Friday, May 19, 2006


"It is difficult to prove that you are among the most oppressed if the Government does not keep records in that regard” said a participant at the Indigenous Session today.

The second day of the fifth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (15-26 May) opened this morning with an interactive dialogue between the members of the Forum and indigenous peoples. Some of the issues discussed:

- Several speakers said that their right to development was currently not fully realized. In fact, in many cases, development could be a double-edged sword for indigenous peoples, robbing them of their land and resources. The invasion of national and international oil, lumber, pharmaceutical and mining corporations led to serious violations of indigenous communities’ rights. In the context of globalization, indigenous peoples were often forced to play the role of bystanders when decisions were made, even though their children would inherit the environmental costs of industrialization projects.

-Several speakers insisted that indicators of poverty and development needed to be adjusted to reflect indigenous peoples’ real situation.

- One speaker drew the Forum’s attention to sterilization of indigenous women without their consent and the use of indigenous people as medical test cases for contraceptive studies.

Complete press release at:

This evening will see the opening of the exhibition " Indigenous Peoples: Honouring the Past, Present and Future" accompanied by a cultural programme and reception in the UN Visitor's Lobby at 6.15pm. The art and photographic exhibition consists of display by the ancient Rapanui islanders, along with carving, weaving, quilting, painting, drawing and printmaking by contemporary indigenous artists from different countries, who represent both the traditional approach, as well as a fusion of old and new.
Photographs by the winners of the National Geographic All Roads Film and Photography Festival is also part of the display. This exhibit highlights the work of photographers from Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, who document their indigenous local communities as they see them.

Complete press release at:

The Indigenous Meeting continues till 26 May and is being attended by hundreds of indigenous peoples and NGOs. If you would like to receive a press kit or want to schedule interviews with indigenous leaders, please call Oisika Chakrabarti, 212.963.8264 or e-mail

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is really great to read that you are writing for the rights of indigenous peopel..As I am also an IP of Nepal i have strong support towards the movement of IP rights. keep it up....