UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Ta’kahi Guaitiao (Greetings Relatives), on behalf of the Taíno People - the elders, children, women and men - represented by the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), and in solidarity with other Caribbean Indigenous Nations and organizations including The Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos (Puerto Rico); Caney Quinto Mundo (Puerto Rico); Kalinago Carib Nation (Dominica); Santa Rosa Carib Community (Trinidad); Joboshirima Lokono Arawak Community (Venezuela); Sanomaro Esa (Suriname); Eagle Clan Arawaks (Guyana/Barbados); Caney Indian Spiritual Circle (Cuba/U.S.); Presencia Taina (Puerto Rico/U.S.); Bohio Attabey Taino Women’s Circle (Puerto Rico/U.S.); Tainos Roca de Amor del Turey (Puerto Rico) and the Fundacion Luz Cosmica Taina (Dominican Republic), it is our hope that this message finds you well and in good Spirit.
On this historic day, the UCTP respectfully shares the following statement with regard to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
It is the view of the UCTP that Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will act upon today, Thursday September 13, 2007, contains many provisions that are acceptable to our diverse communities as well as several provisions that we cannot support.
While the UCTP recognizes and appreciates that the Declaration text contains provisions that uphold and affirm for example our right to self-determination, land and natural resources, free prior informed consent, Treaties, and other inherent rights, we also recognize and are greatly concerned that final changes to the text were completed without the direct participation of Indigenous Peoples.
With this in mind and recalling the great sacrifices of Indigenous Peoples who have worked tirelessly toward the adoption of a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples over the past 25 years, Caribbean Indigenous Peoples join in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives from around the world by not opposing the presentation of the modified text of the Declaration by the co-sponsoring states for adoption by the UNGA. This position is also based on the expressed commitment from the co-sponsors and African states to block any additional amendments which weaken or undermine the Declaration during the General Assembly vote or afterwards.
In addition, we express our profound appreciation to the many states, especially the Caribbean states, who will vote in support of the Declaration today. The UCTP will also note and call attention to those who will oppose it and we urge these states to re-consider their position in the spirit of partnership expressed in the theme of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
In closing, the UCTP, in solidarity with the leaders of Caribbean Indigenous Nations and organizations throughtout the region, looks forward to immediately undertaking the implementation of the Declaration, working in positive, harmonious collaboration with states and UN Bodies.
In the Spirit of Our Ancestors,
Roberto Múkaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP Office of International Relations
and Regional Coordination