The Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference for the high-level plenary meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to be called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (HLPM/WCIP) was held 10-12 June 2013 in Alta, Norway. Over 600 Indigenous delegates and advisors, observers and representatives of the world’s media attended the gathering which was hosted by the Sami Parliament of Norway. The objective of the Alta 2013 preparatory conference was to help strengthen mutual cooperation, as well as identify and coordinate important problems and issues affecting the world’s indigenous peoples and the effort to safeguard their human rights ahead of the HLPM/WCIP scheduled for 22 – 23 September 2014 in New York.
As a result of the gathering and previous geo-political and thematic caucus meetings around the globe, the Alta Outcome Document was adopted by consensus by participants in Alta. The Alta Outcome document identifies overarching themes and makes recommendations for the upcoming HLPM/WCIP. These themes include:
- Indigenous Peoples’ lands, territories, resources, oceans and waters;
- Implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- United Nations action for support for the implementation of rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- Indigenous peoples’ priorities for development with free, prior and informed consent;
In September, the Alta Outcome Document was submitted as an attachment to a letter to the UN Secretary-General requesting that the document be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly. The letter was signed by nine member States including Bolivia, Denmark, Finland, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway and Peru. As a result, it is now considered an official document of the UN (A/67/994).
The Global Coordinating Group and Indigenous Peoples around the globe have been lobbying States to ensure that the priorities outlined in the Alta Outcome Document are reflected in the interactive hearing, HLPM/WCIP and the “concise, action-orientated outcome document” that the HLPM/WCIP will adopt. This document, developed in consultation with UN member States and Indigenous Peoples is to “contribute to the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and promote the achievement of all internationally agreed development goals.”
Alta Outcome Document
Full list of conference participants – Jan. 2014