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Indigenous Peoples in Partnership for Sustainable Development

MADRE partner Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), is participating at the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) meeting at the UN.

CSD 18th Session, 11th May 2010

Intervention of Indigenous Peoples on Partnership for Sustainable Development

Thank you Mr. Chairman, 

We, as a major Indigenous group, are happy to be part of the family of partnership for sustainable development. We appreciate the fact that the objectives of partnership for sustainable development are linked to the implementation of globally agreed upon commitments in the implementation of the world summit on sustainable development, at which Indigenous Peoples played a vital role.

Mr. Chairman, the past seven days, Indigenous Peoples have expressed concerns about different challenges that are experienced during the implementation process and about the activities of mining, chemical, transport, waste management and sustainable consumption and production. With all these problems, we want to look at partnership as one of the ways forward. Partnership fosters capacity at all levels; it addresses global economic, social, political and environmental challenges that we face. It helps us strengthen corporations with governments, industry and other stakeholders in development work. It brings us together and helps us to engage as a group in different national and international processes.

Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the fact that there has been a lot of work and efforts made to improve and increase awareness, information dissemination and capacity building among different stakeholders on partnership for sustainable development. There is a lot that still has to be done to reach out at the local levels to Indigenous communities who are out there. Even at CSD process Indigenous Peoples are minimal.

  • There is a need therefore to increase funding for participation at all levels in different activities – especially at the local levels.
  • Capacity building, awareness and education are important components and if the objective of partnership for sustainable development is going to succeed, there has to be action at the local levels. Most of the Indigenous communities do not have access to the internet, even communication channels come unlimited, denying them the right to information and participation in sustainable development.
  • After the UN declared the international decade of the world's Indigenous Peoples 1995-2004 and the second decade adopted by general assembly in resolution A/RES/59?174 2005-2015, the UN agencies increased the work with Indigenous Peoples, but we still need more work and urge them to streamline partnership for sustainable development in their work as that is the only way we can meet the MDGs in the coming years.
  • Indigenous Peoples have a lot to offer: the wisdom or our elders have helped us to walk in a sustainable path that looks at our traditional knowledge, which looks at the past, the present and future positively. It is for this that we call upon Governments and all key players to provide an enabling environment that can ensure recognition and participation for the success of the partnership for sustainable development.