United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

Interactive Dialogue with Major Groups and other Stakeholders; 25 March 2015, 10:00am - 1:00 pm; Trusteeship Council Chamber, UNHQ;
Presented by Roberto Borrero, International Indian Treaty Council for Joan Carling, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples Working Group (IPMG)
[Check against delivery]
Thank you for the opportunity.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and post-2015 development agenda aspire to “leave no one behind.” Yet, at this critical juncture the process is in jeopardy of excluding Indigenous Peoples from the agenda even as traditional Indigenous Territories “encompass up to 22 percent of the world’s land surface” and “coincide with areas that hold 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity.”
The co-facilitators have asked what elements must be considered in the development of indicators for SDGs and targets. From an indigenous perspective, the post-2015 development agenda currently seems well positioned to repeat the broken promises of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the world’s Indigenous Peoples by promoting universality at the expense of our visibility, diversity and our rights.
This trend is manifested in the recent Bureau of UN Statistical Commission’s technical report on an indicator framework for goals and targets of the SDGs. It should be noted that Indigenous Peoples are referred to specifically only twice in the 129 SDG targets, while broad terms such as vulnerable groups are used in other areas to “theoretically” capture our special situations. Like these SDG targets, the Statistical Commission’s report does not refer to Indigenous Peoples and embraces the use of the terms “vulnerable” and “marginalized groups,” without clearly identifying who these groups are or acknowledging that these terms fails to recognize the distinct cultural identities and political status of Indigenous Peoples who are rights-holders and agents of change.
Additionally, the IPMG is concerned that on the national level, some states may refuse to include targets and indicators relating to indigenous peoples, including the need for disaggregated data based on ethnicity and indigenous status, on the grounds that indigenous peoples are not legally recognized. With this in mind, the IPMG recommends that monitoring frameworks emphasize the inclusion of targets and indicators on Indigenous Peoples regardless of their national legal status.
As the UN Statistical Commission seeks to take into account a range of conceptual indicator frameworks, IPMG acknowledges the proposal of the SDGN for an Integrated Monitoring Framework with multi-level review processes and indicators. However, the IPMG strongly recommend that any monitoring framework commit to the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in further developing the
targets and indicators to ensure inclusiveness in addressing our specific circumstances and conditions.
In addition, the IPMG recommends that UN Statistical Commission endorsed Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and the proposed HLG, include the participation of major groups and other stakeholders in an open and transparent manner.
In closing, the IPMG welcomes the inclusion of ethnicity and indigenous status in the data disaggregation as part of key principles for setting SDG indicators. We strongly recommend the data-disaggregation on ethnicity and indigenous status to be included in all relevant indicators for indigenous peoples across the all the SDG Goals and targets with the full & effective participation of indigenous peoples in identifying such relevant indicators. To this end, the IPMG has prepared a policy brief containing our specific proposals for targets and indicators in line with the commitments of states in relation to the World Conference of Indigenous peoples and to the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.
A link to this policy brief will be included as an annex in this statement.
Finally, for indigenous peoples, the aspiration of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals of “ leaving no one behind” means the full respect, recognition and fulfillment of our collective rights. These are not privileges or special rights but will ensure equality and non-discrimination; and accord us with our dignity, wellbeing and self determined development. We expect nothing less than this if the UN will indeed be a home to the millions of indigenous peoples. ###
Indigenous Peoples Major Group Policy Brief on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-21015 Development Agenda