Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 15:49:28 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: NETWARRIORS - Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus <>
Subject: Indig. Report from Geneva - 23 October 1996

Report from the Net Warriors Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus

On the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Geneva, 23 October 1996

N E T W A R R I O R S Indigenous Peoples Global Caucus
Intersessional Working Group

Earlier Net Warriors sent you our Joint Statement Sisters and Brothers...

Last night we sent you our statement and it was too difficult to report on what had taken place throughout the day. We were in Global Caucus deliberations for hours in effort to come to consensus on our strategies. Our delegations are weighted with the choice of how to respond to the negotiating process. Our greatest difficulty is knowing truly the machine we are dealing with.

As we each define our purpose in the values of our futures through the foundation within each of us instilled by our ancestors. We have found great frustrations in this stand to remain integral to our collective principles, our individual principles and most important the principles of our people at home. Our diversity of struggle is somewhat defined by our regions and the governments both in military occupation of us and in relation to our geographic positions.

Our drafting committee was charged by our Global Caucus to draft the earlier statement based upon the hundreds of points presented by our body throughout the day. We felt finally that it served our position well.

We also selected another committee to meet with the President Jose Urrutia this morning to present him with our statement content accompanied by the following request/proposal... asking for a specific time frame determined by the presentations of our people which was to allow:

1. Presentment of the Joint Statement by the Indigenous Peoples Caucus

2. Presentation of Regional Support Statements

3. Presentation of Support Statements

4. Conclusion and Invitation to Governments to Respond to our Statement

Our previous days '92 caucus concluded that we would hear the responses of government delegations and that we would take their thoughts back to our caucus for a re-evaluation. After hearing them we could decide whether it was worth our remaining to try and achieve the adoption of the full document.

The Chairman was adament that we would not be able to present the Statement. He said it was beyond the procedure of ECOSOC and that he had the inability to allow this. That we were to come back and review the document by the articles he had originally selected.

Committee Head informed the chair by no uncertain terms that he was mandated by the Indigenous Peoples Caucus to either achieve this agreement or the Indigenous Peoples would not return. He expressed the principles layed out in the Decade goals of new partnerships and working together.

Peru Indigenous Representative told the Chair that he was unreasonable the first day of our gathering when we had requested to amend the agenda and that had he not been things would possibly be in a better circumstance. He was forceful in his presentation.

The Head of Committee stated that it was not right to remain so inflexable and that UN meetings will often set aside the procedures to address special circumstances, even in the General Assembly.

Ambassador Urrutia said this was impossible but that he would consult with the caucus. He returned and said okay... that will be fine.

We convened our meeting and there will be statements posted for your review shortly. The government responses were mostly favorable in the sense that they all agreed that the process would be of no value without the participation of Indigenous Peoples. They emphasised the need to continue developing their partnerships. They also supported things within our statement. Most stating: ' as they had always done...'

The only true support came from Fiji and Denmark. Clearly both of them are prepared to adopt the draft or strengthen it. (See other reports)

We convened into semi-caucus and briefed on the meeting we had had. We have now scheduled a caucus to determine our next step tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. more soon... quotes and statements

Please continue to send your support, please have others send their expressions of Solidarity...

Our new Fax number at the UN is:

Fax: + 41 22 917 0303


WE HAVE 3 LARGE BULLETIN BOARDS NOW FILLING WITH YOUR LETTERS AND E-MAILS - solidarity in the struggle for Creators Law... our Peace... for All Peoples and our Mother... Earth...

fax: + 41 22 917 0303

Kekula P. Bray-Crawford, Pacific Peoples Indigenous Organization Committee/IITC
Lori Pourier, Indigenous Womens Network
Crystal Echohawk, Indigenous Womens Network
Steve Newcomb, Indigenous Law Institute

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