Norway would like to thank you for the comprehensive and enlightened introduction to the preparation process. We will also like to commend the achievements of the indigenous peoples for their preparations so far.
Norway actively supported the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council (A/RES/65/198 and A/HRC/18/L.23) which highlighted that the preparatory process for the World Conference on indigenous peoples should be conducted in partnership between Member States and indigenous peoples.
In this regard, we also want to highlight that it is positive that indigenous peoples have made efforts to organize themselves in an open and representative process, through the global coordinating group, in order to participate in the preparatory process.
Norway welcomes the appointment of Mr. John Bernhard Henriksen, a representative of the Sami Parliament in Norway, by the President of the General Assembly to conduct inclusive informal consultations together with Ambassador de Alba from Mexico.
The global coordinating group, that elected Mr. Henriksen as the indigenous representative, has been established independently from Governmental involvement. This underscores the role of Mr. Henriksen as a true representative of indigenous peoples.
The Norwegian Sami Parliament (the Sàmediggi) has invited indigenous peoples to attend a Global Preparatory Indigenous Peoples’ Conference in Alta, Norway, next June, with the aim to consolidate indigenous peoples’ strategies and priorities for the World Conference in 2014. The Norwegian Government is currently in a good dialogue with the Sàmediggi about the preparations, and we will support the conference financially. We hope for wide participation by indigenous people’s representatives at the Alta Conference.
Norway will also contribute to cover travel expenses for indigenous peoples’ representatives to UN meetings were the preparatory discussions towards the World Conference in 2014 will take place. In 2012, Norway has contributed USD 100 000 to the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, and we will continue this support over the next years.
We encourage other states to also contribute to the independent preparations organised by indigenous peoples globally over the next years, through regional meetings, - like the Alta Conferences, and to the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations in the UN system.