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Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 18:57:44 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Kekula Bray-Crawford <kekula@aloha.net>
Subject: PRESS - FIJI - UN Draft Dec on Indigneous

Prime Minister Rabuka of Fiji hosts the indigenous peoples of the Pacific, 1-6 September, 1996

Press Release September 11th, 1996

For Immediate Release -

Image (265k) of Indigenous Peoples and Rabuka available at: http://www.aloha.net/nation/iitc/fiji.jpeg


HAWAII - Ms.Kekula P. Bray-Crawford phone: 808 573-3122 or e-mail: kekula@aloha.net
NOH/IITC 1135 Makawao Suite 103-122 - Makawao, Hawaii 96768

FIJI - Mr.Isireli Koyamaibole, Policy Analysis Unit phone: 679 211 705
Prime Minister's Office, P.O. Box 2353 - Government Buildings - Suva, Fiji

United Nations - Mr. Julian Burger 011 41 22 917-3413 or e-mail: jburger.hchr@unog.ch
U.N. Center for Human Rights, Palais des Nations (Room D-413) - Geneva, Switzerland

On August 21, 1996 U.S. Senator Akaka arranged a one day consultative meeting between the United States': Department of State; Department of Interior; the Department of Justice; and the, Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific (Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa, CNMI came unannounced) at the East West Center on Oahu; where they distributed a written U.S. government position on each article of the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (Senator Akaka's Press Contact: Ed Thompson (202) 224-6361)

In July and August invitations from the Fiji Government had been received by Indigenous Peoples in all parts of the Pacific including Hawaii. Selected participants were asked to meet in plenary session with other member states of the Pacific and UN resource persons to plan and initiate a regional strategy on the draft declaration. They accomplished this during 5 long days of discussions and presentations at the Forum Secretariat in Suva. U.S. Ambassador Don L. Gevertz attended the opening ceremonies as well as other diplomatic persons living in Suva.

Prime Minister, Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka opened the Inaugural Ceremonies of the "Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Workshop on the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" with a moving and progressive speech emphasizing the paramount importance of upholding the right to Self-Determination as defined in the UN Charter without compromise. Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka is the first Head of State to personally extend his esteemed support to the Indigenous Peoples of the World in regards to the Draft Declaration and their full rights under international law.

The Hawaii Delegation's three seats were represented by the following: Ms.Kekula P. Bray-Crawford - the Nation of Hawaii and the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC/UN ECOSOC NGO); Ms Mililani Trask - Ka Lahui Hawaii and Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO/NGO); and Ms Nalani Minton - Ka Pakaukau and the Hawaii Tribunal Komike. The plenary sessions reviewed and reaffirmed the regions positions on: Self-Determination; Individual and Collective Rights; Land and Resources; Intellectual and Cultural Property Rights; and, Pacific Region Strategies.

United Nations' Resource Persons were: Professor Dame Erica Irene A. Daes - Chair of the U.N. Working Group on Indigenous Populations (Geneva); Dr. Miguel Alfonso Martinez - the Special Rapporteur for the U.N. Study on Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements Between Indigenous Populations and States, (Cuba); Mr. Julian Burger - U.N. Center for Human Rights (Geneva). All three provided expert resource to the Working Group and supportive assistance with the development of a Pacific region strategy to take to the Commission on Human Rights Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group on the UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, October 21 - November 2, 1996.

Other distinguished participants/representatives were: Western Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands who left with the workshop committing to encourage their countries to become more involved in the draft delcaration in support of the Indigneous Peoples of the region. The Fiji government also showed their support and commitment when their Foreign Minister carried a resolution from the Working Group to the South Pacific Forum (concurrently convened in Majuro, Marshall Islands) to invite support for the Indigenous Peoples of the region in Geneva this next month and to share the Prime Ministers speech accompanied by a letter from the Indigenous Delegations.

Follow-up: the Nation of Hawaii has been accredited to the CHR inter-sessional working group since 1995 (1 out of 12 in the U.S.) and is also a member organization of the IITC with ECOSOC Category II-Consultative Status (Puuhonua B. Kanahele - Hawaii Board Member) and Ka Lahui Hawaii is currently going through the accreditation processes.

Hookele Hawaii - Hawaiianavigation Co. (a WWW Internet Consultancy and Development Co) will be developing and hosting the Internet Web Site for the Pacific strategies as a tool for education and focus. The Web Site will feature: histories; U.N. and Indigenous Peoples documents, interventions; and, online discussions.

Other Indigenous Peoples represented were: Aotearoa (New Zealand), Kanaky (New Caledonia), Te Ao Maohi (Tahiti), Aboriginals (Australia), Torres Straights (Australia).

The Solicitor General of Fiji Mr.Isikeli Mataitoga, was elected as Chair of the session and the elected Rapporteurs were: Mr.Graham Leung - Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Fiji/NY) and Mr.Victor Kaisiapo - Pacific Concerns Resource Center (West Papua/Fiji).

The final report of the workshop will be submitted to the Commission on Human Rights to be distributed next month.

-- The Planning Committee represented the following: The American Friends Service Committee; Te Kawao Maro; Pacific Concerns Resource Center and the Fiji Government. Contributors to the event were: American Friends Service Committee; Department of Women Affairs and Culture; European Union; Fiji Police Band; Forum Secretariat; The Government of Fiji; Kanak Agency for Development; Pacific Concerns Resource Center; Tacirua Transport Co. Ltd.; Te Kawao Maro; United Nations Development Programme; United Nations Indigenous Peoples Voluntary Fund; South Pacific Distilleries Limited (HAWAII PLANNING COMMITTEE CONTACT: Ms. Kilali Alailima - (808) 988-1124 - AFSC - Pacific Region Program Coordinator)


- Draft Declaration and related documents http://hawaii-nation.org/iitc/draftdec.html

- International Indian Treaty Council http://hawaii-nation.org/iitc/

- Nation of Hawaii http://hawaii-nation.org/

- Ka Lahui Hawaii http://kalahui.org

- Ho`okele Hawai`i - HawaiiaNavigation http://hookele.com

- United Nations http://www.un.org

Fourth World Documentation Project jburrows@halcion.com

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