UNWGIP 10th Session Document 92-12449 - Statements by Centro de Culturas Indias CHIRAPAQ, Indian Council of S. America, Tupay Katari, Food First, Service, Peace & Justice in Latin America, and Comision Juridica
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DOCUMENT: 92-12449.TXT

                     U N I T E D    N A T I O N S

     Economic and Social Council            ENGLISH
     Distr.                                 Original: ENGLISH/SPANISH
     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3               GE. 92-12449/4554B
     11 May 1992


     Sub-Commission on Prevention of
     Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
     Working Group on Indigenous Populations

     Tenth session
     20-31 July 1992
     Item 4 of the provisional agenda


                     Note by the Secretary-General
       Information received from non-governmental organizations


     Introduction ............................................. 2

     1. Centro de Culturas Indias CHIRAPAQ .................... 2

     2. Indian Council of South America ....................... 5

     3. Comision Juridica de los Pueblos de 
        Integracion Tawantinsuyana ............................ 7

     4. "Tupay Katari" Movement ............................... 8

     5. Food First Information and Action Network ............ 13

     6. Service, Peace and Justice in Latin America .......... 14

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 2  


     1. By its resolution 1982/34 of 7 May 1982, the Economic and 
     Social Council authorized the Sub-Commission on Prevention 
     of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to establish 
     annually a working group on indigenous populations to review 
     developments pertaining to the promotion and protection of 
     the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous 
     populations, including information requested by the 
     Secretary-General annually, and to give special attention to 
     the evolution of standards concerning the rights of 
     indigenous populations.  

     2. The Sub-Commission, in its resolution 1991/30 of 29 
     August 1991, requested the Secretary-General to transmit the 
     report of the Working Group to indigenous peoples' and non-
     governmental organizations for specific comments and 
     suggestions for the completion of the first reading of the 
     text of the draft declaration on the rights of the 
     indigenous populations, as contained in annex II of the 
     report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations on its 
     ninth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1991/40/Rev.1), and the 
     beginning of the second reading at the tenth session of the 
     Working Group. The Commission on Human Rights endorsed this 
     request in its resolution 1992/44 of 3 March 1992. In 
     accordance with these resolutions, appropriate 
     communications were sent to intergovernmental organizations.  

     3. The present document contains replies received as of 11 
     May 1992 from indigenous and non-governmental organizations. 
     Further replies, if any, will be included in addenda to this 


     [17 March 1992]
     [Original: Spanish]


     1. The fundamental idea of the draft declaration, as 
     prepared so far by the Working Group, has been to protect 
     indigenous rights in peace time, but no provision has been 
     made for the protection of indigenous rights in the context 
     of either international or non-international war. It is only 
     in Part II, operative paragraph 4 that a reference is made 
     to the need to protect the indigenous peoples against 
     genocide, which can be committed in both peace time and in 
     time of war, according to the Convention on the Prevention 
     and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  

     2. In our view, it is necessary to elaborate further the 
     idea of the protection of the human rights of indigenous 
     peoples in time of war and to stress that States should 
     respect the international standards on the protection of 
     civilian persons in time of war laid down in the Fourth 
     Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 
     1977, particularly in the regions inhabited by indigenous 
     peoples. When non-international armed conflict occurs in 
     countries where indigenous peoples live, the percentage of 
     victims among the indigenous population is much higher than 
     the percentage that this population represents in the total 
     population of the country. There are instances where the 
     indigenous victims account for 90 per cent of all the 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 3  

     victims resulting from the armed conflict. This is due 
     largely to the fact that States fail to respect the 
     international instruments on the protection of the civilian 
     population in situations of armed conflict in the indigenous 
     areas under military occupation. The following provisions 
     are often violated:  

