I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark together with Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country, Norway.
This year we mark the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Nordic countries strongly support the Declaration, including its emphasis on the right to self-government and participation. These are central to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected.
Within our regions, examples of implementation of these key principles of the Declaration include the establishment of the Saami Parliaments, the self-government authorities of Greenland. They are also embodied in the Draft Nordic Saami Convention which the delegations of Finland, Norway Sweden reached an agreement on earlier this year, and that has been submitted to the three Sami Parliaments in Finland, Norway and Sweden for consideration.
We would like to thank the President of the General Assembly and the Advisors for their tireless work to forge a new consensus on enhancing the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in relevant UN Bodies on issues affecting them.
We urge all relevant UN Bodies to follow up on the call for further efforts to facilitate such participation. We also welcome the decision to consider possible further measures in the 75th session of the General Assembly. Greater involvement of Indigenous Peoples from all regions of the world in the process, including through national and regional consultations, will be important to advance this agenda. We look forward to continued cooperation with the PGA and the Secretary-General to ensure progress on this important outcome of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
Human rights defenders working to protect the social and economic rights of indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to violence and killings. We call on all states to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, but also to defend those promoting the protection of these rights from attacks and to ensure their safety, whether the threat comes from state or non-state actors, as well as to ensure accountability for such attacks.
In addition, the situation faced by indigenous women and girls is particularly severe. Indigenous women and girls experience complex, multidimensional and mutually reinforcing human rights violations and abuses, and suffer from different forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence.
It is vital that these human rights violations and abuses, including the causes and consequences of gender-based violence against indigenous women and girls, are thoroughly addressed and that those responsible are held accountable.