Annual Discussion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Statement of the Nordic countries

22 September 2015

Mr. Chair,

The Nordic countries – Denmark together with Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland – are staunch supporters of an inclusive follow-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. We welcome today's panel also as an opportunity to hear the views of Indigenous Peoples on the follow-up.

The outcome document of the World Conference provides an important road-map for the realization of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The review of the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples offers us an excellent opportunity to engage constructively in enhancing the work of EMRIP. We stand ready to support the main sponsors on this issue. Our aim is to strengthen the mandate of EMRIP, as we recognise its potential to become a relevant and useful platform for dialogue on indigenous issues for all stakeholders and a means to achieve the ends of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We seek to create an enabling environment for cooperation on the international level, aiming at practical results on the ground.

Furthermore, we welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against indigenous women and girls as a vital issue to be duly addressed – as stated in the outcome document of the World Conference.

We would like to hear the panellists' views on what measures can be taken to ensure a more meaningful and substantial dialogue between States and Indigenous Peoples in relevant existing fora? Could the information provided by Governments to several UN human rights mechanisms on their relevant national policies and practices become the basis for constructive dialogue between Governments and Indigenous Peoples? 

To conclude, we wish to emphasise that it is of utmost importance to include Indigenous Peoples, including indigenous women, in UN processes and meetings that affect them. The follow-up of the World Conference must include Indigenous Peoples to ensure viable and sustainable solutions.

Thank you.