Last week, when the Portuguese people marched against IMF austerity measures imposed by the EU against their country, they asserted their right to self governance as a sacred duty and social obligation. When Indigenous nations arrive in Rio de Janeiro this summer to discuss sustainable development, they will assert those same duties and obligations usurped by the UN.
As Dr. Mirjam Hirch argued three years ago in her post Nations are Governing Authorities, Not NGOs, original nations have laws, cultures and governing authorities that exercise political and policing powers over 80 % of the world’s remaining biodiversity. When they are denied their role by the UN, she says, the world’s ability to solve complex problems is undermined.
When the UN attempts to relegate Indigenous authorities to the status of mere advocates, it is championing the laws of states over the laws of nations. And the laws of states, as we know, are more oriented toward protecting investment portfolios than toward saving the planet or humankind.
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