In a recent publication of the Global American Journal, the inclusion of indigenous population in Latin American countries was highlighted as a major challenge in terms of political representation, economic prosperity, development, healthcare or access to justice. More than 40 percent of the indigenous population in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru live in
Leading to Change is the important initiative that opened up a conversation about the need to include people representing diverse cultures into leadership positions.
Today we celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.
According to the UN, there are 370 million indigenous people in the world across 90 countries, representing 5,000 different cultures and speaking around 7,000 languages. They represent unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment.
During Club de Madrid’s Working Group on Shared Societies and environmental sustainability, the role of indigenous people was one of the major topics discussed. Dalee Sambo Dorough, Former Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was part of the group. We asked her about the role of indigenous people and Shared societies, what are the challenges when it comes to inclusion and more.
Question: The role of indigenous people and Shared Societies? How Indigenous population themselves can overcome environmental obstacles that we are facing now?
Q: What is the role of the Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN?
A: The Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN is a mechanism for indigenous peoples with the mandate of saturating the UN system with the perspectives of indigenous peoples across the globe.
It is a unique entity within the United Nations because 8 elected experts on indigenous issues from State governments and 8 nominated indigenous peoples representatives compose it. The nominations come from indigenous organizations from around the globe.
Q: What are the challenges that indigenous people face regarding inclusion?
A: The key challenge here is getting member states of the UN to pay attention to the outcome document and breed life into de aspirations and into the call to action of Club de Madrid’s outcome documents.
Very much so like the fact that though in 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the key problem and the frustration is the lack of implementation of this declaration in order for indigenous people to effectively enjoy and exercise the human rights that are firmed in that instrument.
World leaders should realize that it is in their best interest and in the interest of their citizens to begin the implementation of that UN declaration. If the implementation of the rights and standards are effectively and genuinely put in place, it would be less pressure upon national governments and societies as a whole, because then indigenous people would become more effective participants in the design and implementation of national agendas for sustainable development, for appropriate sustainable and equitable economic development, for example.
Read the final outcome document of the working group on sustainability and Shared Societies here.
The OECD recently released a report entitled Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development. Launched at the UN headquarters in New York City, the report is based on field research and empirical analysis conducted in ten low and middle-income countries. More than 20,000 households, representing over 100,000 individuals, were involved in the study. Countries studied include Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Costa Rica, the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Morocco, and the Philippines, among others. The extensive document details the dual relationship between migratory flows and public policy by looking at factors like education, investment, agriculture, and labour market trends.
The OECD findings highlight the influence of specific public policies on migratory ¨outcomes¨ including remittances, cultural integration, and the decision whether to migrate or return. The report identifies numerous policy areas where governments are failing to implement coherent strategies that align with their migration goals. Poor vocational training, low rates of financial inclusion and literacy, and the denial of regular status to immigrants are some examples of this failure.
The report points out that in many developing countries, immigrant heads with regular migration status are more likely to own a business. One nation that it refers to specifically is the Dominican Republic, a place where Club de Madrid has focused much attention as part of its Shared Society Project joint initiative together the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM-RD), a Government body within the Dominican Home Affairs Minister. The CdM and the INM-RD have championed a humanitarian approach during a recent High Level Mission led by former President of Spain and Club de Madrid Member, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, championing a comprehensive and humane approach to the issue of migrants, emphasizing the need to recognize their inalienable rights and to not treat them as second-class citizens.
The Shared Societies Project took part in a session at the OECD on October 2016 to review the draft of the document and highlight the positive impact of an approach to policy formulation which involves both the migrant and host communities. It has also been in touch with OECD Migration Unit planning a potential collaboration in the Dominican Republic as both organizations agree on promoting an inclusive migration approach in the country.
Vike-Freiberga explains Club de Madrid’s ‘Shared Vision of a Shared Society’ at the Hufftington Post
The future of the United Kingdom is uncertain, as the challenges of a post-Brexit reality need to be faced and editorials compete in their predictions of the course the United Kingdom will take under its new prime minister.
As such, it was an encouraging sign for many, especially within the Club de Madrid, when PM Theresa May seemed to adopt the concept of Shared Society, long championed by the Club de Madrid, in a speech drawing up her plans for the future of the islands. Club de Madrid’s President, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, penned an essay in the Huffington Post in response, which doubled down on the values that Shared Societies embodies: “when everyone is involved and encouraged, they become an asset to society and a contributor to the common good, rather than being a drain or a liability”. It also emphasized that in order to be effective, governments all across the ideological spectrum need to support it, not imposing it but rather enabling it. The Prime Minister’s speech has sparked a welcome debate about the concept in the UK media. For example Frances Ryan in the Guardian gave her own views of the policy changes that would be required to create a Shared Society here.
Please to find Vaira Vike-Freiberga’s article in the following link.
Although the United Kingdom is sailing in uncharted waters, we at the Club of Madrid feel confident that there could be no better guiding principles for a nation seeking to reinvent itself than those of our Shared Societies Project and we are open to opportunities to share the insights that the Members have gained over the years.
In a blog post written late last week, Professor Sanjay Reddy attempted to address the question, ¨What is a Shared Society?¨ His writing explores the limits of current approaches to human rights and stresses the importance of cultivating pervasive,common humanity in order to make progress in community building.
Attributing the advancement of the Shared Society concept directly to Club de Madrid, Reddy suggests that a Shared Society is composed of three themes: individual dignity, a recognition of social pluralism, and collective responsiblity. Reddy writes:
¨Understood in these terms, the idea, and ideal, of a Shared Society can be applied on any scale.¨
Reddy echoes a core principle of the Shared Societies Project, saying that
any successful initiative ¨must be grounded in an idea of shared responsibility that can motívate the campaigners and society at large.¨
Reddy is an Associate Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research in New York. He also Works as a research associate for Columbia University´s Initiative for Policy Dialogue. He has worked as a Fellow at Harvard University´s Center for Ethics and Center for Population and Development Studies. Reddy is an independent adviser to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and is a co-founder of the Global Consumption and Income Project.
His post came just two days after he joined Club de Madrid member Roza Otunbayeva, and others, as part of a high-level UN panel discussion on the role of Shared Societies in the fight against global poverty.
A link to Professor Reddy´s blog post is posted here.