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The Good News

RP tribal leader to attend UN forum

- Pia Lee-Brago -

MANILA, Philippines – The First Filipino tribal leader elected as member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) representing Asia and the Pacific will lead the region in a forum at the United Nations headquarters in New York and a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples.

Eugenio Insigne, chairman of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said yesterday the UNPFII will meet on Monday to discuss the implementation of the UN declaration on human rights, fundamental freedoms, economic and social development of indigenous peoples around the world. 

Insigne said the convention also includes comprehensive dialogue with six other UN agencies and funds appropriations. The convention will run from May 18 to 29.

A member of the Tinguian tribe of Abra, Insigne said the forum will have a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples led by James Anaya and Jose Carlos Morales.  

The UNPFII’s other agenda include the election of officers, follow-up on recommendations on economic and social development; indigenous women; and declaration of Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

“It also includes discussions on the future work of the UNPFII, including issues of the economic and social council,” Insigne said.

The NCIP chairman was elected member of the UNPFII for a two-year term, from Jan. 9, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010. He filled up the seat vacated by China’s representative, Xiamei Qin.

Insigne has been actively involved in the indigenous people’s struggle for most of his adult life, working with organizations such as the Cordillera Tribal Communities Development Forum Foundation. He also served as general counsel of the Binongan Tribal Foundation.

A former city prosecutor of Valenzuela City, he was the former president of the Tribal Lawyers Assembly of the Philippines and was a member of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army-Cordillera Bodong Administrative Negotiating Panel in the 1986 Cordillera Talks.

The NCIP is in charge of protecting the legal and historical rights of an estimated 18 million indigenous peoples belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups that constitute 17 percent of the Philippine population.

The UNPFIII serves as an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN and has a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.


ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

BINONGAN TRIBAL FOUNDATION

CORDILLERA PEOPLE

CORDILLERA TALKS

CORDILLERA TRIBAL COMMUNITIES DEVELOPMENT FORUM FOUNDATION

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL

EUGENIO INSIGNE

FIRST FILIPINO

INDIGENOUS

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

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