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UN overrides indigenous peoples’ internal process for nomination of Expert

June 15 2016
By not appointing the indigenous expert nominated by the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Movement, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, last week, broke with a well established principle of respecting indigenous peoples' own selection process for indigenous expert members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

“We need to assert  respect for indigenous peoples-led selection process and safeguard  the integrity and independence of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that  resulted from the global movement of indigenous peoples,” says Tebtebba  (Indigenous  Peoples’  International  Centre  for  Policy  Research  and Education). 

Tebetabba and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus, have expressed concern regarding the non-appointment of Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member from Asia to the Permanent  Forum on Indigenous Issues and written a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they point out the following:  

As per ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which established the Permanent Forum, the President of the Council shall appoint eight of the 16 members of the Permanent Forum  “following formal  consultation  with  the  Bureau  and  the  regional  groups through their coordinators, on the basis of broad consultations with indigenous organizations, taking into account the diversity and geographical distribution of the indigenous people of the world as well as the principles of transparency, representativity and equal opportunity for all indigenous people, including internal processes, when appropriate, and local indigenous consultation processes…”

Break with well established procedure 
Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Asia have since then established a process of consultation through which the past and current indigenous-nominated members of the Permanent Forum from the region were nominated.

It was also through this process that Ms. Joan Carling, current member of the Permanent Forum, was nominated for a second term. The process, facilitated by Tebtebba, was undertaken from October 2015 to January 2016.

“The non-appointment of Ms. Carling, being the person nominated by indigenous peoples’ organizations in the region, is inconsistent with ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, which could serve  as  a  bad   precedent affecting the integrity of the defined selection process. Furthermore, this is an affront to an indigenous-led and indigenous-defined process”, says Tebtebba.

Call for endorsement of letter 
Tebtebba has therefore prepared a letter to the President of the ECOSOC, in which they strongly urge the President to give due respect to the consultation processes of the indigenous peoples in Asia, which has been the past practice, and reconsider Ms. Joan Carling as the indigenous-nominated member to the Permanent Forum without further delay.

The letter has been circulated within indigenous organisations and support NGOs for endorsement. IWGIA encouarages all indigenous organisations, networks and NGOs to endorse Tebetebba's letter.

If you wish to endorse the letter you can contact: 

Prabindra  Shakya :  prabin@aippnet.org and Eleanor P. Dictaan - Bang-oa  : ellen@tebtebba.org