          (a) The Occupying Power may not compel the civilian 
     population to serve in its armed forces and to participate 
     in armed action (Fourth Geneva Convention, art. 51). 
     Consequently, if in the contest of a non-international armed 
     conflict regions inhabited by indigenous peoples are 
     subjected to military occupation, States cannot justify the 
     formation of irregular groups in the service of the armed 
     forces, utilizing the traditional indigenous customs, 
     because the right to autonomy and self-defence can never be 
     used against the indigenous people, nor serve to evade 
     national and international legal provisions;  

          (b) The prohibition of deportations or forcible 
     transfers of the civilian population within the area under 
     military occupation (Fourth Geneva Convention, art. 49; 
     Protocol I, art. 85. 4a and Protocol II, art. 17). The 
     indigenous population cannot therefore be compelled to 
     abandon its communities of origin, nor can it be transferred 
     and herded into an area close to military bases, where it 
     has no means of subsistence and where it is the victim of 
     armed confrontations;  

          (c) The prohibition to starve the civilian population, 
     by requisitioning or destroying foodstuffs or other objects 
     indispendsable to its survival (Fourth Geneva Convention, 
     art. 55; Protocol I, art. 54 and Protocol II, art. 14). The 
     indigenous population should not be deprived of its means of 
     survival or subjected to starvation, by being prevented from 
     the normal pursuit of its activities of production, by being 
     denied access to natural resources or by having its food 


     3. We suggest that part II, operative paragraph 4 of the 
     text drafted so far by the Working Group, which reads: 
     "Indigenous peoples have the collective right to exist in 
     peace and security as distinct peoples and to be protected 
     against genocide, as well as the individual rights to life, 
     physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of 
     person", should continue as follows:  

          "States are bound to strict observance, in the regions 
     inhabited by indigenous peoples, of the international 
     provisions regarding the protection of the civilian 
     population in situations of armed conflict. The right to 
     indigenous autonomy can never be used against the indigenous 
     peoples or to evade national legislation or international 

          States shall not:  

          (a) Occupy indigenous territories militarily;  

          (b) Organize indigenous peoples into irregular groups 
     in the service of the armed forces and compel them to take 
     part in military operations or bring indigenous peoples into 
     confrontation with other indigenous peoples, using the 
     traditional customs and the right of self-defence to justify 
     these measures; 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 4  

          (c) Compel the indigenous population to abandon its 
     communities or to be displaced or concentrated in specific 
     areas in order to subject it to military control, 
     requisition its means of survival, prevent it from the 
     normal pursuit of its production activities or deny it 
     access to natural resources."  


     4. Part III of the draft declaration deals with the 
     territorial rights of the indigenous peoples. We are 
     inclined to use the concept of "territory" instead of 
     "lands" because "territory" better expresses a comprehensive 
     view encompassing natural resources, cultural aspects and 
     the environment.  

     5. However, in practice, the concept of territory or of the 
     lands which the indigenous peoples have traditionally 
     occupied is misinterpreted; we therefore feel that it is 
     necessary to specify its scope in the declaration. In the 
     same way that we advocate that the indigenous people should 
     be recognized in their entirety and not be fragmented into 
     smaller units, we must also raise the question of the 
     recognition of the whole territory inhabited by an 
     indigenous people or by various indigenous peoples, if they 
     have traditionally lived together in the same territory. No 
     artificial boundaries should be created using criteria which 
     are alien to the practices of the indigenous territory, nor 
     should the break-up or fragmentation of this territory be 
     allowed. States must not confine themselves to recognizing 
     local settlements or portions of the indigenous territory 
     separately, because such a move would contribute to the 
     break-up of the indigenous people and the creation of 
     divisions among them. No concentration or reduction should 
     be allowed of those indigenous people who have a pattern of 
     living in scattered settlements or who are nomads, in order 
     to empty vast tracts of their traditional territory and to 
     give recognition only to isolated clusters of settlements.  


     6. We suggest that part III, paragraph 12 should be worded 
     as follows:  
          "The right to obtain from States protection and global 
     recognition without the fragmentation of the territories 
     which the indigenous people have traditionally occupied and 
     used, including the collective and individual right to 
     ownership, possession and use of lands and resources. States 
     may not use the indigenous territories that were evacuated 
     through forced displacement in circumstances affecting 
     indigenous survival".  


