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DIALOGUE WITH MAJOR GROUPS

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: Panelists in the dialogue session on indigenous peoples noted that the Co-Chairs’ text fails to reflect the lack of progress on critical issues of concern to indigenous peoples, although consistently presented at international meetings. They stressed, inter alia: the need for political empowerment, self- determination, control over natural resources; the problems of poverty, homelessness and unemployment; recognition of indigenous political institutions, ancestral lands and intellectual property rights; and mechanisms for participation in decision-making beyond “tokenism.” Panelists called for: corporate responsibility for TNCs; priority for the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; a permanent UN forum for indigenous peoples; expanding the scope of the indigenous peoples’ fund for participation; inclusion of indigenous peoples on a par with industry in the CSD’s work; and a moratorium on bio-prospecting until IPR are protected. They also called for: coordination with the CBD and the Center for Human Rights during review of the TRIPs agreement; establishing a CSD body to examine mining issues; examining the effect of globalization on indigenous peoples; and conclusion of a biosafety protocol. An Inuit representative noted the high level of POPs in the Arctic region and urged completion of a global agreement on POPs.

NGOs: On Agenda 21 implementation in the South, panelists noted that governments are often unconcerned with underlying causes. They stressed: mechanisms for NGO consultation and collaboration; capacity-building; lack of awareness about environmental issues; and promotion of community-level initiatives. Proposals included: developing a green credit system to assess environment projects; providing documentation on all initiatives proposed at the CSD; viewing poverty eradication as a global problem; and prioritizing education. On national and regional implementation, panelists reported on progress in Europe and South Africa. A number of States described their methods for reporting to their constituencies on activities at the CSD. Presentations on the CSD’s role in the next five years focused on: trade, environment and sustainable development; a forest convention versus stronger implementation of the CBD; and TNC accountability. One panelist noted that the CSD is perhaps the most appropriate international institution to address globalization.

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