Published on doCip.org, 29 pages, JULY – SEPTEMBER 2007.


Excerpt of Chapter 3, ‘THE FUTURE OF THE WORKING GROUP ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES WITHIN THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’, page 6: … At first, two options were offered to the Indigenous Peoples: (1) the creation of a Working Group within the frame of the Expert Advice Body of the HRC, which replaces the Sub-Commission of the former Commission on Human Rights; (2) the creation of an Expert Group subsidiary to the HRC (i.e., reporting directly to the member States of the HRC rather than to independent experts).

The first solution quickly proved to be unsatisfactory because the Expert Advice Body lost important competencies with regard to the former Sub-Commission, such as that of deciding on the subjects it would address. Henceforth, it is the Council, that is to say, the States, which will dictate what the Expert Advice Body may examine. For the record, let us be reminded that if the Sub-Commission had been subjected to this rule in the 1970s, the Martinez-Cobo report, the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, the Declaration, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues would probably never have seen the light!

Moreover, the HRC is most concerned that its bodies be innovative and avoid all forms of duplication. They therefore cannot constitute a mere continuation of what already existed. The work undertaken by the WGIP which remains unfinished could indeed be finalized by the new Expert Group on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples but all solutions bearing too much resemblance to the past are rejected.

Finally, the distinction and collaboration between this Expert Group and other mechanisms must be clear, whether they are the Special Rapporteur, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PF), or the Expert Advice Body of the HRC and the Treaty Bodies. In this light, it has been suggested that the Expert Group synthesize the ensemble of issues regarding the human rights of indigenous peoples, something which none of the aforementioned bodies could accomplish.

In order to make up for lost time, Bolivia has presented – in agreement with the indigenous delegation – the resolution adopted by consensus and published in the textbox below … (full long text).


all other Updates, from 15 to latest;

Articles for Indigenous Peoples on our blogs, September 17, 2007.

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