Indigenous Peoples' Day
05-05 August 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal

The EU delegation to Nepal organised for the second time an event around the Indigenous Peoples' Day". This year, the event took place on the 5th of August in Kathmandu.



The event  was called "EU Strategies, Interventions and future prospects for Support to Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities in Nepal" and was organised in co-operation with CARE Nepal, CBSS beneficiaries for a project called "Janjatis Social Empowerment Project (JANSEEP).

The event was attended by approximately 80 participants from indigenous organisations all over Nepal and some Member States –among them the Ambassador of France, Mr. Jean-Charles DEMARQUIS.


The main purposes of this event were: 

1. To inform the participants about EU's efforts to promote and protect the rights of the indigenous peoples worldwide. (Mr. Gerard Van Driessche, head of finance, EU Delegation in Kathmandu.)
2. To inform about the work done by different EU DGs on Indigenous Peoples (ISG),
3. To inform about the different development and human rights instruments financing Indigenous Peoples organizations. As well as to mention the support given to UN agencies: OHCHR to facilitate the participation of Indigenous Peoples representatives at UN events, and ILO with the advancement of the ratification of Resolution 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. Nepal has been the first country in Asia ratifying this Convention in 2007. 

These two points were presented by EIDHR contact point at the EU Delegation in Kathmandu, Mr. Shiva Bhandari, and Martha Méndez, fom the EIDHR team in HeadQuarters, especially attending this event.

Main documents discussed, as a reminder of the EU Policy on Indigenous Peoples, were:

seminar-nepal-11. Common Position (EC) No 13/2000 adopted by the Council on 16 Dec. 1999 on measures to promote the full integration of the environmental dimension in the development process of developing countries
2. EU Council Resolution of November 1998 - Indigenous peoples within the framework of the development cooperation of the Community and the Member States , even when this document precedes  the UN Declaration, it is still valid, as it highlights indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and EU's support to these rights.

Participants welcomed the event, and just as expected, there were many reactions demanding more active and concrete actions from the EU regarding the exclusion of IPs in socio-political life, due to language problems, poverty, living in remote areas, etc.

At the same time there was also recognition and appreciations on the EU commitment to the respect of Indigenous Peoples' rights.  Finally, the forthcoming CBSS and global EIDHR Calls for Proposals were announced, in which Indigenous Peoples will be eligible. 

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