Statement from the Secretariat of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia

Statement from the Secretariat of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia

Supported by the Indigenous Peoples Regional Competent Authority (IPRCA-Americas)

Saint Lucia and 142 other Member States at the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on 13th September 2007, after a long process of negotiations by the Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Secretariat notes that the representative of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia Governing Council (BGC) participated at and contributed to the Negotiations of the Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Secretariat of the BGC also notes that on 12th September 2007, the Government of Saint Lucia engaged the Executive Chairperson of the BGC on the impending vote on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the United Nations General Assembly the following day.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration addresses both individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; rights to education, health, employment, language, and others. It outlaws discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them. It also ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own priorities in economic, social and cultural development. The Declaration explicitly encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and Indigenous Peoples.

During the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on 22nd and 23rd September 2014, States reaffirmed their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and committed to consult and cooperate in good faith with Indigenous Peoples, and to respect, promote and advance and in no way diminish the rights of Indigenous Peoples and to uphold the principles of the Declaration.

The rights of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia

The rights of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia are explicit in:

· The TREATY OF IOUANALAO for Economic, Social and Cultural Integration among the Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala-Americas

· The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

· The ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

· The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of and Benefit Arising from the Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity

· The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

· The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

· The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

· The American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

· The Outcome Document of the High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/69/2)

· The conclusions of the United Nations Development Summit of 25-27 September 2015 adopting the Post-2015 Development Agenda (SDGs)

· The UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples advice to States

· The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recommendations to States

· The Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ reports to the UN General Assembly

· Decisions and Recommendations of Treaty Bodies

· United Nations Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues Operational Policies on Indigenous Peoples.

The Secretariat of the BGC further notes the rights of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia in evolving Regional and International Instruments, such as, but not limited to:

· The World Intellectual Property Organization International Instruments on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

· The commissioning of the CARICOM Regional Framework for the Protection of Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions, under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Articles 64:6 and 66.

Operation of Office in Castries, Saint Lucia

The Secretariat of the BGC is committed to the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and all other regional and international instruments in IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia.
The Secretariat of the BGC is engaged in a Platform for Dialogue with the former colonial occupying countries of France, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and their Agencies regarding redress for historical injustices committed against the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia, so as to address the situation and needs of the Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia.

The Indigenous People (Bethechilokono) of IOUANALAO-Saint Lucia are invited to make contact with, and avail themselves to the services of the Secretariat of the BGC in Castries. Contact Tel: 452 5374.

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