HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Working Group on Indigenous Populations
31st July - 4th August 2006
Item 6 d) (Voluntary Fund)
Thank you Mr Chairman,
I am speaking in the name of the Indian Council of South America, CISA, which has supported the creation of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations and has made recommendations about the selection of candidates who, without financial support, can't participate in the United Nations (UN) Working Groups.
Considering the future of this Fund, first of all we have to take into account the new situation with the Human Rights Council. The future of this Working Group and the participation of indigenous Peoples in the various UN's mechanisms have not yet been defined.
In Resolution 60/251, it states that the Council will assume, examine and, whenever necessary, improve and streamline all the mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the Human Rights Commission. To that end, we would also like to propose that the Voluntary Fund's work be improved and streamlined.
It seems to me very important to emphasize that the Fund's contributions represent an important resource for Indigenous delegates. However, it will be necessary to make improvement so that their participation may become more effective, in order to justify the considerable costs of travel and accommodation.
For this, we recommend that delegates participating for the first time in the Working Group and the Permanent Forum be prepared better in their home countries. Moreover, they should receive guidance during the session, in order to be able to prepare a report for their organizations and communities; this will help the United Nations' work for Indigenous populations be known. In actual practice, the Working Groups is very short in duration. This year, we only had three and a half days of sessions, and almost every evening was planned with receptions and parties. It would be at least necessary to not anly hold preliminary meetings, but also final meetings where we could analize the results. Delegates that benefit from grants should commit themselves to bring back informations to their communities.
To conclude, I would like to thank doCip, with accomplishes a big job, publishing all the statements of Indigenous organizations in the Permanent Forum; this allows those who are interested but who could not participate to become informed through the Internet.
Geneva, 3 August 2006