James Anaya




WIPO initiative on indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and cultural expressions should adhere to international human rights standards Print
11 May 2011

wipoThe Special Rapportuer gave the keynote speech at the opening of the eighteenth session of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folkore, on May 9 in Geneva. In his speech he stressed that indigenous peoples' demands to maintain control over their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions are grounded in widely applicable principles of fundamental human rights. The WIPO committee is currently drafting text for international legal instruments on traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and traditional cultural expressions.

See the summary of the Special Rapporteurs keynote speech. Information on the work of the committee can be found here.

Consultation required prior to any decision to advance with the Diquis hydroelectric project in Costa Rica Print
28 April 2011

2011-04-27-anaya-costaricaThe UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, undertook a visit to Costa Rica from 24-27 April 2011 to discuss the situation of indigenous peoples, in particular the Térraba people, affected by the Diquís hydroelectric project. At the end of his four-day visit, the Special Rapporteur noted that "All parties agree that it is necessary to initiate a consultation process that complies with relevant international standards before the hydroelectric project Diquis can move forward."

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met in San Jose with several government representatives, including from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the agency responsible for the Diquis hydroelectric project, as well as with representatives of indigenous peoples, the UN country team, members of the international community, and others. In Térraba, he visited the site of the proposed dam site along with representatives from ICE and heard from several indigenous groups, in particular the Térraba people. See press release announcing the visit here [Spanish only].

Tags: Costa Rica
New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council in Australia considers United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Print
10 April 2011

alc-australiaDelegates attending the biennial conference of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, the main representative body in Aboriginal affairs in the state of New South Wales, Australia, discussed the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a benchmark for major aspects of the organization´s work. The Special Rapporteur, James Anaya, gave the keynote address at the conference, focusing on the Declaration and linking it with the conference theme, "Be Informed, Be Involved, Be Inspired". The conference brings together the 119 local aboriginal land councils throughout New South Wales every two years to discuss work and exchange information and experiences. Read more about the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council here. Read Professor Anaya's keynote speech here.

Tags: Australia
Questionnaire on natural resource extraction and development projects on or near indigenous territories Print
31 March 2011

logo-oacnudhThe Special Rapporteur is currently carrying out a study on the rights of indigenous peoples in relation to natural resource extraction and development projects affecting them, in light of the high level of information he has received from indigenous peoples expressing concerns about this issue. An important component of this study will be the eventual development of a set of guidelines directed at States, corporations and indigenous peoples on the duty to consult with indigenous peoples in relation to natural resource extraction and development projects.

To gather information for the preparation of this study, the Special Rapporteur has developed a questionnaire for indigenous peoples and organizations, NGOs, and other interested parties.  Please fill out the questionnaire here:  English, French, Spanish.

The Special Rapporteur has also developed a special questionnaire for business enterprises [English, Spanish] and States [English, Spanish].

Please indicate in your response whether you represent an indigenous people or organization; a business enterprise or a State.

International development cooperation must advance indigenous self-determination Print
30 March 2011

consults"The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for a new model of development, one that advances indigenous self-determination and offers real opportunities for partnership", the Special Rapporteur told German government officials and others participating in an expert workshop in Berlin on March 29, 2011.

The Special Rapporteur gave the keynote presentation at the expert workshop, which was convened by the German Federal Ministry on Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to address German development cooperation in Africa and Asia. See a summary of the Special Rapporteur´s presentation and the workshop programe.

Meetings with the Special Rapporteur on the rights indigenous peoples during the tenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Print
28 March 2011

unpfiiThe Special Rapporteur, Professor James Anaya, will hold individual meetings with representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations during the tenth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in New York. The meetings will be held from 18 to 20 May 2011. Representatives of indigenous peoples and organizations may request a meeting with him with regard to matters that fall within his mandate, including allegations of human rights violations. For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, please see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/rapporteur

Information about requesting a meeting with the Special Rapporteur is available here.

Report on natural resource extraction and the Marlin Mine in Guatemala Print
04 March 2011

guatemala-huehuetenango-2010The Special Rapporteur has issued his report on the Situation of indigenous peoples of Guatemala in relation to natural resource extraction projects, and other projects, in their traditional territories. In an appendix to the report, he analyzes the human rights situation of communities affected by the Marlin mine in the municipalities of San Miguel Ixtahuacán and Sipacapa, department of San Marcos.

In the report, the Special Rapporteur notes that Guatemala is currently experiencing a high degree of social unrest in connection with the natural resource extraction activities taking place in the traditional territories of indigenous peoples, which has serious impacts on indigenous peoples' rights, and threatens governance and economic development. With his observations, the Special Rapporteur aims to identify the underlying causes of current problems, in order to help address these problems through specific recommendations in the light of relevant international standards. See advanced unedited version of the report (Spanish only)

Tags: Guatemala
Report on situation of Maori people in New Zealand Print
24 February 2011

flag-nzealand-unThe Special Rapporteur's report examines the situation of Māori people in New Zealand on the basis of information received during the Special Rapporteur's visit to the country from 18-23 July 2010 and independent research. The visit was carried out in follow up to the 2005 visit of the previous Special Rapporteur, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen. The report's principal focus is an examination of the process for settling historical and contemporary claims based on the Treaty of Waitangi, although other key issues are also addressed. See full report here [English only] (advanced unedited version).

Tags: New Zealand
Special Rapporteur calls for dialogue in Panama in light of protests against reforms to the law on mineral resources Print
15 February 2011

panama-demostrationIn recent weeks, indigenous peoples and organizations have carried out numerous protests, in light of discussions surrounding and approval by the Panamanian National Assembly of Bill N. 277 to amend the Law on Mineral Resources. These demonstrations have resulted in clashes with security forces in which several people were injured and arrested. In light of this situation, the Special Rapporteur urges the Government of Panama to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of persons participating in the demonstrations . At the same time, the Special Rapporteur notes the importance of initiating, without delay, a good faith dialogue with indigenous peoples, in order to find a peaceful solution to this tense situation and address the underlying problems related to the proposed amendments to the Law on Mineral Resources.

See the press statement [Spanish only].

Special Rapporteur concludes mission to New Caledonia Print
13 February 2011

nva-caledonia-mapThe Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, issued the following statement up on the conclusion of his mission to New Caledonia.

Noumea, New Caledonia, 13 February 2011 - "In my capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, I have conducted a visit to New Caledonia from 4 to 13 February 2011.... The objective of my visit has been to hold consultations and receive information in order to examine the human rights situation of the indigenous people of the country – the Kanak people – while recognizing fully the history of New Caledonia. I have sought to understand the approaches that the Government of France as well as the Government of New Caledonia and the Kanak people have chosen in their efforts to progressively achieve a harmonious and productive coexistence among all sectors of the country's population, through implementation of the Noumea Accord of 1998...."

See complete statement in English and French.

Tags: France

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