UNPFII 2012 Intervention by Indigenous Youth

UNPFII 2012 Intervention by Indigenous Youth

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John Ahni Schertow
May 10, 2012
 

Indigenous Youth at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples (UNPFII), address the issue of some of their delegation being stripped of their credentials and threatened with banishment for taking part in a peaceful action on the morning of May 7, 2012.

Please see below for updates, courtesy of Censored News.

Peaceful Action

Please note: there is no longer a need to contact the UN in regards to this matter, as they have since reversed their untenable position.

Initial Statement of Concern

To: Ms. Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Secretariat
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
roy-henriksen@un.org
David, Bongi, Chief of United Nations Security
bongi@un.org

Dear Ms. Roy,

We are quite disturbed and offended by the report that some of the young indigenous people who are participating the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) were removed and banned from the forum yesterday. We understand that the youth were removed without adequate notice or due process, for peacefully standing to request the full participation of all indigenous peoples who had been credentialed at your meeting. We have two young women who are members of our Movement, and who are there representing our interests, Ms. Sky Roosevelt-Morris and Ms. Mina Cereceres, with the delegation for the American Indian Movement of Colorado. We must insist that our two representatives immediately be returned to the session, with their credentials in tact, and with no sanction against them. This is a very serious attack on our youth, and on our integrity as an indigenous organization. We call on you to use all the means of your good offices to ensure that indigenous youth are fully able to participate in the UNPFII, and that the heavy-handed approach of the UN Security be challenged on behalf of all indigenous peoples.

Update, May 9, 2012

Update from Glenn Morris

May 9, 2012, night update

“Hello, AIMsters.
On behalf of all of our delegation at the UN, and all of the indigenous youth involved, I would like to thank you all for your hundreds of emails and letters of support to the UN. They got the message, and they have agreed to return the credentials of our indigenous young people so that they can return to the discussion process. Initially, they wanted to ban the youth delegation for the entire remainder of the process, or even to ban them for up to ten years from the UN. Then, they suggested that they wanted a letter of apology. Colorado AIM rejected both suggestions, saying that if anyone needed to apologize it was the UN police. We also said that anything short of full restoration would be unsatisfactory, and that we would lead a walkout of the UN meeting. We were fully prepared to walkout tomorrow morning if the young people were not restored. We were asked to mentor our young people, a request that we already have complied with, and will continue to model, as we have from before we arrived in New York.

Tonight, the UN Security relented, and we will accompany our youth back into the UN tomorrow morning. Again, we appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of our youth, and our delegation. We ask for you please to stop contacting the UN Secretariat about this matter, as they have reversed their unsupportable position. We will hold a dinner when we return to Denver to give an account of our trip, and to thank you all for your support and efforts. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, as we return to the process to fight against the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), that is attempting to allow the ownership and patenting of our traditional knowledge, and genetic resources (see attached statement and joint statement between Debra Harry and Colorado AIM). There will be additional news tomorrow, as the WIPO fight might get pretty ugly. We hope that this note finds you and your loved ones in good health and good spirits, as we remember you all in our work in the belly of the beast.

In Struggle,
Glenn Morris

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