Item 9 - Enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations. Norway. (10.07.2024)


EMRIP 17th Session,
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Item 9 - Enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations. 

Statement delivered by Ambassador Mr. Tormod C. ENDRESEN,
Permanent Representative of Norway in Geneva. 

10 July 2024

Thank you Chair, 

Let me start by thanking the panelists and other speakers for their interventions and updates. I take away that our direction of travel is clear: Towards a place at the table for indigenous peoples when relevant decisions are made.  

  • Norway has consistently, actively (and visibly) promoted the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including their right to participate in all decision-making concerning themselves, including enhanced participation in relevant United Nations meetings.  
  • We believe that Indigenous Peoples’ enhanced participation in the Human Rights Council will lead to better processes and better decisions on issues that affect Indigenous Peoples. 
  • Measures taken to enhance participation of Indigenous Peoples in the work of the Human Rights Council must be rooted in the principles affirmed in the UN Charter, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in relevant provisions of international law, including those relating to the right of self-identification, the right of self-determination, and the right to consultations. 
  • As an example, the Sami Parliament of Norway - as the elected representative institution of Sami people – that is: not an NGO – cannot participate in its own capacity in the Human Rights Council. Hence, we need the accreditation and meaningful and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and institutions in the work of the Council. The status should be separate to that of national human rights institutions and civil society. 
  • Therefore, we are pleased that the process to enhance participation is moving forward with concrete steps, following up on the outcome document from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014.   
  • I am glad to hear that the expert workshop on enhanced participation, chaired in November 2022 by indigenous representative Mariam Wallet Mohamed Aboubakrine and my predecessor, is seen as a useful step forward.  
  • Norway is also a proud donor to the Voluntary Fund.  
  • In 2023 we co-sponsored the Human Rights Council resolution 54/12 setting out concrete steps towards enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples. We thank Mexico and Guatemala for their leadership on this resolution. 
  • We appreciate our discussion today and look forward to the first of two inter-sessional meetings next week. On that note, I thank my colleagues from Canada and Australia for having taken on to chair the meetings along with indigenous representatives.   
  • We welcome concrete recommendations from Indigenous Peoples to address barriers to participation and proposals for effective mechanisms for the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings and processes of the UN bodies, particularly in the work of the Human Rights Council.  

Thank you.