14 November 2016
EU Identifies Policy Actions on Indigenous Peoples
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The European Commission published a Joint Staff Working Document on implementing the EU external policy on indigenous peoples.

The document recommends the use of the EU's rights-based approach to development (RBA) as the main vehicle to integrate the rights and issues of indigenous peoples in the EU's implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

17 October 2016: According to an EU Commission document, the EU will continue to engage with Arctic indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure that their views and rights are respected and promoted in the EU policies affecting the Arctic, in the context of its Arctic Policy. The paper also recalls the commitment to advancing consistency between the EU’s internal and external policy towards indigenous peoples. The EU Arctic Policy was adopted in June 2016.

The Joint Staff Working Document, titled ‘Implementing EU External Policy on Indigenous Peoples,’ focuses on the EU’s external policies and development cooperation. It provides an overview of actions supporting indigenous peoples, in relation to the developments within the UN and its instruments such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Outcome Document of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP).

The paper identifies ways to improve the implementation of EU action for the benefit of indigenous peoples, including: systematically include indigenous peoples issues, including implementation of the UNDRIP, in all political and human rights dialogues with countries and regional organizations where the issue is relevant, in particular in Africa and Asia; explore the possibility of conducting regular High-Level EU-Indigenous Peoples dialogues to inform and underpin EU external action policy and its implementation on matters affecting indigenous peoples worldwide; ensure the participation of indigenous peoples’ representative organizations in the Policy Forum on Development (PFD), the EU’s multi-stakeholders’ space for dialogue on development policies; and systematically include references to indigenous peoples in policy documents such as the Human Rights and Democracy Country Strategies and the Road Maps for EU engagement with civil society.

The document also recommends the use of the EU’s rights-based approach to development (RBA) as the main vehicle to integrate the rights and issues of indigenous peoples in the EU’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably by ensuring their full participation and free and prior informed consent (FPIC) in a meaningful and systematic way in EU-funded programmes and projects. [Joint Staff Working Document]

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