According to a press release from the Greenland Self Rule Representation and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Indigenous peoples’ representatives from all over the world are meeting today and Saturday in a brainstorming meeting in Copenhagen Denmark to discuss indigenous peoples’ participation in planning the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. The meeting is organized by the Greenland Self Rule Representation in Copenhagen, the Sami Parliament of Norway, and the IWGIA.
The world will assess the implementation of indigenous rights at the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be held in 2014. Indigenous peoples’ rights are described in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007. Among these rights is the right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision making.
Since the UN General Assembly in 2010 adopted Resolution A/C.3/65/L.22/Rev.1, the holding of a “high level segment” meeting in the form of a world conference on indigenous peoples, the World Conference has been on the agenda in a number of UN bodies such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.
A crucial point of these discussions have been ensuring indigenous peoples’ full participation in both the preparatory process and the conference itself. Indigenous representatives have made clear their desire to participate actively in the planning of the conference and not be relegated to an observer role.
The meeting in Copenhagen will be attended by representatives of indigenous peoples from Africa, Asia, Arctic, North and South America and Oceania. The UN Special Rapporteur for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya; Mirna Cunningham, Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Bambanze Vital, chair of the UN Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, will attend the meeting.