United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

Mr Chairman we thank all panelists for their good and interesting presentations.
Indigenous Peoples follow this discussion with great concern considering the dangers
our communities have been experiencing in handling both waste and chemicals. We
are happy to say that the secretariat of the convention of the Stockholm gave us an
opportunity to express our concerns on different aspects of different persistent organic
pollutants (POP) and other waste in the recently concluded COP 5 of the Stockholm
Convention, in Geneva. Among the few recommendations were the need for synergies
of the three conventions (Base, Rotterdam and Stockholm) and capacity building for
indigenous peoples just to name a few.
Mr. Chairperson, one of our greatest concerns in dealing with chemicals and waste
has been the lack of information and capacity amongst a great number of the
population of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Lack of awareness and
information about the impacts and handling of these deadly chemicals and other
hazardous waste has had a profound effect on the health of our communities.. For this
reason, there is need to finance and implement a program of capacity building,
awareness creation and information sharing with the full and effective participation of
Indigenous Peoples and local communities in affected areas. In addition it is
necessary to involve them in process for them to understand effectively moving
towards zero waste and sound management and safe handling of chemicals.
In conclusion Mr. Chairman, it is important to mainstream and implement the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in response to dealing with
the sound management and elimination of hazardous waste and chemicals. We urged
governments to use human rights approach for sustainable management. Indigenous
peoples will be even happier if they are fully involved at the country and regional
levels in the process. And the principle of free prior informed consent be applied at all
times in planning and implementation of activities and projects on chemicals and
waste. Governments and other key players should involve indigeno us peoples and
their local communities on handling and safe management of both waste and
chemicals.