     7. We propose that the following wording should be added to 
     the end of paragraph 23:  

          "The right to autonomy must never be distorted and used 
     against the interests of the indigenous people".  

     8. We propose that paragraph 24 should be expanded as 

          "The right to maintain and decide upon the structures 
     of their autonomous institutions, without the regulation, 
     superimposition or replacement of such institutions by 
     institutions created by States". 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 5  


     [30 April 1992]
     [Original: Spanish]

          Overall, the draft meets our basic requirements. 
     Nevertheless, the aspirations of our indigenous peoples are 
     much higher than what can be achieved, namely a general 
     consensus. As we see it, there are still very marked 
     differences in the opinions of national Governments and our 
     views and the claims that we are making under customary law. 
     We believe that the draft document is on the right track, 
     provided that it is supplemented by other documents of 
     positive law already in force. However, we would like to 
     comment on some of the terms used in the paragraphs of the 
     draft, in order to make it more easily understood and to 
     avoid confusion.  



          "Believing ... in a spirit of coexistence with other 
     citizens". The word "talante" (spirit) is not understood by 
     the majority of indigenous communities, peoples and 
     organizations. We propose that a more comprehensible 
     alternative should be used, as follows:  

          "Believing ... with goodwill and the desire for 
     coexistence with other citizens".  

                                PART I


          "Indigenous peoples ... social, cultural and spiritual 
     development in conditions of freedom and dignity."  

          We think that this text is incomplete, and that the 
     words "equality" and "tolerance" should be added. The text 
     would therefore read:  

          "Indigenous peoples have the right to self-
     determination, in accordance with international law. By 
     virtue of this right, they freely determine their 
     relationship with the States in which they live, in a spirit 
     of coexistence with other citizens, and freely pursue their 
     economic, social, cultural and spiritual development in 
     conditions of freedom, equality, tolerance and dignity."  

                                PART II


          "Indigenous peoples have ... to self-identification."  

          The last word of the text, "self-identification", 
     should refer specifically to the aspect of identity. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 6  

          We propose the following wording: "Indigenous peoples 
     have the collective and individual right to maintain and 
     develop their distinct ethnic and cultural characteristics 
     and identities, including the right to their own identity."  


          "Indigenous peoples have the right to all forms of 
     education, including ... for these purposes."  

          In this paragraph, the word "including" should be 
     deleted because the indigenous peoples have the right to all 
     forms of education, which is basically the right to use 
     their own languages alternately with the other languages.  

          We propose the following wording: "Indigenous peoples 
     have the right to all forms of education, access to 
     education in their own languages, and the right to establish 
     and control their own educational systems and institutions. 
     Resources shall be provided by the State for these 

                               PART III


          "Indigenous peoples have the right ... shall not take 
     place in their lands and territories."  

          In this paragraph the words "respect for" should be 
     added after the words "right to".  

          We propose the following wording: "Indigenous peoples 
     have the right to respect for and protection of their 
     environment and productivity of their lands and territories 
     and the right to adequate assistance including international 
     cooperation to this end. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon 
     by the peoples concerned, military activities and the 
     storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall not take 
     place in their lands and territories."  

                                PART IV


          "The right to determine ... affecting them, and as far 
     as possible to develop, plan and implement such programmes 
     through their own institutions;".  

          In this paragraph the words "affecting them" should be 
     replaced by "which respond to their specific needs", because 
     this renders the idea of totality.  

