COP 16: Commitment to include indigenous rights in climate change agreements considered positive
The Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs’ statement was made yesterday during discussions between the COP 16 President and civil society organisations. She stated Mexico’s commitment to expressly mention the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the text on Shared Vision that is being negotiated.
Attempts to backtrack denounced The Global Caucus of indigenous delegates, meeting this morning, also stated its concern at the opposition of some governments to including a reference to international human rights instruments, and in particular to indigenous rights, in the documents currently being negotiated at the Summit. This relates to just a few governments who are adopting a position that bucks the trend towards global processes of recognition and affirmation of the rights of indigenous peoples, such as the landmark adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007. Such is the case of the COP’s Working Group on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD), which is attempting to have the safeguards or guarantees of protection for IPs contained in the discussion draft removed. Inclusion and participation The indigenous delegations from Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Oceania, meeting in Cancún, and representing more than 360 million indigenous people around the world, called for respect for their right to direct, full and effective participation in all negotiation processes on climate change. The Caucus expressed its concern at the limitations currently obstructing indigenous participation in the negotiations and that there were delegations that had not been able to gain accreditation and take part in the Summit.