Together Against Inequality and Discrimination

October 21, 2022

Over the past several decades we have continued to voice issues and concerns in this and similar fora within the OAS. In this connection one positive result was the adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ADRIP) by the General Assembly in 2016 and its Plan of Action in 2017, which was extended in 2021 for a further 4 years.

We are saddened and disappointed that no measurable or concrete results have been realized through their application.

The COVID 19 pandemic may be partly to blame, but surely, this cannot be the only reason for the lack of progress we have witnessed since 2016/2017.

All national governments in the Americas must take proactive measures to address the devastation caused to the social and economic life of Indigenous Peoples who have borne the brunt of the pandemic. Those measures must be guaranteed and engage the active and meaningful participation of all Indigenous Peoples.

This includes budget allocations by States in amounts sufficient to enable all Indigenous communities the capacity to generate economic activities affected by the pandemic.

The recent Summit of the Americas also visited inequality and discrimination upon Indigenous Peoples. We were shocked that the U.S. government deliberately excluded us from participation in the Summit through our own forum, as well as denying us the opportunity to make an intervention based on the results of our own virtual Summit which we convened for that specific purpose.

We thank his Excellency, Secretary General Almagro for participating in our virtual summit, as he did in two previous ones.

We again call upon State governments and the OAS to make space and real participation within the machinery of the OAS and the Summit of the Americas for Indigenous Peoples.

As stated over and over for the past two decades, we do not accept being categorized as part of Civil Society or Social Actors. We must be respected as the original peoples of this hemisphere and accorded our rightful place within the OAS.

Further, 2 three-minute presentations allocated today for the total Indigenous Peoples' population of the Americas is definitely an egregious inequality and a manifestation of discrimination.

We call upon the Secretary General to set up a process of engagement between Indigenous Peoples and State representatives which will explore measures or mechanisms necessary to enable Indigenous Peoples' direct participation, as well as special initiatives to promote the ADRIP and its renewed Plan of Action.

In closing, we do wish to work with you, but this must be done as equals and with respect.

Thank you.

Indigenous Coalition Statement to the 52nd OAS GA, Lima, Peru, October 5-7, 2022


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