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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Posts with tag: permanent forum on indigenous issues

June 2, 2013

The Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh

by Brendan Welsh

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoI attended a side event of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which pertained to Article 30 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: an article addressing military activities on indigenous land. The event focused specifically on the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, home to over  half a million indigenous peoples of varying linguistic, tribal, and racial backgrounds.

Shapan Adnan, of the International CHT Commission, told us that before the 1997 CHT Peace Accord, the Bangladeshi government brought 400,000 non-indigenous people into the CHT in response to regional violence and insurgency. During ...

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June 2, 2013

Breaking the Silence on Violence against Indigenous Girls, Adolescents and Young Women

by Marissa Costello

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoBased on available country data, Say No UNiTE reports that, “up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime – the majority by husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.”

I was surprised to hear there is such violence against indigenous girls, adolescents and young women as well because different indigenous peoples speaking as a previous side event at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues called Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion stated that women in particular were valued in their culture. I assumed somehow that indigenous women were more ...

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May 31, 2013

Education and Indigenous Youth: Jahalin Bedouins

by Brendan Welsh

The Twelfth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is currently meeting at the United Nations. The NGO Working Group on Israel-Palestine held a video screening of Nowhere Left to Go and a related briefing on the Jahalin Bedouin in our office on May 22. The briefing again raised the question of indigenous parents concerned for the wellbeing of their children, particularly their education.

We were blessed to host Eid Jahalin of the Jahalin Bedouin people and Angela Godfrey-Goldstein of the Jahalin Association. Eid spoke to us about the struggles of his people living in the ...

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May 30, 2013

Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion

by Marissa Costello

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoOn May 22, 2013 I attended a side event of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues entitled “Indigenous Peoples and Freedom of Religion.” Speakers included individuals who are members of various tribes such as the Apaches and Sand Hill Indians but individuals from NGOs also participated. People from all walks of life came to educate themselves on the issues that indigenous peoples face and what are the possible solutions to address these issues.

Three key speakers served on the indigenous peoples’ panel:  Roberto Mukaro Borrero, Chief Ronald Yonaguska Holloway, and Steven Gonzales. Mr. Borrero is a consultant ...

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May 24, 2013

Indigenous food sovereignty

by Brendan Welsh

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoI attended a side event of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues entitled, “Our Food Is Our Life.” The presenters elaborated on Article 31 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which addresses the sovereignty of indigenous people over their food, traditions, and intellectual property.

Andrea Carmen, executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, said, “since the Mayan creation story states that human beings are made from corn, Mayans see the issue of genetically modified American corn as a spiritual one.” According to Carmen, “the USDA’s poisonous corn varieties, unfit for human ...

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May 24, 2013

Education and Indigenous Youth: Melanesians and Quechuas

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues logoby Brendan Welsh

The Twelfth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is currently meeting at the United Nations. On May 22, I had the pleasure of attending the event on Education and Indigenous Youth, organized by the Permanent Missions of Australia and Ecuador. Mr. Joseph Elu, a Chairperson of the TSRA (a branch of the Australian government that serves the Melanesian indigenous population of the Torres Strait), spoke about what his office does to promote education amongst the indigenous youth on the islands. “People say Australia is a first world country but our indigenous people are very behind ...

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May 23, 2013

Three Prayer Concerns - May 23

The Jahalin Bedouin people
Pray for the Jahalin Bedouin people in the West Bank who have been displaced from their homes, marginalized by the governing authorities in their region, and terrorized by individuals who wish to do them and their children harm. Pray that there would be policies enacted to protect and serve them, and that no new legislation would be passed that would either force them to leave their land, or abandon their chosen lifestyle of raising and herding animals.

All indigenous children
Pray that the Lord would strengthen and protect indigenous children all over the world, and that ...

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August 8, 2012

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

From the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues:
The 18th commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples will be held on Thursday, 9 of August 2012 at the UN Headquarters in New York, organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues DSPD/DESA, the United Nations Department of Public Information, and the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
There will be statements delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs - DESA, the Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development – DESA,  the Chairperson ...

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May 24, 2012

Mayan Renaissance

Postcard of screeningI attended my first film premiere during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.

Mayan Renaissance features Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum and shares 4000 years of Mayan wisdom and hisory. This powerful and inspiring film tells the story of the Mayan people: the rise and glory of the Mayan civilization; the arrival of the Spanish and 500 years of oppression and resistance; the efforts of the Mayans to regain their voice and shape their own future; the creation of an indigenous political party; Rigoberta Menchu's campaigns for President; the people's vision for the future; and ...

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