|Indigenous peoples’ right to set their own priorities for development requires greater attention|
|10 March 2012|
In a series of presentations in Lima, Peru and Brasilia, Brazil, Special Rapporteur James Anaya stressed the need for greater measures to ensure that indigenous peoples are able to set their own priorities for development. Professor Anaya referred in particular to procedures to consult with indigenous peoples about legislative and administrative decisions affecting them, especially regarding proposed extractive industry activities. Such procedures, he stressed, should involve genuine dialogue in which indigenous peoples’ own development priorities are at the forefront.
On March 5 and 6, 2012, Professor Anaya lectured in a certificate program on indigenous peoples, development, participation and prior consultation, held in Lima, Peru and sponsored by International Institute for Law and Society, in conjunction with the Faculty of Law of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Also while in Lima the Special Rapporteur addressed the Committee of Andean, Amazonian, and Afroperuvian Peoples of the Congress of Peru, and spoke at an seminar sponsored by members of Congress on the principle of free, prior and informed consent in the context of extractive industries.
In Brasilia, on March 8 and 9 the Special Rapporteur participated in the seminar, ILO Convention 169 – Experiences and Perspectives, which was sponsored by the General Secretariate of the Presidency of Brazil, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, FUNAI, and the International Labour Organization. The seminar, which was attended by representatives of indigenous peoples from across Brazil and of various government agencies, sought to further discussion toward an eventual law or regulation on consultation with indigenous peoples.