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Nordic-Baltic Joint Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Finland at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 20 April 2018

20.04.2018

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

17th Session

11. Follow-up to the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples:
 (b) Ways to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples at the United Nations

Nordic-Baltic statement

20 April 2018

Thank you chair,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries:  Denmark together with Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and my own country Finland.

We would like to thank the Permanent Forum for its work to promote the participation of Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and institutions at the UN in matters affecting them.  
The consensus resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the topic last fall ensured continued deliberations in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. For the Nordic countries it is essential to be respectful of the framework provided by the resolution to enhance Indigenous Peoples’ participation in UN fora.  The UN must listen to voices from Indigenous Peoples.

The informal hearings by the President of the General Assembly are an essential tool in preparing the discussions for further measures at the 75th session. We welcome the first hearing held this week. 

Moreover, we urge all relevant UN Bodies to follow up on the call for further efforts to facilitate participation. The Human Rights Council could as a first step decide to hold a panel discussion or an expert workshop on how to realize Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and institutions participation at the Council.

Greater involvement of Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world in the process, including through national and regional consultations, will be important to advance this agenda. We look forward to continued cooperation with the UN Membership, Indigenous Peoples, and the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General as well as the UN indigenous mechanisms to ensure progress on this important outcome of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you.

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