Suzanne Benally, "A Letter to the President of the Economic and Social Council Over 2016 UNPFII Election Process"

Republished from Cultural Survival, June 29, 2016, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/letter-president-economic-and-social-council-over-2016-unpfii-election-process

His Excellency Oh Joon

President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

United Nations

June 30, 2016

His Excellency,

Cultural Survival wishes to express our concern over this year’s election process for the current slate of members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. More specifically, we are concerned with the non-appointment of Joan Carling as the Indigenous-nominated member from Asia, despite her nomination by Indigenous Peoples organizations in the region.

The principle of selecting the 16 expert members of the UNPFII is that 8 members should be nominated by States and 8 by Indigenous Peoples. This principle was put in place by the ECOSOC, through resolution E/2000/22 to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are sufficiently represented in a forum that was established to promote their economic and social development, cultures and human rights.

The non-appointment of Joan Carling stands in contrast to this resolution, which states that eight of the 16 members of the Permanent Forum must be appointed "following formal consultation with the Bureau and the regional groups through their coordinators, on the basis of broad consultations with indigenous organizations, taking into account the diversity and geographical distribution of the indigenous people of the world as well as the principles of transparency, representativity and equal opportunity for all indigenous people, including internal processes, when appropriate, and local indigenous consultation processes…"

Thus, Cultural Survival respectfully requests that ECOSOC reconsider the current slate and revert to electing 8 of its 16 members in consultation with Indigenous Peoples organizations and traditional and elected authorities. This action would involve reconsidering Joan Carling for the position of member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for Asia.

Thank you very much for your attention and consideration and we look forward to your action on this pressing matter.

Suzanne Benally
Executive Director
Cultural Survival


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