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26 April 2017
16th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
New York, USA

PC-JPIC Head Meets Filipino Officials Attending the UNPFII 16 in New York City

Fr. Rey Ondap, CP, Executive Director of the Passionist Center- Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation, Inc (PC-JPIC) made several courtesy calls with Filipino government officials who made statements here today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City during the 16th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which started last 24 April and is set to end on 5 May 2017.

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is a high- level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. It was established by the UN General Assembly on 28 July 2000 by resolution 2000/22, with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

The Permanent Forum provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations, through ECOSOC and promotes the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system. The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002.

Philippine government officials led by Philippines Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin, Jr and Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana of the Commission on Human Rights made statements during the session on Agenda Item 4 on the implementation of the six mandated areas of the Permanent Forum in relation to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Fr. Rey Ondap, CP met with these Filipino officials after they made their statements on the floor updating them on the situation of indigenous peoples communities the PC-JPIC has been working with in SOCSARGEN region in the southern part of the Philippines in Mindanao Island, including the issues confronted by the B’laan leaders in Malapatan, Sarangani Province who were illegally arrested by the police last 22 February 2017.


In the afternoon, Fr. Rey Ondap, CP attended the side-event of the Tebtebba Foundation, an indigenous peoples NGO based in Baguio City for their side-event on the Green Climate Fund and had a photo-session with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz.

Some of the other noteworthy interventions for the day made by indigenous peoples representatives for the agenda item of the day involved the complaint raised by the North Dakota tribes in the US for the oil pipeline traversing their lands and the Crimean Tatar legislators in Kazakhstan who were arrested by the Russian government for holding their sessions. Also mentioned repeatedly were the violations of the rights of the Sami peoples of Finland by the fisheries agreement entered into by Finland and Norway.



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