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India supports enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples

Friday, Jul 1, 2016,15:50 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

United Nations | India has said it supports enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples in the UN system on issues of relevance and is committed to advancing as well as promotion and protection of their rights.

Mayank Joshi, Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, said that it was essential to find a fine balance between self-identification and state recognition of Indigenous Peoples (IP) that is based on comprehensive, objective and criteria that suits different relevant national context of different countries.

He said the principle of self-identification, if read alone, will only encourage opening it to misuse, even to political ends, and to the detriment of Member States’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We believe that if not course-corrected now, it will be untenable and chaotic for the purposes of the UN system, Joshi said while participating in informal consultation on ‘Participation of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations’. India is supportive of enhanced participation of IP in the UN system on issues of relevance and is committed to advancing, promotion and protection of rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said.

Joshi said nations must continue to make efforts to strengthen the existing Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (PFII) and the Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) that could be considered as the first step in enhancing their participation in the UN.

We agree that more research is required on how existing arrangements are being utilised by the indigenous peoples so as to build upon the evidence base for effective and efficient participation being envisaged, he said. He added that there were multiple forms and manner in which Indigenous Peoples identify themselves and this challenge needs to be discussed further.

Any accreditation process should be based on criteria which are objective, specific and comprehensive. We must also recognise that the situation of indigenous peoples varies from region to region and from country to country, he said.

India strongly supports that national governments/Member States should play a primary role in the identification and accreditations process at the national level and subsequently at the United Nations also.