23 May 2007
Department of Public Information
News and Media Division
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
13th Meeting (PM)
INDIGENOUS FORUM DISCUSSES IMPLEMENTATION OF FOURTH SESSIONíS
RECOMMENDATIONS, POSSIBLE STUDY ON PROPER PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL
The expert members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues met this
afternoon to discuss their future work, including ways to ensure more
effective implementation of earlier recommendations, and proposals on a
new questionnaire designed to streamline its report submission process.
They also considered a concept paper outlining the parameters of a study
on the extent to which customary laws should be reflected in national and
international standards addressing traditional knowledge.
Opening the discussions, Willie Littlechild, expert from Canada and
Special Rapporteur on recommendations of the previous sessions, introduced
a report on analysis and state of implementation of the recommendations of
the Permanent Forum at its fourth session (document E/C.19/2007/5), which
noted that, following that 2004 session, the Forum had made some 140
recommendations, mainly addressed to the wider United Nations system,
regional intergovernmental organizations, indigenous peoplesí
organizations and Governments.
He said that some 14 of those recommendations had since been completed,
and 33 were in the process of being implemented. An additional set of
recommendations had arisen from the international expert workshops on
specific issues following the decisions of the Forum, including four such
meetings on data collection; free, prior and informed consent; the
Millennium Development Goals; and the Convention on Biological Diversityís
regime on access and benefit-sharing. Many recommendations, especially
those requiring short- and medium-term time frames, had been implemented.
Some activities, however, had not been fully reported, he added.
Highlighting some of the reportís conclusions, he said that the role
played by the Inter-Agency Support Group, which now included 30
intergovernmental entities among its members, had contributed positively
to the work of the Forum. The Groupís substantial contributions in
elaborating and disseminating more widely the issues being discussed had
helped further the implementation of recommendations.
He also said that it had been observed that there was still some
resistance to suggestions that three or more United Nations bodies should
work together on joint projects in specific areas so that more positive
experiences in terms of complementarity and building synergies could be
seen. That would ensure that indigenous peoples were not overlooked owing
to turf wars between development agencies. Finally, he encouraged more
Governments to submit recommendations, and encouraged indigenous peopleís
organizations to also engage in monitoring implementation of the Forumís