DECLARATION AND POSITION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES TO THE MEETING OF THE APEC TRADE MINISTERS
Lautaro Mapuche Warrior
CHILE 4 to 5 JUNE, 2004
Honourable Ministers of Trade of the Member Economies of APEC, meeting in Mapuche territory – Wallmapuche
APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation created in 1989 as a forum to advance economic cooperation, free trade and investments in the region and which 21 countries have joined, pretends to benefit and improve the living conditions of all citizens in the member countries.
In this regard, we, indigenous peoples and organizations with ancestral rights in these member countries of APEC would like to present some fundamental concerns which affect our future and call your attention to the following recommendations and specific demands of the peoples concerned.
1. We, the indigenous peoples of the countries which form APEC have suffered from the negative impacts of the development of free trade and the accelerated economic cooperation in the context of the so-called globaliyation in various forms; the criteria which guide the agreements of free trade do not take into account nor respect our human rights; we underline, that we are holders of ancestral rights; in the frame of these agreements, we are not consulted nor do we participate in the taking of decisions which have an immediate impact on our lives and collective rights.
2. Therefore, we urge that you recognize our human rights as indigenous peoples as they are enshrined in the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, such as there are the rights to land, territory and self-determination, expressed in Article 3: “Indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”, as well as in the Draft Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples of the Organization of American States. In this respect, our right to self-determination as peoples and our territorial rights must be recognized and respected in any decision or acitivity which is taken or taking place in our territories and which affect our ways and conditions of live as indigenous peoples.
3. In particular, we would like to call your attention on Articles 6 and 7 of the ILO Convention Nr. 169 which establish that indigenous peoples and communities affected by a development project or proposal must be consulted in a broad and transparent way and they must participate in the decision-making and at every step of the project or proposal. We believe that this internationally recognized principle and right is not taken into account in the APEC agreements.
4. With regard to our natural resources and traditional knowledge and the rights associated, we would like to draw your attention on the Convention on Biological Diversity which states in Article 8(j) that “ the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities” must be respected, preserved and maintained. Furthermore, Article 10 (c) of the same Convention calls for the protection and continuation of the customary use of biological resources, in accordance with traditional cultural practices.
5. We are calling on the members of APEC to recognize the elemental norms of the human rights of indigenous peoples; particularly those countries which have not ratified ILO Convention 169 and which furthermore do not have a policy on/with indigenous peoples.
6. We stress to the members of APEC that the lack of the right to full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, is contrary to democracy and does not provide security in peaceful co-existence.