          We propose the following text: "The right to determine, 
     plan and implement all health, housing and other social and 
     economic programmes which respond to their specific needs, 
     and as far as possible to develop, plan and implement such 
     programmes through their own institutions;". 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 7  


     [21 March 1992]
     [Original: Spanish]


          We wish to make the following impartial comments 
     regarding the ninth session of the Working Group in 1991:  

          (a) The organizers/rapporteurs and the representatives 
     of the indigenous organizations were all given the 
     opportunity to express themselves in a democratic manner;  

          (b) The experiences described by each people and the 
     participating representatives were very useful;  

          (c) The legal instrument which is being discussed, 
     namely the declaration, is a supranational instrument that 
     will lay the foundations for the next century;  

          (d) Most of the participants representing their 
     organizations had little legal expertise;  

          (e) The debate was serious and of a high standard;  

          (f) There was a lack of interest in the debate on the 
     part of some of the participants, who were more concerned 
     with making appointments to obtain financial support for 
     their organizations.  


     1. The draft declaration which is being discussed should be 
     used to promote the new indigenous legislation, and its 
     codification within international indigenous law.  

     2. The legal approach should also be to seek to promote 
     development, and to find parallel law or alternative and 
     indigenous law.  

     3. The text of the draft declaration should project the new 
     relationship between nation States and indigenous peoples.  

     4. The draft declaration should incline towards new models 
     of legal pluralism.  

     5. The draft declaration should promote respect for the 
     traditional systems and legal institutions of the indigenous 

     6. There should be more participation by indigenous jurists, 
     for example as rapporteurs.  

     7. Greater legal expertise is required in the drafting of 
     the declaration. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 8  

     8. Efforts should be made to safeguard the World Conference, 
     which is a forum of brotherhood and law, by ensuring that it 
     is conducted democratically.  

     9. The working documents should be made available to all the 
     participants in the required languages, including Spanish.  

     10. The new version of the paragraphs of the draft 
     declaration discussed during the ninth session should be 
     forwarded promptly to the participants so that they can 
     prepare themselves properly rather than just reading through 
     and not doing much analysis and study.  

     11. The draft declaration should be disseminated more 
     widely, especially to those who are participating or have 
     participated in any of the sessions, in order to enable them 
     to continue to work on improving the test.  

                        "TUPAY KATARI" MOVEMENT

     [30 April 1992]
     [Original: Spanish]

     1. The amendments to the preambular paragraphs and the 
     operative paragraphs, which address issues that are more of 
     substance than of form, are designed to classify certain 
     legal concepts and to contribute to the formulation of 
     provisions that are effective and coherent, as regards both 
     their interpretation and their practical application, in 
     keeping with the spirit of the international instruments on 
     the subject.  

     2. Finally, in order to respond to the cherished aspirations 
     of the indigenous peoples, new paragraphs and articles 
     should be added with a view to guaranteeing the effective 
     exercise of their land rights and their right to utilize 
     their natural resources, which are considered as being vital 
     to the survival of indigenous life.  


     3. Affirming that all indigenous people are born free and 
     equal in dignity and rights in accordance with the 
     international standards in force, while recognizing the 
     right of all individuals and groups to be different, to 
     consider themselves different and to be respected as such.  


     4. Considering that, like all peoples of the world, the 
     indigenous nations have contributed enormously through their 
     age-old cultures and ancestral traditions to the progress of 
     civilizations and hence to the enrichment of the diversity 
     and plurality of the universal cultures which constitute the 
     common heritage of humankind.  


     5. Recognizing that, as a result of the conquest of the 
     Americas, the pre-Columbian indigenous peoples were unjustly 
     dispossessed of their lands and subjected to a system of 
     servitude which resulted in the unjust, inequitable 
     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 9  
     and imperfect distribution of land, and degrading forms of 
     labour. This implies that the colonial legacy is the 
     expression and the root cause of the denial of the rights 
     and fundamental freedoms of the indigenous peoples as well 
     as the systematic violations thereof, the state of poverty 
     in which they live and the racial discrimination and 
     oppression which they endure.  


     6. Recognizing the urgent need to promote and respect the 
     rights of indigenous peoples and nations to their own 
     identity, in particular, to the diversity of their cultural 
     manifestations and their linguistic expressions, as well as 
     the right to their social structures, legal institutions and 
     philosophical concepts which without doubt constitute the 
     driving force of their history.  

