Joint Statement by Dewan Adat Papua and Alifuru Council in the 15th session of the UNPFII

Joint Statement by Dewan Adat Papua and Alifuru Council

Item 3: Follow-up to the recommendation of the Permanent Forum

(d) Follow-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples


Delivered by Leonard Imbiri, General Secretary of Dewan Adat Papua


Mr. Chairperson, Distinguish members of the Permanent Forum, distinguish delegates, indigenous brothers and sisters,

Congratulations to Mr. Alvaro Pop for your appointment as Chairperson, and our indigenous relations Dr. Claire Charter and Professor James Anaya as advisers to the PGA.

Mr. Chair,

The continuing threats to the cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples summons a planned approach by the United Nations and its member States to comply with their international human rights obligations relating to indigenous peoples, including those under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the commitments made in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples outcome document.

We, the indigenous peoples of West Papua and South-Maluku are recognizing the significant role of the Forum in the advocacy for the implementation of the UN Declaration and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples outcome document. We furthermore appreciate the commitments and reaffirmations made by Member States and UN agencies, however we are concerned that much work remains to be done for the full implementation of the outcome document within the United Nations, and its member States.

West Papua and South-Maluku are still consistently suffering from human rights violations, loss of their ancestral lands for extractive industries without their Free, Prior and informed consent, as they for example occur on the islands of Seram, Aru, and Romang in South-Maluku, and and Merauke in West Papua, and face grave violations when so-called development programs invade our indigenous territories. The right to freedom expression is really a big challenges and for example in West Papua, where 1,783 persons were arrested between 25 April and 2 May 2016 as they were organized peacefully demonstrations.

Mr. Chair,

The World Conference Outcome Document process is a positive established example that enabled a constructive dialogue between Member States and Indigenous Peoples. This is a partnership we appeal to the United Nations to continue, especially in light of the development of the system-wide action plan. We agree that it is high-time that the UN Declaration is streamlined and that regional and national UN mechanisms, including the regional commissions and the UN country teams, ensure that Indigenous peoples can meaningfully be part of the development and strategizing of programmes and activities in a structured and coherent manner.


The UN system must ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in this process in accordance with Article 18 of the UN Declaration, in this regard we reiterate previous calls for partnership and mutual respect between States and Indigenous Peoples, emphasizing that all parties must consult and cooperate in good faith with Indigenous Peoples allowing equal, direct and meaningful participation in existing dialogues in UN funds & specialized agencies, and the creation of mechanisms in processes that affect Indigenous peoples, the World Health Organization, International Maritime Organization, are such processes.



Therefore, we recommend to the Forum:

  • To promote and accommodate capacity development for member States and its officials on the UN Declaration, to achieve adequate national action plans, strategies, and measures for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the ground, and to overcome the obstacles in the advocacy for indigenous rights by member State officials in processes like UNFCCC.
  • That the members pro-actively advocate for the further development of a clear, concise, and complete System Wide Action Plan. Which includes mainstreaming the UN Declaration, not only in existing mechanisms and forums, but throughout the UN system to ensure that all agencies’ activities that affect indigenous peoples have a forum where indigenous peoples can participate in its decision making processes.

Thank you Mr. Chair,