Open Letter to all UN Permanent Missions
October 30, 2006
On behalf of Indigenous Peoples of the world, we are writing to ask your Government to assist in the vital objective of adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly before the end of the year, as recommended by the Human Rights Council. We respectfully urge you to vote in favour of the adoption of the Declaration when it arises at the General Assembly.
An affirmative vote by your government would be consistent with the solemn commitment of the UN and member States of promoting human rights, as one of the three pillars of the international order. Furthermore, as nation state members of the UN, your Government's recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples advances the Human Rights Council's work to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including the world's indigenous peoples.
As you may know, Indigenous peoples and states have been working on the Declaration for more than 20 years. The Declaration is long overdue. It is even more critical now to the survival and future well-being of Indigenous peoples, as we face increasingly urgent and adverse impacts from a wide range of human rights violations worldwide.
We now request your help and collaboration, through every means possible, to ensure that the resolution calling for adoption of the Declaration remains of a procedural nature and, therefore, fully respects the spirit and intent of the text adopted on June 29, 2006 by the Human Rights Council at its inaugural session.
The Declaration was realized with the democratic participation of States and Indigenous peoples. Presently, we kindly request that your government help to maintain this harmonious collaboration, and to lobby other states to commit to the successful adoption of the Declaration of the General Assembly this year.
We look forward to the moment that we can celebrate together our collective achievement - not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of all of humankind. We thank you in advance for the support of your Government to promote and protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples worldwide.