The Indian Law Resource Center and supporting organizations – Americans for Indian Opportunity, the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians the National Congress of American Indians, and the Native American Rights Fund, all ECOSOC-accredited organizations – participated in the Human Rights Council’s 30th Session in September, presenting three joint oral statements to advance the decisions of the World Conference, and participating in informal consultations on two resolutions concerning indigenous peoples.
Statements and advocacy efforts of the Center focused primarily on implementing decisions of the World Conference Outcome Document, including providing the Council with concrete recommendations for the implementing and monitoring body for the UN Declaration, proposing the development of new rules to ensure the permanent participation of indigenous governments in the UN, and calling for specific actions by the UN to combat violence against indigenous women.
Center and Partners seek permanent status for indigenous governments at the UN | Sept. 22, 2015
On October 1, the Human Rights Council adopted two important resolutions that advance decisions of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
The annual resolution on human rights and indigenous peoples contains a decision to hold a half-day panel discussion on the issue of violence against indigenous women and girls, its causes and consequences, during the Council’s September 2016 session. That resolution also brought attention to the commitment of the General Assembly to consider ways to enable the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant UN bodies on issues affecting them, during its 70th session. The 70th session opened on September 15, 2015 and will continue until September, 2016.
In the second resolution, the Council decided to hold a two-day expert workshop to consider how to change the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into an implementing and monitoring body for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The workshop will review the mandate of the Expert Mechanism and propose recommendations on how it can more effectively promote respect for the Declaration, including by better assisting states to monitor, evaluate and improve the achievement of the ends of the Declaration, pursuant to paragraph 28 of the outcome document of the World Conference. The workshop will be organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva in the first quarter of 2016. All indigenous peoples and others will be able to submit papers, materials, and proposals for the Expert Workshop to consider. The report and recommendations from the workshop will then be discussed by states, indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders at the 9th session of the Expert Mechanism in July, 2016, and further considered by the Human Rights Council during its 33rd session in September, 2016.