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UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Background

1. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) is a landmark document that defines, protects and supports the rights of Indigenous peoples world wide. It is an essential tool in the struggle to de-colonize indigenous lives and communities and challenge the centuries of oppression, discrimination and marginalization they have faced from expansionist invaders. Although it is only a Declaration, and is therefore not directly enforceable in terms of international law, it does play a very important role in the drafting, interpretation and application of customary law.

2. We, Greens in Dakar, express concern over the adverse effects of economic activities connected with the exploitation of natural resources in countries outside Canada by transnational corporations, among them those registered in Canada, on the right to land, health, living environment and the way of life of indigenous peoples living in these regions.

3. Green Party leaders in Dakar demand that other Federal States and other Federated States Legislative levels take appropriate legislative or administrative measures to prevent acts of transnational corporations registered in Canada or in other countries which negatively impact on the enjoyment of rights of indigenous peoples and explore ways to hold transnational corporations accountable, and ask all nation-states to include periodic report information on the effects of activities of transnational corporations on indigenous peoples abroad and on any measures taken in this regard.

4. At the regional level, the Inter-American human rights regime has interpreted its American Declaration of the Rights of Man signed by the first 21 countries (1948) and the American Convention of Human Rights (1969) in ways that are supportive of indigenous people’s collective rights to lands, communities and cultures. Still it has been widely recognized that more needs to be done in this area. The Organisation of American States (OAS) itself has been engaged in the process of drafting a new declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, although progress has stalled in recent years. The next important step is to move towards the implementation of these rights at the Federal State and Federated States levels.

Resolution

Therefore this Congress demands:

  1. the implementation and enforcement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and
  2. that the norms and standards delineated in the Declaration be reinforced in domestic law and Federated States. Of particular concern in these common Laws is the right to Free, Prior and Informed consent with respect to all development and natural resource extraction from Indigenous traditional territories.

 

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