                                PART I


     7. Indigenous peoples have the full right to self-
     determination, in accordance with international law. By 
     virtue of this inalienable right, they shall freely 
     determine their own way of life and political institutions, 
     shall promote their own economic, social and cultural 
     development and shall democratically elect their 
     representatives and authorities, in conformity with their 
     customs, practices and established standards and in a spirit 
     of coexistence and mutual understanding with other members 
     of the national community. It is the duty of the State to 
     guarantee the effective exercise of the right to self-


     6. The following should be added at the end of the 
     paragraph: "Any impediment or hindrance to the free exercise 
     of these rights is contrary to the universally recognized 
     principles of human rights".  


     7. Indigenous people are free and have the right to full 
     participation in the conduct of public affairs with the same 
     rights and obligations as all other human beings. No one 
     shall be subjected to racial discrimination on the basis of 
     his indigenous identity and social origin or compelled to 
     provide personal labour without just remuneration or his 
     full consent.  

                                PART II


     8. Indigenous peoples have the full right to live in dignity 
     and peace, to work in peace and to security. It is the duty 
     of States to protect indigenous communities and individuals 
     against the various manifestations of genocide and to 
     guarantee the true exercise of these rights and freedoms, by 
     ensuring the physical and mental integrity of the human 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 10  


     9. Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual 
     right to security and protection from any acts of ethnocide 
     and cultural genocide, which are acts condemned by the 
     international community as crimes against humanity. 
     Appropriate protection, prevention and redress are 
     applicable to:  

          (a) Any unlawful act which has the aim of depriving the 
     indigenous populations of their identity, through the use of 
     coercive methods;  

          (b) Any measure of assimilation, alienation or 
     integration, carried out through pressure or intimidation, 
     including the use of force to the detriment of and with 
     disregard for the indigenous cultures and philosophies;  

          (c) Any arbitrary dispossession of the indigenous 
     populations of the lands and resources which they have 
     occupied and exploited since time immemorial;  

          (d) Any act involving the use of force to impose upon 
     the indigenous peoples alien cultures, religions, creeds and 
     ways of life whose content is incompatible with the 
     indigenous perception of the universe and nature;  

          (e) Any racist propaganda, incitement to violence, 
     hatred and intolerance which might offend the dignity and 
     harm the life of indigenous peoples and nations.  


     10. Indigenous peoples have the imprescriptible right to 
     revive, preserve and express their cultural identity and 
     traditions in the appropriate manner. By virtue of this 
     right, the indigenous populations and communities have full 
     powers to safeguard and promote the constant development of 
     their past and present cultural and artistic traditions, 
     such as historical sites, archaeological ruins, works of art 
     and sculpture, musical instruments, artefacts, designs and 
     scientific and technical knowledge. This right also invests 
     the indigenous populations with the power to claim 
     restitution of the cultural and spiritual property and goods 
     taken from them illegally, without their free consent and in 
     violation of the provisions and laws of the country, and the 
     consequent reparation for material and moral damage.  


     11. Indigenous peoples have the right to restore, use, 
     develop and transmit to future generations their own history 
     and, community values, their languages and their writing 
     systems and literature, as well as the right to maintain the 
     original names of their communities, to pay tribute to the 
     memory of their martyrs and to respect their sacred and 
     mythological sites. It is the duty of States to adopt 
     appropriate measures to ensure that the indigenous peoples 
     are duly heard and heeded and can make themselves understood 
     in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where 
     necessary through the provision of interpretation and other 
     effective means of communication. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 11  


     12. Indigenous peoples have the full right to comprehensive 
     and diversified education, in particular basic and higher 
     education in their own languages and the right to establish, 
     administer and control their own educational systems and 
     institutions. States shall recognize education as the 
     highest duty and shall therefore provide the necessary 
     resources for the execution of and compliance with the 
     stipulated provisions.  

