International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples 2011 (IP Day)
Not official translation
CELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Congratulations on the Commemoration of the 7th Indigenous People’s Day in the Kingdom of Cambodia and the 17th of its kind at the global, international level on the tradition, customs, land, forest and livelihoods of indigenous people
- 1. Background
According to the Decision No. 49/214 dated 23 December 1994, the UN General Assembly decided to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August every year during the International Decade on the World’s Indigenous People and to observe the day when the UN Task Force on Indigenous People first met in 1982 in Geneva, Switzerland. The First International Decade on the Word’s Indigenous People (1995-2004) has ended, and the General Assembly declared, though the Decision No. 174 dated 20 December 2004, the Second International Decade on the Word’s Indigenous People (2005-2015), and the goal of the Decade is to further strengthen international cooperation to resolveMissues facing indigenous people in a number of sectors, such as culture, education, health, human rights, environment, and social and economic development.
Cambodia celebrated the first Indigenous People’s International Day in 2005 in Phnom Penh at the initiative of the Department of Indigenous Development of the Ministry or Rural Development in collaboration with and with support from civil society organizations (CSOs), national and international development partners, and indigenous communities. Therefore, since 2005, the Department of Indigenous Development and CSOs has collaborated to organize this Day every year at locations of variour provinces where indigenous people live, such as Phnom Penh, Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Pursat, and Siem Reap.
This year, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is the 17th anniversary to be celebrated in the world and the 7th anniversay for Cambodia. For indigenous people in the Kingdom of Cambodia, we see that 09 August is a joyful day because indigenous people in the whole world, especially, representatives of indigenous people in the 15 provinces / municipality in the Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as some Royal Government officials pay attention to and spare their precious time to prepare and celebrate this Day. This is a good opportunity for indigenous communities to show the heritage of their identities, culture, traditions, customs, arts, dresses, and tools or materials in their daily livelihood, economy, society, and culture. At the same time, it is an important occasion to draw the attention of the Royal Government of Cambodia, organizations, national and international media, and the public to recognize and to contribute to enhancing the protection of indigenous people.
Furthermore, this Day is celebrated in order to wake up the interest and spirit of the indigenous people themselves so that they will be aware of and remember this historical day when success was achieved for the recognition of indigenous people at the international arena, and to show that indigenous people’s rights are universal human rights as enshrined in Article 31 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and to ensure that “Every Cambodian citizen shall be equal before the law, enjoying the same rights, freedom and fulfilling the same obligations regardless of race, color, sex, language, religious belief, political tendency, birth origin, social status, wealth or other status.”. Also, the Royal Government of Cambodia has made efforts to create laws, policies, and regulations in order to protect and uphold thre rights, conserve and develop culture, education and vocational training, health, environment, land, agriculture and water resources, infrastructure, justice, tourism, and industry, mines and energy, and indigenous peoples. These laws and policies include the 2001 Land Law, the Forestry Law, and the Indigenous Poeople Development Policy. The 2001 Land Law clearly states that “No person may be deprived of his ownership, unless it is in the public interest. An ownership deprivation shall be carried out in accordance with the forms and procedures provided by law and regulations and after the payment of fair and just compensation in advance (e.g., provision of economic land concession to a private company) and gives the right to indigenous communities to register their land”. Indigeneou collective land registration is a top priority for indigenous people given the complex nature of issues facing indigenous people in terms of forest, land, and natural resources and efforts made in land registration for indigenous communities. To date, only 20 communities have obtained the status of legal persons from the Ministry of Interior, and other 31 communities have received a letter recognizing their identities from the Ministry of Rural Developemnt. This means that no indigenous community has recieved collective land title.
Moreover, the celebration is to show the achievements since 2007 when the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Indigenous People’s Rights, which was voted in favour by 144 UN member states, including Cambodia. This Declaration is not a creation of a new right, but rather a recognition of fundamental rights of indigenous peoples, and it encourages respect for indigenous people’s right in the world.
At the same time, 2011 is the International Forestry Year organized by all people in the world to manage the world’s forest, in which Cambodian indigenous communities take part activiely together with millions of people in the world. Therefore, the Indigenous People’s International Day is a shared occasion to show a collective voice to call for indigenous people’s effective participation in sustainable management of Cambodia’ forest. It should be noted that forest in Cambodia is the home of the 24 indigenous groups and is closely and importantly linked to the traditional, daily livelihoods of indigenous people. As the current situation is under the threat of foresty concession, economic concession, mining concession, and large commercial developemnt, we believe that success in sustainable management of Camobodia’s forest may be seriously effected, resulting in serious consequences on the livelihoods and the future of the indigenous people’s children.
In sum, for the celebration of the Indigenous People’s Rights Day in 2011, active members for indigenous people’s rights in the 15 municipal / provinces together with organizations and indigenous communities, including the Highlanders Association, the Indigenous Youth Association, and the Organization to Promote Kuoy Culture, agreed to organize the 17th Indigenous People’s International Day in three separate regions in the Kingdom of Cambodia, including Preah Vihear, Sturng Treng, and Kampong Som in order to gain more attention from the Royal Government in recognizing, respecting, and ensuring the collective rights of indigenous communities to land ownership, natural resources, and participation in decision-making on community development, and in particular, on ensuring the safety of communities in accordance with the principle of advanced, free consent by the communities prior to development programs to be operated in indigenous communities. Moreover, the celebration is to appeal for more support from NGOs and the Royal Governemnt to ensure collective indigenous land registration for fro all the communities registered and the communities in the process of registration in order to ensure sustainable management and use of indigenous communities’ land.
- 2. General Objectives
In order to enhance indigenous people’s rights through public recognition and to raise people’s general awareness of indigenous people’s culture and issues in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
- To enable indigenous people to become the real masters of the organization of an indigenous people’s day by themselves.
- To enhance recognition and respect for the rights of indigenous people in Cambodia, especially, the rights to managment of land and natural resources in compliance with national and internaitonal laws related to indigenous people’s rights.
- To enable indigenous people to become real owners of the rights to management of land and natural resources by avoiding discrimination.
- To seek both national and international support for awareness of the general conditions of indigenous people, in particular, awareness on managemnt of land, forest and land registration.
- To enable indigenous people to develop while maintaining their identities and culture in a sustainable manner in accordance with national and international laws related to indigenous people.
- To provide opportunities for indigenous people to communicate with each other and to further unite.
- To commemorate and maintain indigenous people’s rights day in the world and in Cambodia.
- 3. Expected Results
- Indigenous people become the real masters of the organization of an indigenous people’s day.
- The rights of indigenous people in Cambodia to managment of land and natural resources is disseminated and enhanced in compliance with national and internaitonal laws.
- Indigenous people increasingly become the real owners in exercising their rights to management of land and natural resources.
- More national and international support for awareness of the general conditions of indigenous people, in particular, awareness on managemnt of land, forest and land registration.
- Indigenous people develop while maintaining their identity and culture in a sustainable manner in accordance with national and international laws related to indigenous people.
- Indigenous people increase their communication with each other and unity to commemorate and value the maintenance of people’s rights day in the world and in Cambodia.
- Date: Tuesday, 9 August 2011
- Venues: Tuesday, 9 August 2011
- Region 1: Roundabout on the riverside of Stung Treng
- Region 2: Theatre of Kampong Som
- Region 3: Independence Monument, Preah Vihear
– 239 IRAM facilitators and indigenous people (15 provinces)
– 30 people from customary authority (15 provinces)
– 35 people from commune authority (15 provinces)
– 30 teachers (15 provinces)
– 60 students (15 provinces)
– 170 artists (9 provinces)
– 48 CSO officials and Government officials