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Indigenous peoples

ROME STATEMENT ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF INDIGENOUS YOUTH TOWARDS A WORLD WITHOUT HUNGER

Preparatory meeting of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus before the 16th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and 10 years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 5–8 April 2017, Rome, Italy.

We, the indigenous youth of the seven socio-cultural regions of (i) Africa; (ii) Asia; (iii) North America; (iv) Central and South America and the Caribbean; (v) the Arctic; (vi) the Pacific; and (vii) Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; met in Rome on 8 April 2017 at the headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

We welcome the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which we consider an important moment in which Indigenous Peoples, Member States, and United Nations Agencies and Programs evaluate the achievements made and the challenges that remain for its implementation at all levels, especially as it relates to the situation of indigenous children and youth.

We highlight the achievements made at the national and international levels in recognition of the individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the creation of spaces for consultation and dialogue with the States and United Nations Agencies, such as: the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We reaffirm that the rights of indigenous youth are linked to the collective rights of our peoples, including the profound relationship with our territories, and the transmission of ancestral knowledge and spirituality.

We appreciate the recognition of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus (GIYC) as a forum of participation, meeting and articulation of the organizational processes of the indigenous youth of the seven socio-cultural regions of the world related to the United Nations system.

We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the FAO as regards their valuable support in the carrying out of the successful preparatory meeting of the indigenous youth caucus prior to the 16th Session of the PFII. We appreciate the opportunity and the openness to working with indigenous youth, and we applaud the FAO and its staff for these initiatives. This meeting was an opportunity to evaluate the implementation of UNDRIP from the global perspective of indigenous youth 10 years after its adoption, and it has provided the opportunity to reflect on the principles of indigenous youth on the path to a world without hunger.

We thank the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC) for its support for the systematization of information through the representatives of the Latin America region.

A. Regarding the implementation of UNDRIP, the GIYC makes the following recommendations:

1. We urge Member States to recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples within the framework of Human Rights and the obligations of the United Nations Charter, regardless of the population size of the people concerned. The criterion of self-identification to an Indigenous People is the main criterion for determining membership to the people; Member States must recognize the criterion of self-identification.

2. We urge Member States to recognize the customary law of indigenous peoples over their territories and the ancestral ties with our lands and territories; we indigenous youth are the current and future custodians of our lands and territories.

3. We recommend that indigenous youth be identified as owners of rights with respect to consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). The implementation of consultation and FPIC should be carried out in consideration of each indigenous generation, in order to include all points of view. All practices and methods for carrying out consultation and the obtaining of FPIC should consider forms of generational participation that are developed by the peoples and society concerned. These procedures should always include participation of and reference to the youth, in order to include the position of indigenous youth.

4. We recommend, as a part of the consultation process, and in accordance with the structure of the indigenous peoples concerned, establishing separate and independent mechanisms that ensure the participation of indigenous youth in decision-making that affects indigenous peoples. These decisions have a greater effect over time on indigenous youth because they have an effect in the present, as well as in the foreseeable future.

5. We recommend that Member States and United Nations Agencies generate disaggregated data and specific indicators of indigenous youth on issues of access to land and territory, health, food, education and participation. In this task, we recommend establishing mechanisms where indigenous youth can monitor the status of the implementation of UNDRIP.

6. We urge Member States and United Nations Agencies to ensure the right of indigenous peoples to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions, as well the right to control their intellectual property with respect to this cultural heritage. Member States should develop legislation and programs with the aim of protecting and ensuring the control of Indigenous Peoples over their Traditional Knowledge, in consultation with Indigenous Peoples themselves and without causing conflict with indigenous customary law. This protection must ensure the transmission of Traditional Knowledge to future generations.

7. We urge Member States to recognize the important value among indigenous youth and Traditional Knowledge to preserve the cultural identity of Indigenous Peoples. We urge Member States and United Nations Agencies to guarantee the control of Indigenous Peoples over their Traditional Knowledge for effective intergenerational transfer of their knowledge, without the risk of misappropriation or misuse by third parties. The use of writing, documentation, videos, audios, particularly on traditional healing, plant gathering, and traditional food production, is vital for the preservation of Traditional Knowledge.

8. We recommend that Indigenous Peoples establish and develop local protocols that guide access to Traditional Knowledge.

9. We recommend that Member States create opportunities in indigenous territories ensuring the right to the social, cultural and economic development of indigenous youth. Programs creating opportunities must protect Indigenous Peoples’ own ancestral activities.

10. We urge Member States to ensure decent equal employment opportunities that guarantee labor rights free of discrimination and with social protection for indigenous youth living in urban areas.

