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Denmark is still standing with indigenous peoples

January 25 2017
The newly launched Danish strategy for development cooperation is prioritizing the world’s indigenous peoples. IWGIA is pleased that Denmark is still fighting for indigenous peoples’ rights.

You have to look a bit before you will find it. But on page 33 in the new Danish development strategy you will find indigenous peoples rights as a key priority on the human rights area. The new strategy has been adopted by all the parties in the Danish Parliament except one.

All this means, that Maasai, Inuit, Karen and Indians can still count on support and engagement in the fight for their rights.
 
IWGIA’s newly elected board chair Knud Vilby says:
 
“I note, that the strategy maintains Danish support to indigenous peoples. And as Denmark is presenting its candidature for a position in the UN Human Rights Council from 2019 with indigenous peoples as a key priority, we also fully back that up.”
 
IWGIA has a wide global network including indigenous peoples’ organisations and institutions, academia, human rights institutions and UN diplomats.
 
Building on good results

The new Danish strategy launches a row of new ideas and approaches to development cooperation. Still, it holds on to traditional Danish key priorities.
 
Tyge Lehmann, former Danish ambassador and the anchor person for shifting governments’ efforts for enhancing indigenous peoples’ rights, welcomes the new strategy:
 
“Denmark’s efforts for strengthening indigenous peoples’ rights in close cooperation with Greenland’s home rule and IWGIA has attracted a lot of attention and respect in relevant UN fora. It is important to bring these experiences forward and build on the achieved results,” says Tyge Lehmann, who is also a new member of IWGIA’s board.
 
For 50 years Denmark has been a pioneering country, when it comes to promoting indigenous peoples’ rights. IWGIA has with support from DANIDA contributed by establishing UN mechanisms and continuously ensured that, indigenous peoples are heard in local, regional and international negotiations and processes that affect their lives and future.      
 
From “The world 2030 – Denmark’s development policy and humanitarian strategy”:
 
7.6. A small country with a strong voice

The UN is a central platform for Denmark’s work to enhance human rights, democracy and gender equality. Hereunder we will still be persistent, when it comes to the fight against torture and the promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights. Denmark has certain strengths on these topics in the UN.