankana-ey, Igorot indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region in the Philippines.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

UN Human Rights, country page: United States

Source: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21290&LangID=E

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