I have the honour to present this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark together with Greenland and my own county, Norway.
Thank you to the OHCHR for the very well-organised expert workshop on EMRIP and for the comprehensive report reflecting the discussions and concrete proposals put forward during the workshop.
As a unique subsidiary body of the Human Rights Council, EMRIP addresses exclusively the rights of Indigenous Peoples from a human rights perspective. We believe this to be the main strength of the Mechanism. We also believe that the mandate must remain complementary to the mandates of the other indigenous specific UN mechanisms – the Special Rapporteur and the Permanent Forum – in order to strengthen the combined work of these mechanisms.
While arguing to maintain the current structure, we do envisage some reforms of the current mandate. EMRIP could:
- Have a defined, specific and more independent mandate. The Human Rights Council could draw on EMRIP's expertise in terms of indigenous peoples’ rights.
- While having a human rights based mandate, its work could be particularly focussed on promoting the objectives and effective realization of the Declaration. This is to ensure real impact on the ground.
- Report annually on the worldwide status for the achievement of the objectives of the Declaration bearing in mind the special expertise of EMRIP.
- Be involved in the identification of technical assistance needs of Member States to monitor, evaluate and improve the implementation of these rights.
- Play a role in regard to the follow-up on recommendations made to Member States by relevant UN monitoring mechanisms through general advice to the UN system on how to support Member States to prepare action plans or strategies and, through facilitation of constructive dialogues between Member States and Indigenous Peoples at country level where obstacles or specific challenges exist.
Strengthening the methods of work is key to increasing dialogue and interaction. Therefore, dialogue between EMRIP and the chairs of relevant UN mechanisms working with indigenous peoples’ issues and the HRC president could be further strengthened.
Thank you for your attention.