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Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples and EMRIP Chair
September 20, 2016

Interactive Dialogue: Special Rapporteur on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples and EMRIP Chair

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper

Human Rights Council 33rd Session
September 20, 2016

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States thanks the EMRIP Chair for his report. We support many of its proposals on EMRIP’s revised mandate and would like to elaborate on some of them. We agree that EMRIP itself should determine the themes of its futures studies. EMPRIO’s overarching objective should be to help member states and other stakeholders achieve the Declaration’s ends. It should increase its cooperation and interaction with UN Forums involved with indigenous peoples. EMRIP also should engage with countries to provide technical assistance aimed at awareness-raising and capacity-building. We favor increasing its membership to seven experts from the indigenous socio-cultural regions, and we believe EMRIP’s membership should include expertise in international human rights law and the rights of indigenous peoples.

EMRIP’s report to the Human Rights Council should cover situations that are inconsistent with the ends of the Declaration as well as best practices. In addition to this report, the United States believes it is critical that EMPRIP be empowered to seek and receive information on situations affecting the rights of indigenous peoples and make recommendations in the form and manner it deems appropriate. What does the EMPRIP Chair think of this idea?

The United States strongly supports the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, but we do not agree with all conclusions and recommendations on how international investment affects Indigenous Peoples in her most recent report. In particular, we do not share views regarding the conclusions and recommendations pertaining to, among others, the substantive provisions of an investment agreement, corporate obligations and the operation of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS). The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) specifically highlights the necessity for the government’s right to regulate in the public interest, and ISDS cannot overturn a country’s domestic laws or regulations.

Thank you Mr. President