23 September 2014

New York, USA – Today, the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will be concluded at the UN Headquarters in New York, leaving indigenous leaders unsatisfied with its outcome.

In an intervention at the formal session of the WCIP on September 22, Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) chairperson Windel Bolinget expressed “disappointment and condemnation that nothing in the Outcome Document mentions about commitment from States to stop State violence, militarization, and political repression against indigenous peoples.” Bolinget reiterated the impacts of the State militarization of indigenous communities which result in extrajudicial killings and various human rights violations as in the recent case in Abra province where Engr. Fidela Salvador and Noel Vistewere killed during military operations.

“Our rights can never be implemented at local and national level under conditions of militarization and political repression,”Bolinget added. Hence,“the Philippine government, States and the United Nations must ensure and guarantee the implementation of the UNDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the WCIP Outcome Document. The military operations inAbra must immediately stopand the AFP units in the area pulled out. The Comprehensive Agreement to the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and other international humanitarian instruments must likewise be implemented in order that human rights is respected.”

Bolinget also called for the resumption of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to address the root causes of the armed conflict towards a just and lasting peace.

The Outcome Document of the WCIP was formally adopted on September 22, 2014. The WCIP is a High Level Plenary Meeting of the UN which aims to look into the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples and the UNDRIP. Hundreds of indigenous leaders from around the world, including representatives of the CPA, Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN), and the international Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) from the Cordillera, Philippines are participatingthe WCIP, and also organized and participated in parallel activities outside of the UN towards strengthening solidarity among indigenous peoples and unities in our position and analysis on global and local issues confronting indigenous peoples, including climate change and sustainable development. #

Reference: Windel Bolinget, CPA Chairperson