11. We recommend that Member States, United Nations Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations identify, using a study, programs of culturally-appropriate employment for indigenous youth of the seven socio-cultural regions. The results and conclusions of the study should be communicated to indigenous peoples through their networks. Member States, United Nations Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations should create culturally-appropriate employment programs for indigenous youth.

12. We recommend that Member States and United Nations Agencies create programs for capacity-building on the rights of indigenous peoples and of indigenous youth in particular to empower indigenous youth.

13. We recommend that Member States, United Nations Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations, in cooperation with indigenous media, create programs for the development of training in indigenous journalism. Likewise, they should develop training programs and guides for non-indigenous media on the obligations and responsibility of non-discrimination ensured in UNDRIP.

B. On implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the GIYC makes the following recommendations:

1. We recommend to Member States and United Nations Agencies that the specific needs of indigenous youth be considered in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level, through the creation of specific indicators for Indigenous Peoples and indigenous youth, involving data collection through the participation of indigenous youth. The indicators and data should be used to measure the impact of the 2030 Agenda.

2. We recommend that indigenous youth receive the equal opportunity of participating effectively in the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. Participation must be guaranteed at each of the local, national, regional and international levels. In addition, we urge the UNPFII to encourage Member States to ensure that youth are sufficiently involved in the process of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

3. We recommend that data on indigenous youth be elaborated in a disaggregated way. The data must consider and use specific indicators for indigenous youth in all studies and statistics on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

4. We recommend that Member States and United Nations Agencies establish an implementation and monitoring methodology that ensures the participation of indigenous youth in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

5. We recommend that Member States and United Nations Agencies take measures to ensure that indigenous peoples have control over the transfer and use of their Traditional Knowledge. Through this recognition, indigenous peoples secure their rights to development, health, and culture, ending poverty and ensuring their role as guardians of Mother Earth within the framework of the 2030 Agenda.

6. We recommend that Member States and Indigenous Peoples invest in youth initiatives related to economic empowerment based on indigenous agriculture, providing training for the development of sustainable entrepreneurship. These projects increase the awareness and the cultural identity of young people, contributing to the transfer of traditional agricultural knowledge.

C. On the work of the FAO, the GIYC makes the following recommendations to the FAO:

1. We recommend the creation of a Global Indigenous Youth Consultative Forum within the FAO to Eliminate Hunger (IYCF), in coordination with the GIYC; the IYCF will have the mandate to:

A) provide expert advice on the implementation of FAO programs that affect the rights of indigenous youth;

B) promote the participation of indigenous youth in FAO activities at the national, regional and international levels; and

C) raise awareness about the rights of indigenous peoples, and in particular the rights of young people, on the path to a world free from hunger.

2. We recommend that the IYCF take place in connection with the High-Level Committees that operate in the FAO, with the Member States of the United Nations, on themes affecting indigenous youth, in order to conduct discussions on policies regarding food security, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and plant genetic resources.

3. We recommend that the IYCF establish ties and participate in the work of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (ITPGR).

4. We recommend carrying out a study, in collaboration with the GIYC, on the global situation of indigenous food systems, the transmission of Traditional Knowledge, and indigenous youth.

5. We recommend developing, in collaboration with the GIYC, disaggregated data on indigenous youth to demonstrate the needs, aspirations, challenges and concerns of indigenous youth.

6. We recommend providing technical assistance to indigenous youth for the creation of systems of data collection on indigenous food systems, identifying changes and innovations in food systems on the path to food security.

7. We recommend starting work on Indigenous Food Insecurity through the inclusion of a dedicated section on the food insecurity of indigenous youth in the High-Level Publication on the State of Food Insecurity (SOFI).

8. We recommend the creation of training programs for indigenous youth on Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent at the local, national, regional and international levels.

9. We recommend the establishment of training programs for indigenous youth on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, with the cooperation of the GIYC.

10. We applaud the FAO for the establishment of an internship program for indigenous youth. We underscore the importance of this program, which allows for the development and strengthening of the skills of indigenous youth. We recommend that the program ensure:

  • gender equality;
  • covering work across the seven socio-cultural regions;
  • self-identification as an indigenous member; and
  • participation of the GIYC in the design of the internship program in regional offices.

We indigenous youth recognize the historical struggles and demands of our peoples. The struggle begun by our grandmothers and grandfathers resulted in the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which contains the basic demands and priorities for a dignified life. Today, we, the indigenous youth, assume the fundamental task of making these rights real and possible at all levels in the pursuit of a world where all may live in harmony with Mother Earth.