Dispelling any notion of the UN as an honest broker, the UN Security Council authorized invasion by France of its former colony of Mali exposes the anti-democratic nature of the international institution. Even as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues prepares for the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, indigenous nations like Mali’s Tuareg navigate a hazardous path, confronted by UN-authorized mercenaries sent to secure Amazigh territory for European mining concessions under Mali’s US-sponsored military dictatorship. The United Nations state-centric framework, that caters to US and EU corporate interests, makes a mockery of the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. If the World Conference in 2014 is to be anything more than a sideshow to UN-justified neoliberal colonialism, it will have to challenge the assumed domination of modern states over indigenous nations like Mali’s Tuareg, struggling to create an independent homeland in Azawad.
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