Intervention to the Ninth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2010 Youth Caucus Statement – April 26, 2010 Agenda Item 7: Future work of the Permanent Forum, including issues of the Economic and Social Council and emerging issues Pi-i Debby Lin an Indigenous Taiwanese – Amis speaks on behalf of the Indigenous Youth Caucus
Nagi’ho, ci Lapic Kalay ko ngangan no mako. Good Morning, Mister Chairperson. Thank you for making Youth Caucus part of the planning for the future work of the Permanent Forum, we would like to hereby stress on couple emerging issues pertinent to indigenous youths. Economic sovereignty is the key for the overall sovereignty of our peoples. However, as the result of industrialization, the transition to a cash economy and urbanization, we are becoming more susceptible to the fluctuation of global economy. The recent global economic crisis had worsened the poverty condition and livelihoods of indigenous families. With financial difficulties, indigenous youth workers are forced to work longer hours to sustain income. This had threatened our right to education and equal opportunities. By educating the youth, we can grow stronger as an indigenous community. Education is the fundamental rights for indigenous youths, however, not all indigenous youths have equal access to education designed for our need, in our language, and reflects our world views. We shall put priority on revitalizing our language and our culture. Furthermore, we shall fight for sustainable economic growth and improved social condition in order to enhance education results. Mister Chairperson, climate change is another pressing threat which endangers the livelihood of our youths and families. Indigenous peoples are more vulnerable to environmental pollution and climate change effects. With increased exposure to nature disasters, our people are becoming climate victims. We are forced to relocation and dispossession of our lands. We lost the right and ownership over our customary land and resources, and culture is uprooted from our traditional territories. Urbanization and migration also weaken the sense of community and our culture is being assimilated. In order for sustainable development of our peoples, it is critical for us to ensure legal recognition of ownership and control over our customary land and resources. Mister Chairperson, it has also come to our attention that some of our indigenous brothers and sisters whose bloodlines are mixed due to colonization do not have equal access to the Permanent Forum. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reaffirms we, indigenous peoples, should be free from discrimination of any kind when exercising our rights. Indigenous youths especially shall have equal rights to participate in the forum and learn from the forefront of indigenous works. Recommendations
- We urge the Permanent Forum to review problems of poverty and land rights, and to reassure that developments are not at the cost of indigenous peoples and free prior informed consents are consulted with indigenous communities. We urge governments to stop forced relocation and grant legal recognition to the ownership and control over our lands and customary resources.
- We highly recommend the Permanent Forum to work closely with UNICEF to empower future indigenous leaders, such as developing capacity building, leadership training, youth entrepreneur development, and youth counseling projects for indigenous youths, in addition to an intergenerational Youth Preparatory Meeting for the Permanent Forum.
- We request action plans and strategies to be discussed in the Permanent Forum for the reduction of education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous. And call for greater supports for indigenous education, at academic, policy, and financial levels. We want an education that will help end discrimination of the indigenous people, and promote respect of our culture, language, rituals, and traditional knowledge.
- Grant access to the Permanent Forum based on our indigenous nations rather than on states, and restore the mislabeled and misclassified indigenous youth whose bloodline is mixed due to colonization by establishing a Multi-Indigenous Youth Caucus.
- Call for the Permanent Forum to expand their membership by adding a position to be filled by an Indigenous Youth, selected by Indigenous Youth, to represent Indigenous children and youth of the world by the next session of the Forum in 2011.
- The governments should have legal system to protect and represent indigenous people. In 2007 the Vietnamese Government arrested, defrocked, and imprisoned these three former Indigenous Khmer-Krom monks who are standing behind us today. We recommend that the Government, especially Vietnamese Government, respect the freedom of religion and have the legal system to protect victimized people.
Tengngila no kosuwa no mako, array. Thank you, Mister Chairperson.