Frontpage > News > Search news

World Conference: Facilitators for preparatory process appointed by the GA

April 12 2012


The President of the UN General Assembly takes an important step forward in helping to ensure indigenous peoples full and effective participation in the process towards the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to take place in 2014 by appointing Amb. De Alba (Mexico) and Mr John Henriksen (Indigenous Peoples) to conduct inclusive informal consultations.

On April 5, in a letter sent to all Permanent Missions to the United Nations, the President of the UN General Assembly announced the appointment of Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba (Mexico) and Mr. John Henriksen (Saami Parliament, Norway) as facilitators for consultations with governmental delegations and representatives of indigenous peoples on the format, organizational issues and possible outcomes of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples.

The decision taken by the President of the General Assembly to appoint an indigenous co-facilitator responds to the demands made by indigenous peoples to ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples at the World Conference including its preparation process.

The appointment of John Henriksen (representative of the Saami Parliament of Norway) as co-facilitator responds to the proposal made by the Indigenous Global Coordinating Group established during the Indigenous Peoples’ Brainstorming Meeting held in Copenhagen in January 12-13, 2012.

Since the meeting in Copenhagen, the Indigenous Global Coordinating Group have had several meetings with the office of President of the General Assembly and with some government delegations in New York aiming at promoting the conclusions and recommendations agreed in the Indigenous Peoples Brainstorming meeting held in Copenhagen and particularly the appointment of the indigenous co-facilitator in order to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in the preparatory process towards the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

IWGIA warmly welcomes the decision of the President of the General Assembly to appoint Amb. De Alba and Mr John Henriksen as facilitators of the World Conference preparatory process as an important step forward towards the practical implementation of Indigenous Peoples right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights.

We are confident that under Amb. De Alba and Mr Henriksen’s wise guidance and proved diplomatic skills the outcome of the upcoming consultations regarding the format, procedures and character of the World Conference will be consistent with the rights enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and fully accommodate Indigenous Peoples full and effective participation in the preparations for the World Conference and in the Conference itself.

Please find attached a copy of the letter sent by the President of the General Assembly and the Resolution from the Indigenous Peoples Brainstorming Meeting held in Copenhagen last January including the conclusions and recommendations agreed.