Joint Statement of IPMSDL and its allied organizations and institutions in the 15th session of the UNPFII

JOINT STATEMENT ON “INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: CONFLICT, PEACE, AND RESOLUTION” (ITEM 4)

 Thank you. (This is a joint statement of the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and its allied organizations and institutions.)

We are appreciative that the Forum worked for this year’s theme – conflict, peace, and resolution that includes the urgent and growing concern of militarization – an issue often kept out of public information. However, in nearly every region of the world, militarization displaces and presents a direct threat to the ways of life and survival of Indigenous Peoples.

We see militarization in various forms such as in the encampment and occupation of indigenous villages to military combat operations or any so-called anti-terrorism actions, creation of paramilitary groups, construction of foreign or US military bases and testing facilities, and others.

Militarization has been and is a major cause of poverty among Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

It results in loss of lives, homes, and livelihood, as well as destruction and pollution of ancestral and sacred lands, material culture, and biodiversity and the environment.

Intensified military operations in indigenous territories leave communities without food, shelter or protection and with the killings of indigenous leaders force Indigenous Peoples to evacuate in other areas.The killing or assassination of indigenous and traditional leaders makes the community vulnerable to manipulation and coercion.

Militarization also makes women more vulnerable to sexual violence, harassment, and rape.

States legitimize all these through national security policies and anti-terrorism laws.

(Mr. Chairperson, our brothers and sisters have already spoken well on specific cases on the adverse impact of militarization, which I shall not repeat.)

We are concerned that the conflicts over valuable resources necessary for the survival of all shall further intensify and aggression against Indigenous Peoples shall escalate. Militarization shall play a major role for States and corporations to gain further control over Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories, waters and all natural resources found therein, in violation of the right to free prior informed consent and self-determination (FPIC), and without restitution and compensation.

We are aware that SDG #16 addresses issues related to peace and justice. However, it fails to address the pressing concern of militarization of indigenous territories and communities.

In view of these, WE FORWARD THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS for the UNPFII to,

 

  1. Urge the States with existing national internal security policies and anti-terrorism laws such as the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Law and India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 to review such domestic standards and ensure that such measures are compliant with international human rights principles and international humanitarian laws;

 

  1. Support the call for the pullout of State security forces in indigenous territories; disband, and disarm paramilitary groups and private military contractors that threaten, harass, and intimidate Indigenous Peoples with the aim of breaking their collective unity and struggles for land, life, and justice. In line with this, hold a session in the next UNPFII on paramilitary forces.

 

  1. Look into the expansion of the definition of Official Development Aid (ODA), which include “peace and security” costs, as well as costs related to “countering violent extremism.” Considering the OECD-DAC definition of “violent extremism,”which means,“Promoting views which foment and incite violence in furtherance of particular beliefs, and foster hatred which might lead to intercommunity violence.” It is vague, ambiguous and all encompassing that Indigenous Peoples assertion of the right to self-determination and defense of ancestral lands can fall under the definition of “violent extremism.”The shift might also clear the way for the militarization of aid, and the use of aid against Indigenous Peoples struggles and resistance.

 

  1. Urge the States to fulfill their commitments for world peace starting with reviewing towards withdrawing foreign military aid that supports military activities in indigenous territories, and reallocation and realignment of military spending to support basic and fundamental human right such as on health, education, and housing especially for Indigenous Peoples.

 

  1. Support the proposals that promote the independence and build the integrity of national human rights institutions to monitor, investigate and recommend actions on State-perpetrated violations of Indigenous Peoples human rights.

 

  1. Recognize indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and inherent rights over lands and resources as one of the key means of ending militarization and subsequent impacts on indigenous communities.

 

Thank you!