An Update From the UN:
Indigenous Permanent Peoples Forum
Theme “Indigenous peoples, business, autonomy and the human rights principles of due diligence including free, prior and informed consent”
Dates April 26-May 1, 2022
Co-Charing the Amazon subcommittee of the Mining Working Group is one of the privileges I have here in New York. I became part of this committee upon my arrival in the position of UN Representative for the Dominican Leadership Conference in October 2019. I was attending the Mining Working Group meeting in our conference center at 240 E. 46th St. I must admit that I really didn’t know anything about mining, nor did I know much about the Amazon. I wasn’t exactly sure what countries made up the Amazon and what the mining issues were. As the years have gone by, I have learned more and more about the Amazon.
You may already know that there are nine countries that make up the Amazon. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The Amazon is the lungs of the world. Therefore, we must protect her and its Indigenous peoples. Without the Amazon we will not be able to breathe, and the world will die. Every day the Amazon and its Indigenous peoples are in dangers due to deforestation, mining of all kinds by corporations who take without free and prior consent of the people. These are the rights that must be protected if we are going to sustain life at all in the world.
One of the opportunities we have for telling the stories of what is happening is via webinars, scheduling meetings with member states from the various countries of the Amazon virtually or in person.
Since I arrived as the pandemic was getting started, I have met with several member states representatives on the concerns we have in the Amazon. We have met with Canada, Colombia and Brazil. Our meetings are about 30-45 min in length. So it means that we have a script to go by to make sure that we are able to share informative info about the country and also get a response from the delegate we are meeting with via zoom.
Each year the Indigenous Permanent Peoples Forum meets for about ten days in mid-to late April 26-May 1, 2022.
The Permanent Forum is part of the Economic and Social Council and is advisory to the Council. It was established in July 2000 through a resolution 2000/22. Its mandate is six fold: economic and social development, culture, the environment, education. health and human rights. In addition:
- It also provides expert advice and recommendations on Indigenous concerns
- Raises awareness and promotes integration and coordination of activities
- Prepares and disseminates information
- Enhances the respect for and full application of the UN Declaration on Human Rights
Due to a new process at the UN this year each NGO is only allowed three passes for a commission or forum. So, the Congregations of St. Joseph, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and the Dominican Leadership Conference are assisting with obtaining a badge for participants to enter into the Forum. This year we are hosting five people from the Amazon: Cardinal Barreto from Peru, Bishop Rafael Cob of Ecuador, Peter Hughes in Peru, Sonia Olea Ferrera of Caritas, Madrid, Spain and Lily Calderon, of Peru.
Together we will host four side events as part of the Forum:
- April 26 Mining in indigenous territories in the Amazon: a reality that affects peoples’ autonomy, violation of human rights, the role of companies and states.
The time for the event is 1:30 PM EDT and the link to the event is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81878191223
- April 27 Encuentro Norte y Sur Mujeres/ North South Gathering of Young Traditional Women
Women from the North and South will share how they are transmitting their culture and language to the next generation.
The time for the event will be at 2:00 PM and the link to the event is:
- April 28. CIDH/REPAM PRESENTATION Human Rights abuse presentation. It takes place at 1:00 PM. The link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89307080916
- The Fourth meeting will be a conversation between the members of the Mining Working Group and the folks from the Amazon. It will be an in person meeting without zoom.
Please join us for any or all of the presentations. And please inform others.
This is your UN Office at work and we would love to have participants from the Dominican Family at the Forum.