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Indigenous Peoples of Asia Call to Strengthen Participation Mechanisms by 2014 Conference

November 2012: A meeting of indigenous peoples in Bangkok, Thailand in preparation for the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) in 2014 called on governments, the UN and regional bodies to strengthen mechanisms for indigenous peoples' participation. The meeting was organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and convened from 8-9 November 2012.

The meeting requested the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to appoint an Under-Secretary General for Indigenous Peoples and establish other mechanisms to strengthen indigenous peoples' participation in governance and advisory bodies of the UN. The meeting urged the UN and its Member States to include indices of indigenous peoples' well-being in the post-2015 sustainable development framework.

Participants called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to establish respective working groups on indigenous peoples. They also called for stronger monitoring and reporting on implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The meeting highlighted militarization and conflict as a major threat to indigenous peoples in Asia, calling on states to ensure free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in relation to establishment of military bases in indigenous territories. Other recommendations addressed FPIC in the extractive industries, development projects, and conservation initiatives.

Participants expressed concern that the post-2015 development agenda should respect and acknowledge customary tenure, resource management and sustainable use practices of indigenous peoples. They also highlighted the importance of indigenous peoples' contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, with reference to international commitments made in the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The meeting statement stressed that the world conference offers an opportunity to build on UNDRIP and to include indigenous visions in the post-2015 development agenda of the UN, including the elaboration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [AIPP Statement]