ECOSOC decisions on Indigenous Issues

Christopher Carrico ccarrico at temple.edu
Mon Aug 11 15:56:46 MDT 2003



   Please take note of the position of the United States in 
the following: 



>   Excerpts from UN Press Release ECOSOC/6088.   23
>   July 2003
>   Entire PR can be seen at
>    
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ecosoc6088.doc.htm
>    
>   ECOSOC membership for 2003 (54 member states):
>   Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Benin,
>   Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba,
>   Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland,
>   France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala,
>   Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica,
>   Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal,
>   Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru,
>   Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian
>   Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa,
>   Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United
>   States and Zimbabwe.
>   =================
>   23/07/2003
>
>       Press Release  
>       ECOSOC/6088    
>
>   ECOSOC ADOPTS DECISIONS RECOMMENDED BY COMMISSION ON
>   HUMAN RIGHTS
>   (Reissued as received.)
>   GENEVA, 23 July (UN Information Service) -- The
>   Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this afternoon
>   took action on decisions recommended to it in the
>   report of the Commission on Human Rights on its
>   fifty-ninth session.  Out of the 32 decisions
>   adopted by ECOSOC, 10 were put to a vote, many of
>   which extended or renewed the mandates of Special
>   Rapporteurs, Independent Experts or Working
>   Groups.    
>    
>   On indigenous issues, ECOSOC in a decision on the
>   Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the
>   Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of
>   Human Rights and the International Decade of the
>   World’s Indigenous People, adopted by a vote of 52
>   in favour, one against, with one abstaining,
>   authorized the Working Group to meet for five
>   working days prior to the Sub-Commission.  Also on
>   indigenous issues, ECOSOC adopted, by a vote of 36
>   in favour and 12 against, with 6 abstentions, a
>   decision on indigenous peoples’ permanent
>   sovereignty over natural resources, by which it
>   endorsed the decision to appoint Erica-Irene Daes as
>   Special Rapporteur to undertake a study on
>   indigenous peoples’ permanent sovereignty over
>   natural resources.  By a vote of 50 in favour, with
>   one against, and 3 abstentions, ECOSOC adopted a
>   decision on the International Decade, by which it
>   requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to
>   organize, before the end of the International
>   Decade, a seminar on treaties, agreements and other
>   constructive arrangements between States and
>   indigenous peoples.
>   The ECOSOC also adopted decisions, without votes,
>   related to issues on housing; arbitrary detention;
>   torture; involuntary disappearances; independence of
>   the judiciary; elimination of violence against
>   women; religious intolerance; human rights
>   defenders; human rights in countering terrorism;
>   Democratic Republic of the Congo; Burundi;
>   Afghanistan; Somalia; Sierra Leone; Liberia; Iraq;
>   discrimination in the criminal justice system;
>   indigenous issues; and small arms.
>    
>   The ECOSOC will reconvene on Thursday, 24 July, at
>   10 a.m. to continue to take action on outstanding
>   draft proposals. 
>   Action on Decisions
>   The Council adopted, by a vote of 52 in favour, one
>   against, with one abstention, a decision on the
>   Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the
>   Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of
>   Human Rights and the International Decade of the
>   World’s Indigenous People, by which it authorized
>   the Working Group on Indigenous Populations to meet
>   for five working days prior to the fifty-fifth
>   session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and
>   Protection of Human Rights.
>   The results were as follows:
>   In favour (52):   Andorra, Argentina, Azerbaijan,
>   Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Congo,
>   Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia,
>   Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece,
>   Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy,
>   Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique,
>   Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan,
>   Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania,
>   Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South
>   Africa, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and
>   Zimbabwe.
>   Against (1): United States.
>   Abstention (1): Australia.
>   The Council adopted, by a vote of 36 in favour, 12
>   against, with 6 abstentions, a decision on
>   Indigenous peoples’ permanent sovereignty over
>   natural resources, by which it endorsed the decision
>   to appoint Erica-Irene Daes as Special Rapporteur to
>   undertake a study on indigenous peoples’ permanent
>   sovereignty over natural resources.
>   The results were as follows:
>   In favour (36):   Argentina, Azerbaijan, Benin,
>   Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador,
>   Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana,
>   Greece, Guatemala, India, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya,
>   Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua,
>   Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Russian Federation,
>   Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and
>   Zimbabwe.
>   Against (12): Australia, Finland, France, Germany,
>   Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea,
>   Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.
>   Abstentions (6): Andorra, Brazil, Ireland, Italy,
>   Japan, and Romania.
>   Finally the Council adopted, by a vote of 50 in
>   favour, one against, with 3 abstentions, a decision
>   on the International Decade of the World’s
>   Indigenous People, by which it endorsed the
>   Commission’s recommendation that it request the
>   United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to
>   organize, before the end of the International Decade
>   of the World’s Indigenous People, a seminar on
>   treaties, agreements and other constructive
>   arrangements between States and indigenous peoples.
>   The results were as follows:
>   In favour (50):   Andorra, Argentina, Azerbaijan,
>   Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Congo,
>   Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia,
>   Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece,
>   Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy,
>   Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique,
>   Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan,
>   Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian
>   Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda,
>   Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
>   Against (1): United States.
>   Abstentions (3): Australia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
>    
>   Comments on Decision on International Decade of
>   World's Indigenous People
>   Speaking in an explanation of the vote before the
>   vote, a representative of the United States said
>   that during the consideration of this item during
>   the Commission, the United States had dissociated
>   itself from the adoption of this resolution due to
>   the failure of the Special Rapporteur to provide
>   information on the seminar proposed therein.  He,
>   therefore, called for a recorded vote and encouraged
>   others to vote against the draft decision.
>   A representative of Cuba said that Cuba was
>   concerned by the weak arguments presented by the
>   United States, especially as the Special Rapporteur
>   had clearly explained to the Commission the focus of
>   the proposed seminar.  This had been included in an
>   official document and provided sufficient
>   information.
>    
>   Comments on Decision on Working Group on Indigenous
>   Populations
>   Speaking in an explanation of the vote before the
>   vote, a representative of the United States said
>   that the United States remained committed to working
>   within the United Nations system to protect and
>   promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of
>   indigenous peoples.  However, the United States
>   believed that the Working Group should be concluded,
>   given that with the appointment of the Special
>   Rapporteur and the conclusion of the second session
>   of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the
>   Working Group had fulfilled its mandate.  The United
>   States had supported the establishment of the
>   Permanent Forum on the understanding that the
>   Working Group would be brought to an end as a
>   result.
>   Speaking in an explanation of the vote before the
>   vote, a representative of Cuba said that the
>   importance of the Working Group was reflected by
>   many different factors and a draft resolution had
>   been adopted in the Commission, which reflected the
>   importance of this mechanism, as well as the two
>   other mechanisms on indigenous issues.  Cuba would
>   vote in favor of the decision.
>   Also speaking in an explanation of the vote before
>   the vote, a representative of the Russian Federation
>   said that he understood the concern of those
>   countries raising the question of the expediency of
>   continuing the Working Group, but felt that
>   questions of financial consequences and substantive
>   issues should be divided on this issue.  The Working
>   Group was very important and had become an exemplary
>   school for indigenous people and an arena in which
>   they could have a dialogue with Governments.  Thus,
>   its work had not been concluded.
>   Speaking in an explanation of the vote before the
>   vote, a representative of China said that the
>   continuation of the Working Group was the common
>   desire of the members of the Human Rights
>   Commission, and was shared by those organizations
>   concerned with indigenous issues.  Therefore, the
>   Chinese delegation would vote in favor of the draft
>   decision.
>    
>                         * *** *
>    




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