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May 31, 2008

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Cordi IP groups host Asia Workshop for UN DRIP Implementation

BAGUIO CITY (May 31)-The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and Tebtebba Foundation are teaming up with other Asian indigenous peoples' organizations in an Asia-wide workshop on the promotion of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) from July 7-12, 2008 at the AIM Conference Center, Camp John Hay, here. The activity will serve as a venue for indigenous peoples to strategize on how to push Asian governments to implement the UN DRIP. Working with CPA and Tebtebba on this activity are the Asia Indigenous Women's Network (AIWN), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA).

Since 1985, CPA actively participated in drafting and lobbying for the Declaration until it was finally adopted by the 61st UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007 by 143 countries including the Philippines.

"The activity aims to gather indigenous leaders, advocates and representatives of UN agencies to discuss the general situation, key issues, challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the UNDRIP and the expected output of this gathering will be a concrete action plan for advocacy, lobby and activities for the implementation of the UNDRIP at the national and international levels," said CPA Secretary General Windel Bolinget.

He explained that while indigenous peoples celebrated the passage of the Declaration which sets minimum standards towards the recognition of IP collective rights, majority of Asian governments that voted for it still do not legally recognize the existence of IPs as distinct from the rest of the population and have certain collective rights.

The workshop will be participated by some 75 indigenous peoples' leaders and international advocates from 13 Asian countries including the Philippines and United Nations (UN) agencies. Participating United Nations (UN) agencies in Asia and the Philippines, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the European Commission (EC) Delegation to the Philippines will be presenting their plans and programmes related to the implementation of the UNDRIP.# Cordillera Peoples Alliance

Windel Bolinget
Secretary General, CPA

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