The First World Conference on Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – more than 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries. They make up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, some 370 million people. Yet, they are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Today, many indigenous peoples struggle to remain on their lands and retain the right to their natural resources. Other indigenous peoples have long since been removed from their lands, denied their languages and traditional ways, and have consequently been left impoverished. We will be speaking in two closed door sessions of the United Nations regarding issues of the environment and those barriers facing American Indians today.
The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact
The UN Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption enjoy universal consensus and are derived from:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption
The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption:
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
We attended a weekend to bend the course of history
In September, heads of state met in New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we took a weekend and used it to bend the course of history.
In New York City there will be an unprecedented climate mobilization – in size, beauty, and impact. This moment will not be just about New York or the United States. Heads of state from around the world will be there, as will the attention of global media.
Our demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now. In short, we want a world safe from the ravages of climate change.
We know that no single meeting or summit will “solve climate change” and in many ways this moment will not even really be about the summit. We want this moment to be about us – the people who are standing up in our communities, to organize, to build power, to confront the power of fossil fuels, and to shift power to a just, safe, peaceful world.
To do that, we need to act – together.