                               PART III


     13. Indigenous peoples and nations have the right to 
     maintain their profound integral and spiritual relationship 
     of respect for and love of Mother Earth, which has been 
     considered from time immemorial as the source of all life 
     and the factor that creates balance and harmony between man 
     and nature. By virtue of this established right, the lands 
     and territories, including the resources thereof, 
     traditionally occupied and used by the indigenous 
     populations are inalienable, indivisible, imprescriptible 
     and not subject to confiscation.  


     14. States, as the representatives of the national community 
     concerned, shall guarantee the indigenous peoples the 
     original right to collective and individual ownership of 
     their lands, and the possession, use and enjoyment thereof, 
     in particular the right to the renewable and non-renewable 
     natural resources of the soil and subsoil, the water 
     resources, flora and fauna, forest reserves, water and air, 
     in accordance with their customs and with their material and 
     spiritual needs.  


     15. Barring a decision to the contrary and an agreement 
     between the parties, the creation of limited-liability 
     companies and limited partnerships on indigenous lands, and 
     the exploitation and illegal use by transnational 
     corporations of the resources and strategic reserves 
     thereof, are forbidden. States have an obligation to adopt 
     effective measures to ensure the genuine exercise of the 
     right to ownership of the land and its natural resources, by 
     protecting them against any act of illegal seizure.  


     16. The agro-industrial activities of multinational 
     enterprises shall be subject to special regulations and 
     shall preferably be governed by the indigenous laws. States 
     shall consult the indigenous peoples and obtain their free 
     consent before granting transnational corporations any 
     concessions for the exploration and exploitation of 
     strategic resources in indigenous territories. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 12  


     17. The use of the lands, territories and the strategic 
     resources thereof, which are owned by the indigenous 
     peoples, for military purposes, or for the establishment of 
     weapons factories, or for the storage of radioactive and 
     toxic wastes which might pollute the environment and 
     threaten the life of the populations, is forbidden. 
     Indigenous peoples reserve the right to take legal measures 
     to protect their lands and resources until their territories 
     have been completely and totally demilitarized.  


     18. Indigenous peoples have the right to the restitution of 
     the lands which were usurped and the territories of which 
     they were dispossessed by coercive means, with the 
     subsequent confiscation of their property without their free 
     consent, by virtue of theories based upon or related to the 
     discovery of America and the concepts of terra nullius, and 
     uncultivated lands. In response to the legitimate claims of 
     the indigenous peoples, States shall guarantee just and 
     equitable compensation for the lands, property and 
     belongings of which they have been deprived. If the parties 
     to a dispute reach an agreement, the compensation shall 
     preferably take the form of a grant of suitable arable land, 
     equal to or better than the land they had previously owned 
     in terms of quality and legal status.  


     19. Indigenous peoples have the right to adequate protection 
     of their intellectual property, in particular the rights 
     relating to the preservation of their age-old cultures, 
     literary, artistic and scientific works, artists' 
     interpretations and performances, radio broadcasts, 
     inventions in all the areas of human activity, designs, 
     models and trade marks, and the protection of medicinal and 
     sacred plants.  

                                PART V


     20. Indigenous peoples enjoy the full right to active 
     participation on an equal footing with all other citizens 
     and without discrimination of any kind in the political, 
     economic, social and cultural life of the State of which 
     they are members, in accordance with the legal provisions on 
     the subject. The State shall guarantee the effective 
     exercise of political and economic rights so that specific 
     characteristics and customs and established standards are 
     duly reflected in the legal system and the political 
     institutions of the State and that the ancestral ways of 
     life and practices of community labour are recognized and 
     given due consideration in the formulation of national 
     economic and cultural development programmes. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 13  


     21.  (a) The right to full participation in the conduct of 
     public affairs, through representatives chosen by 
     themselves, in both the formulation of any indigenous 
     policies and laws at the national and international levels, 
     and the process of their adoption and implementation, which 
     may affect the rights, freedoms, lives and destinies of 
     indigenous peoples and nations.  

