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Item 5: Report of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People on its Second Session
September 29, 2009

The Human Rights Council – 12th Session
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Courtney Musser

Geneva, Switzerland
28 September 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States welcomes the work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, having had the opportunity to attend its Second Session in Geneva. The cooperative tone and rich, substantive discussion during the Session further contributed to our own reflections on how best to work with indigenous peoples in the United States to improve education. My government looks forward to participating in the Third Session, and to providing input to the next study on “indigenous peoples and the rights to participate in decision-making,” should the Council adopt the Experts’ recommendation for the next study topic. The United States appreciates the opportunity for states to review at an early stage the draft agenda for this Session.

The United States strongly supports the Expert Mechanism’s recommendation that the Human Rights Council synchronize indigenous-related reports from the Office of the High Commissioner, the Special Rapporteur, and the Expert Mechanism so as to facilitate the participation of representatives of indigenous peoples, and to strengthen cooperation among these mechanisms. Additionally, we support synchronization of the consideration of thematic resolutions related to the Expert Mechanism and the Special Rapporteur.

The United States is delighted to co-sponsor the tabled resolution on human rights and indigenous peoples, and sincerely thanks the Guatemalan and Mexican delegations for their leadership and collaboration.

Thank you, Mr. President.