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Resolution on the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
October 1, 2015

General Statement by the United States
EMRIP Resolution (L.9)

The United States thanks Guatemala and Mexico for introducing this resolution.  Governments and indigenous peoples want progress on reviewing EMRIP’s mandate, which is called for in the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.  This resolution defines the critical first steps for those discussions, including setting up a timeline for specific actions aimed at gathering and analyzing substantive ideas for reform.

The United States would further thank Guatemala and Mexico for the leadership demonstrated through this process.  The United States firmly believes that full and free participation of indigenous peoples is critical and a precondition to a successful process.  Initially, some other states voiced less enthusiasm for full engagement of indigenous peoples and their representatives.  Guatemala and Mexico were constructive in ensuring a consensus approach that ultimately harmonized those positions.

The United States is pleased that the resolution we will adopt today includes language on the importance of indigenous peoples’ full and effective participation throughout the process and a call for states to hold consultations with indigenous peoples.

The United States has held numerous consultations with U.S. indigenous representatives throughout this process, and we intend to heed the resolution’s call by holding additional consultations with U.S. indigenous representatives prior to the convening of the expert workshop, so that we may learn their views on how EMRIP may be reformed.  We urge other countries to do the same.

Mr. President, we look forward to the workshop, to OHCHR’s subsequent report, and to meeting with states at the July 2016 EMRIP meeting and in this forum a year from now to discuss how to move resolutely toward reform.

Thank you.