FIFTH SESSION OF THE UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDGENOUS ISSUES
25 May 2006
Madam Chair, Distinguished Delegates and Indigenous Representative of the World's Indigenous Peoples, we welcome this opportunity to address Agenda Item 4 (g) the Second International Decade, specifically with respect to the implementation of the Plan of Action, the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Greater Caribbean* recommends that the Permanent Forum:
1) Under item 15, urge UNESCO to promote and support the recovery of the indigenous heritage, oral tradition and ancient writings of the Indigenous Peoples of the Greater Caribbean region including Puerto Rico, with a view to recognizing them as heritage of humanity under the framework of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
2) In accordance with paragraphs 23 & 16, urge UNESCO to hold a special regional meeting with member organizations and communities of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Greater Caribbean and the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples to facilitate their full and effective participation in its work relating to indigenous Peoples; specifically its programs on endangered languages, education, literacy, nomination of indigenous sites; in the World
Heritage List and other relevant programs;
3) Where ancestral languages of the Greater Caribbean have been replaced by the dominant language or not being used as a result of the actions of governments, assimilation and acculturation policies, the Permanent Forum should urge states, UNESCO and other relevant UN Bodies, to provide the resources, technical, or other assistance necessary to develop in conjunction with them, language, education and cultural exchange programs to restore and revitalize, and strengthen their languages, cultures, traditions and spiritual practices.
4) Under Item 18, urge the Greater Caribbean States, including Puerto Rico, in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples to review all education materials with a view to eliminate any discriminatory and derogatory content and erroneous historical accounts that makes them invisible, subject to ridicule, or in any way misrepresents them and to develop policies and focused programs to reverse these perceptions of indigenous cultures, which are often stereotyped, folklorized and biased.
5) Under item 47, urge that the Indigenous Peoples of the Greater Caribbean region including Puerto Rico be included in programs of education on the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the current Indigenous Fellowship Program of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
6) Under item 56, urge the Governments of the Greater Caribbean including Puerto Rico in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples to further develop national legislation for the protection and promotion of human rights, including means of monitoring and guaranteeing those rights and urge that where it is not already the case, like in the case of Puerto Rico, national constitutions recognize the existence of indigenous peoples, and make explicit reference to them, where relevant.
7) To urge the Rio Group to develop policy guidelines in collaboration with the member organizations and communities of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Greater Caribbean and the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples, and to work closely with the respective governments to use said guidelines in the implementation of their respective regional agreements and to assist in strengthening fair trade and other areas of cooperation among Indigenous Peoples of the region.
8) To invite the Rio Group and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas to establish and contribute to a special regional fund for Indigenous Peoples Organizations of the Greater Caribbean to attend the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the Second Decade.
9) To invite CARICOM, the Rio Group, and the Association of Caribbean States to establish a Fund to assist in the implementation of paragraph (95) of the Programme of Action A/60/270.
10) To recommend to the Governments of the Greater Caribbean especially in Guyana to consider paragraph (19) when implementing tourism initiatives.
11) To recommend to UNESCO in considering the women of the Machusi Language Project in the North Rupununi in Guyana, to attend universities to enhance their teaching skills of the different
indigenous languages in paragraphs (27) and (30) of the Programme of Action.
12) To urge Greater Caribbean governments including Puerto Rico to implement paragraph (31) of the Programme of Action in expanding their state budgetary allocations in order to increase the number of scholarships to indigenous persons.
13) To urge Greater Caribbean governments, CARICOM, Association of Caribbean States and the Rio Group to implement paragraph (39) of the Programme of Action as it relates to the indigenous Communities and the peoples.
14) To urge the Greater Caribbean governments to implement paragraphs 41 (a,b,c)
15) To request the Guyana Government to put in place the Indigenous Peoples Commission and the Toshau Council to implement paragraph (53).
16) To invite the Rio Group, CARICOM and the Association of Caribbean States to work in close collaboration with the Government of Guyana and Indigenous Peoples Organisations to effectively implement paragraph 59 (a,b, c) and paragraph 61.
Bo'Matum (Thank you) for your attention
*The Greater Caribbean is defined here as an area of cooperation in recognition of common ancestral heritages and common geographic spaces shared by the Indigenous Peoples of the region.
Special Note: This intervention was read to the Assembly by Millie Gandia, UCTP Representative