          (b) (No change.)  


     22. By virtue of the principle of the self-determination of 
     peoples and nations, indigenous populations are recognized 
     as having the collective right to autonomy in regard to 
     their internal political and administrative system, and they 
     shall have the authority to administer their lands and 
     resources, to promote education, culture, the information 
     and mass communications media, religion, health, housing and 
     social welfare, to settle disputes by peaceful means, to 
     ensure the protection of the environment, and to oversee 
     local taxation for the financing of autonomous programmes. 
     States have the duty to meet the just aspirations of 
     indigenous peoples to freedom and economic and social well-


     23. The right to maintain and develop contacts and 
     cooperative relations, including cultural and social 
     exchanges and trade, with fellow Indian peoples within 
     States and across State boundaries in a spirit of common 
     interest, friendship and peace in the world. It is the duty 
     of States to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the 
     observance and application of these rights.  


     [12 March 1992]
     [Original: English]

     1. FIAN's expertise is in the field of the human right to 
     food. In many situations the full-fledged right to food, 
     which is in particular a right to feed oneself, can only be 
     safeguarded by protecting or fulfilling land rights. 
     Therefore land rights and the right to land has been a focus 
     of FIAN's work. For more than five years FIAN has been 
     struggling against violations of land rights. This involved 
     the rights of peasants and the rural landless, but in at 
     least 50 per cent of the cases FIAN became active on behalf 
     of indigenous peoples' land rights. For indigenous peoples 
     land is life.  

     2. On the basis of this experience FIAN welcomes the current 
     draft universal declaration. It contains practically all the 
     aspects we encountered in our work with indigenous peoples' 
     land rights. FIAN welcomes in particular the operative 
     paragraphs 6 (c), 14, 15, 16, 17, draft 18. 

     E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1992/3 page 14  

     3. We would like to make a few minor suggestions. To 
     operative paragraph 18 the words "including in particular 
     seeds and genetic resources" could be added for emphasis, 
     since these are an important resource for food and other 
     agricultural production developed by indigenous peoples. In 
     draft operative paragraph 18 the passage from operative 
     paragraph 16 that "compensation shall preferably take the 
     form of lands and territories ... equal to those which were 
     lost" or some shorter version may be added for clarity.  


     [20 March 1992]
     [Original: Spanish]

     1. We have read the report and we think that both the 
     preambular and operative paragraphs of the draft declaration 
     on the rights of indigenous peoples are good, because they 
     implicitly recognize that indigenous peoples are different 
     ethnic groups with the right to their own culture.  

     2. The paragraphs that recognize the right of indigenous 
     peoples to land and territories are important not only 
     because they have occupied and farmed them from the time of 
     their ancestors but also because they are the groups which 
     have preserved the environment and nature in excellent 

     3. Operative paragraph 20 is important because it recognizes 
     the right of indigenous peoples to participate with other 
     citizens in the life of the State.  


     4. Part I, operative paragraph 1 states that: "Indigenous 
     peoples have the right to self-determination, in 
     accordance..."; we feel that a clarification to the effect 
     that indigenous peoples are nations living within States is 

     5. In our opinion, the ninth preambular paragraph, which 
     speaks of the demilitarization of the lands and territories 
     of indigenous peoples, is excellent, especially now when 
     there is a military presence in many Latin American 
     indigenous territories.  

     6. In part II, we fully agree with operative paragraph 12 
     regarding the indigenous peoples' right to the use of and 
     access to all the different types of communications media in 
     their own languages.  

     7. Part III, operative paragraph 16 is excellent because it 
     recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to restitution of 
     or compensation for lands and territories.  

     8. We would only add that in our view reference should also 
     be made to the right of indigenous peoples to be recognized 
     as producers, who have a contribution to make to the 
     economic activity of States. 

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