In preparation for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) to be held in September 2014, the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is holding an informal interactive dialogue at UN Headquarters on 17-18 June 2014 (link to agenda; link to more information). During the dialogue on 17 June, governments and representatives of Indigenous peoples discussed the WCIP, particularly what the content of the Zero Draft of the WCIP outcome document that will be the subject of the WCIP should contain. Natural Justice’s Jael Eli Makagon and Dr. Johanna von Braun will both be attending the dialogue.
Additionally, the President of the UNGA provided the following roadmap for development of the Zero Draft:
- Develop a zero draft of outcome document by the end of June 2014;
- This will be followed by a day of consultations convened in mid-July 2014 to obtain comments;
- A revised draft will be prepared with assistance of advisors and made available by end of July;
- Another round of one day consultations will be convened in mid-August to allow for comments;
- A final draft will be prepared and made available by end of August
- Throughout the process all four advisors to the President of the UNGA will be fully involved.
With regard to the content of the WCIP Outcome Document, there is general consensus that it should be “concise and action oriented.” Additionally, there was broad support for the WCIP Outcome Document to be based upon the Alta Outcome Document that was agreed at a Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference held in Alta, Norway from 10–12 June 2013. Other major issues raised during the 17 June dialogue to be included in the WCIP Outcome Document were:
- How to best implement and monitor compliance with the UN Declaration, and whether use of existing mechanisms such as EMRIP were adequate or whether a new monitoring and implementing mechanism is needed; also discussed in this context was how monitoring could best take place at the national level given that currently the burden of proof of lack of compliance lies with Indigenous peoples;
- Creation of distinct observer status for Indigenous peoples in the UN system;
- Reaffirmation of the UN Declaration; and
- A call for states to ratify ILO Convention No. 169.
The informal dialogue will continue on 18 June with a discussion on sustainable development and the content of the WCIP Outcome Document.