Nordic-Baltic Statement on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Annual Panel Discussion on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Nordic-Baltic statement delivered on 20 September 2017.

| 29 Sep 2017

As delivered by Denmark.

Mr. President,

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Denmark together with Greenland.

The Nordic-Baltic countries strongly support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), 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, and they are embodied in the adopted Draft Nordic Saami Convention.

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration. We welcome in this regard the latest report of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/HRC/36/56) which underscores the growing relevance of UNDRIP, but also the challenges facing its implementation.

Looking ahead to the next decade it is clear that more attention could be given to enhancing the interplay and cross-fertilization between UNDRIP and existing human rights mechanisms. We therefore encourage States to include UNDRIP within the framework of the UPR.

However, as also documented in the report of the Expert Mechanism, more emphasis and dialogue is needed on the actual follow-up of relevant recommendations and court rulings at the domestic level.

Of course, in the end the responsibility of the implementation of UNDRIP within the states lies with the states themselves. But profiting from the existing human rights mechanisms to facilitate, guide and ensure transparency can consolidate and strengthen the important progress that has already been made to implement UNDRIP.

How can the interplay and cross-fertilization between UNDRIP and existing human rights mechanisms best be strengthened and developed with the aim of further facilitating the implementation of UNDRIP?

Thank you.