onsdag 30. april 2008

Joint Statement- Indigenous Children and Youth

Supported by:
Indigenous Youth Caucus, Lipan Apache Womens Defense, Centro De Cultura Pueblo Nación Mapuche Pelon Xaru, Cabildo Wayuu Nouna de Campamento, Movimiento de Juventud Kuna, Youth Challenge International – Costa Rica.

Statement on Agenda Iten 8(a)- Indigenous Children and Youth

Good morning Madame Chair, Permanent Forum members, State delegates, brothers and sisters. We would like to acknowledge the peoples of this land, the rivers, the seas and all living beings that inhabit this place from time immerial.

My name is Alancay Morales Garro, young indigenous person from the Brunka people in Costa Rica. I speak on behalf of my organization, Kus Kura, The Central American Indigenous Youth Network and the Indigenous Youth Caucus.

I’m the director the “Indigenous Youth Empowerment for a Borderless Region” project, coordinated by Kus Kura S.C., Movimiento de Juventud Kuna and Youth Challenge International, sponsored by the European Union. This project is being carried out with 12 indigenous peoples groups from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

This initiative responds to the recommendations given by youth participants of the Iberoamerican Summit in 2005 and the UNPFII in its sessions of 2003 and 2006, regarding indigenous youth participation at local, national and international levels. As it is widely known, active indigenous youth participation on decision making processes local, national and international is very limited. This represents serious consequences for actual and future beneficiaries of our peoples, since youth perspectives have been done through adults, thus, these processes have left outside approximately 30% of the indigenous population.

Active participation of indigenous youth will allow an effective impact on different levels and it will strengthen cultural and experience exchanges between youth representatives from the region.

This is a Youth-Led development initiative, by young people, for young people. Which has allowed us to have professional and personal growth as present and future leaders, preparing us for the challenges we must face in the future.

Among the priority themes, we are developing issues such as: youth empowerment, policy implementation and regional union of Indigenous Peoples. With the analysis of these issues, we make progress to overcome the exclusion and vulnerability situation that we currently face as young indigenous people.

This initiative contributes to the empowerment of young indigenous people in Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala, allowing us to grow as leaders and participate in the self-determination of our peoples according to our aspirations and needs, as it is clearly stated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights instruments.

Madame Chair,

We Recommend that:

- The eventual membership of Indigenous Youth as Permament Forum Members.

- The Permanent Forum supports initiatives that strengthen and guarantee indigenous youth empowerment for our effective participation on different levels and decision making processes.

With respect and humility from our organizations and the Indigenous Youth Caucus, we offer to socialize the positive results of this experience in Central America, in order to develop similar initiatives in other regions of the world, aiming to guarantee the empowerment of indigenous youth.

Thank you very much!

Alancay Morales Garro

E-mail: alancaym@kus-kura.org

Eriel Deranger

Indigenous Youth Caucus Communications Officer



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