Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – First session

And while CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is out of action, something of real importance is shaping up in Geneva – the first meeting of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (The only real experts, of course, being First Peoples themselves.)

Duration

According to the resolution 6/36 of the Human Rights Council, the Expert Mechanism shall meet once annually three days in its first year and thereafter for up to five days.

Date and venue

The first session will take place from 1 to 3 October 2008, in Room XIX of the Palais des Nations, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Provisional agenda

1. Election of officers.
2. Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.
3. Implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 6/36 entitled “Expert mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples”.
4. Consideration of thematic expertise on the rights of indigenous peoples, focused mainly on studies and research-based advice.
5. Proposals to the Human Rights Council for its consideration and approval.
6. Adoption of the report.

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/ExpertMechanism/index.htm

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Mandate

Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 6/36, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (hereinafter “the Expert Mechanism), composed of five experts, has been established to assist the Human Rights Council in providing thematic expertise on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The Expert Mechanism will provide its thematic expertise in the manner and form requested by the Council. To this end, it will focus mainly on studies and research-based advice. Besides, the Expert Mechanism may also suggest proposals to the Council for its consideration and approval, within the scope of its work as set out by the Council.

The Human Rights Council has appointed five experts following the procedure established in paragraphs 39 to 53 of the annex to Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007. The Human Rights Council has strongly recommended to give due regard to experts of indigenous origin. The experts will serve for a three-year period and may be re-elected for one additional period.

Although the Expert Mechanism shall not adopt resolutions or decisions, it should determine its own methods of work. For its first session, it will meet for three days and thereafter for up to five days and these sessions may be a combination of open and private meetings.

In addition, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous and a member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues shall be invited to attend and contribute to its annual meeting. The meeting shall be open to the participation, as observers, of:

* States
* United Nations mechanisms, bodies and specialized agencies, funds and programmes
* Intergovernmental organizations, regional organizations and mechanisms in the field of human rights
* National Human Rights Institutions and other relevant national bodies
* Academics and experts on indigenous issues
* Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council

As well as of:

Indigenous Peoples organizations and Non-Governmental organizations, whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, based on arrangements, including Economic and Social resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996, and practices observed by the Commission on Human Rights, through open and transparent procedure in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Human Rights Council.

Finally, the Human Rights Council requested the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide human, technical and financial assistance to the Expert Mechanism for the effective fulfilment of its mandate. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will act as the Secretariat of the Expert Mechanism and can be contacted at the following electronic address: expertmechanism@ohchr.org.