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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark together with Greenland and my own country Norway.
We welcome the reports presented by both the Special Rapporteur and the Expert Mechanism.
Regarding the report from EMRIP on Efforts to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: recognition, reparation and reconciliation, we agree that recognition as indigenous peoples is the most basic, critical form of recognition, from which other types of recognition flow. It is a sad fact that many indigenous peoples are not recognized as such. What can the UN do to promote greater recognition of IPs by Member States, and also internationally?
Turning to the Special Rapporteur, we believe your report raises many important issues regarding access to justice for indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples’ human rights defenders, and how this can be strengthened through ordinary and indigenous justice systems.
We also want to acknowledge that this is the last thematic report to the Council by the current mandate holder. Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, please accept our deepest appreciation for the courage and insight you have offered to this mandate, and for you strong leadership in the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples.
We would like to take this opportunity to ask you reflect on where you see the greatest challenges, as well as opportunities, when it comes to the rights of indigenous peoples. How can the Human Rights Council play a more active role in promoting these rights?