International Day of the World's Indigenous People -- August 9th
State Department Consultations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -- June 30
Great News on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples! -- June 27
US State Department "Listening Sessions" for Indigenous Peoples, Tribes, and Community members -- Feb 26
Sunray Activities at the United Nations -- Jan 28
White House to hold first ever Tribal Nations Summit -- Nov 2
Sunray UN NGO Update -- Sept 2
Sunray UN NGO Update -- Feb 19
Sunray is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in association with the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations. Sunray was first accredited as a DPI/NGO in August 1992 and has been active in the areas of indigenous people, women, human rights, environment and sustainable development. We have been involved with the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples at UN Headquarters in New York for the past 10 years and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues since its beginning 9 years ago also at UN Headquarters in New York.
Sunray continues to support the international community through its presence at the UN and with the NGO community. Working on the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, our goals are to educate both indigenous and non-indigenous societies about Indigenous peoples, their history, culture, language, rights, aspirations and contemporary issues of concern. The Committee focuses on supporting the Programme of Activities of the Second Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and educating the international community about the concerns and issues facing Indigenous Peoples.
On December 16, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that the United States supports the Declaration in an address at the White House Tribal Nations Conference. This announcement came just over a month after Canada made a similar move announcing its support. New Zealand announced its support in April 2010 and Australia endorsed the Declaration in 2009. This is an important milestone that signifies the international community has reached consensus on the Declaration. The Declaration is a powerful affirmation of Indigenous rights.
The endorsement by the U.S. is a positive and long-overdue step forward. However some Indigenous organizations have expressed concern with the limitations the US decided to place on its support. The announcement of support contains a number of qualifications which call into serious question the US government’s intention to fully recognize and implement many of the key rights contained in the Declaration. Several references are made to implementation of rights in accordance with existing Federal Laws and policies. It will be through continued use of the
Declaration that its provisions become reality. The Declaration can be used to support and advocate for positive legislation and positive government action relating to Indian peoples. In particular, the Declaration can be used as a basis for making demands that the federal government fulfill its responsibilities to tribes and carry out its obligations to promote and respect the human rights of Indian nations and tribes.
For more information: www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii; www.treatycouncil.org
On August 9 annually, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is celebrated with traditional indigenous ceremonies, performances by indigenous musicians and panels and workshops on various topics. We have helped to organize this event with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the past 9 years.
For more information: www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a new UN mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples. It was created by the Human Rights Council in 2007. It assists the Human Rights Council in the implementation of its mandate be making proposals to the Council. Issues include the UN Study on Treaties, the Study on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, the Study on Indigenous Peoples' Cultural Heritage and others. The Expert Mechanism will consist of 5 independent experts. Nominations may be submitted by indigenous organizations as well as states.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the UN Treaty Monitoring Body for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and is an important body for defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples and communities impacted by racism and racial discrimination and for monitoring State (country) compliance with their human rights obligations. We are pleased to note that Francisco Cali Tzay (Mayan Kaqchikel) is Vice-President of the CERD and Chair of the CERD’S Urgent Action on and Early Warning Procedure.
May 7-18, 2012 – 11th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - Special Theme: The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).
June 20-22, 2012 - Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development will focus on two themes: A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples meets once a month on the 3rd Thursday of the month at or near the UN.
All are welcome.
Sunray UN Representative
Sunray International Office
277 Hudson Terrace Piermont, NY 10968
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