Make IPs voices heard everywhere

Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Gam A. Shimray addressed the UN General Assembly during the High-level Event

Secretary General of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Gam A. Shimray addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations during the “High-level event convened by the President of the General Assembly to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the outcome document of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples” on the 17th of April , 2024. Gam represented Asia socio-cultural region of the 7 socio-cultural regions.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Honorable Mr. President and distinguished delegates,
As we commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, let us reflect on our history.
We are here because we all have a deep yearning for peace. The UN was born out of the conviction to save succeeding generationsfrom the scourge of war, which brought untold sorrow to mankind. The UN embarked on decolonization to facilitate self-determination and self-government to overcome the evils of colonialism involving political suppression, economic domination, and social and cultural subjugation. But peace does not come by itself, we need to fight for our convictions. Peace comes only when we become peace makers. This is the meaning and dignity the UN Charter embodies.

However, self-determination conflicts and the lack of democratic space to negotiate peace arrangements continue to be the source of grave human rights violations. For example, in Myanmar, it is reported that about 8,000 civilians have been killed and 2.3 million people have been displaced since the coup. Much of these numbers are Indigenous Peoples.
The self-government that we seek is more than political content, it is a comprehensive doctrine encompassing economic, social, and cultural factors. In other words, it is a process of seeking how best Indigenous Peoples can join other people with dignity on agreed terms by securing fairness and just peace.
It is about how constructive agreements made with governments is implemented with convictions and not abused by powers e.g., the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord (CHT) of Bangladesh. It is about how agreements will establish a new dignified relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the States e.g., will the current Indo-Naga peace talk result in an agreement that give a fresh breath of life and dignity to the Indian State and the Naga people? Will it put an end to the bloody war that has spanned for more than 70 years?
It is imperative to address the lack of clear institutional arrangement, effective enforcement measures, and clear terms and rules for facilitating the right of self-government of Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, we reiterate the need to pursue the General Assembly Resolution No. 40 of the Outcome Document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, which sought for recommendations providing how to use, modify and improve existing UN mechanisms to achieve the ends of the UNDRIP.
Furthermore, as we prepare to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the UNDRIP, we recommend the following:
1. We call for a high-level event that includes a comprehensive action plan spearheaded by the United Nations in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples;
2. Under the leadership of the Secretary-General, develop a comprehensive System-wide Action Plan for the implementation of the UNDRIP, including supporting States and Indigenous Peoples in peace negotiations, reform and implementation of legal frameworks, policies, strategies and plans that further the UNDRIP implementation processes;
3. Explore means for the Security Council to address conflicts in indigenous territories under the peace and security agenda with the full participation of women and youth in peace processes;
4. Engage the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs to have an active role in monitoring the implementation of peace accords involving Indigenous Peoples;
5. Enhance participation of Indigenous Peoples with a new status at Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly, and other relevant UN meetings;
6. Prioritize to address the endemic violence against indigenous women with key deliverables of empowering and securing full participation in policy making;
7. Prioritize capacity building and education of indigenous youths for leadership and self-governance; and
8. For the UN Agencies, funds, and programmes to establish a Regional Inter-Agency Working Group on indigenous issues in Asia to enable a coherent regional approach, as has been done in Latin America and Africa.
Thank you, Mr. President