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Participate

How to Participate

The 2007 UNSCHR conference will unite 60 youth from around the world at UNIS and the UN Headquarters in New York for discussion, collaboration, and action related to the rights of migrants. Each co-sponsor will bring up to 10 student representatives to New York to participate. Many other students from countries around the globe will join through videoconferencing and web-casting.

The interactive forums are only open to middle (intermediate) or secondary students. In order to participate, teachers can register their students or students can register themselves. Registration for the forums will open on 6 November. Please note it may take up to 24 hours for a registration to be approved after it has been submitted.

Sub-themes for Conference Working Groups

Below are five sub-themes and related topics that are important in considering the theme of “Recognising the Rights of Indigenous Peoples .” Each of these sub-themes will be topics for the working groups established at the conference, where participants draft the Plan of Action. Participants should therefore explore and research each theme thoroughly in preparation.

Here are the sub-themes that will be incorporated into the students' " Plan of Action":

  1. Right to Self-Determination
  2. Right to Land, Territory and Natural Resources
  3. Right to Culturally Sensitive Education
  4. Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health
  5. Right to Employment
  6. Protecting the Rights of Indigenous Children and Youth


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Tips for writing a Plan of Action

  1. Preamble – The introduction to a formal document that explains its purpose which may include reference to the U.N. charter, citations or statements made by the U.N. body or agency on the issue, recognition of achievements of the work or efforts of regional organizations in dealing with the issue, general statements on the topic, its significance, its effects and its challenges.

    Suggested Preambulatory Phrases:

    Acknowledging...
    Affirming...
    Alarmed ...
    Anxious ...
    Approving ...
    Aware …
    Bearing in mind ...
    Being convinced ...
    Believing ...
    Cognizant ...
    Concerned ...
    Confident ...
    Conscious ...
    Considering ...
    Contemplating ...
    Convinced ...
    Declaring ...
    Deeply disturbed…
    Desiring…
    Determined …
    Emphasizing...
    Encouraged...
    Endorsing...
    Expressing...
    ...appreciation...
    ...deep appreciation...
    Expecting ...
    Fulfilling...
    Fully …
    ...aware...
    ...believing...
    ...bearing in mind...
    Grieved…
    Guided by...
    Having…
    ...adopted...
    ...approved...
    ...considered...
    ...examined further…
    ...received...
    ...reviewed...
    Keeping in mind...
    Mindful…
    Noting...
    ...further...
    ...with approval...
    ...with concern...
    ...with deep concern…
    ...with grave concern…
    ...with regret...
    ...with satisfaction...
    Observing... Reaffirming...
    Realizing...
    Recalling...
    Recognizing...
    Referring...
    Regretting...
    Reiterating...
    Seeking...
    Stressing...
    Welcoming...
  1. Operative Clauses – Clauses that are set out to achieve the main goals of the issue. Operative clauses should be organized in a logical progression, and each clause should contain a single idea or policy proposal. This may also include strategies on achieving a goal.

    Suggested Operative Phrases:

    Accepts...
    Adopts...
    Affirms…
    Appeals...
    Appreciates...
    Approves...
    Authorizes...
    Calls upon...
    Commends...
    Concurs...
    Condemns...
    Confirms...
    Congratulates...
    Considers...
    Decides...
    ...accordingly...
    Declares...
    Deplores...
    Designates...
    Directs...
    Emphasizes...
    Encourages...
    Endorses...
    Expresses...
    ...its appreciation...
    ...its conviction...
    ...its regret...
    ...its sympathy...
    ...its thanks...
    ...the belief...
    ...the hope...
    Further...
    …concurs…
    …invites
    ...proclaims...
    ...reminds...
    ...recommends...
    ...requests...
    ...resolves...
    Instructs...
    Invites...
    Notes...
    ...with appreciation
    ...with approval...
    ...with interest...
    ...with satisfaction...
    Reaffirms...
    ...its belief...
    Recognizes...
    Recommends...
    Regrets...
    Reiterates…
    Renews its appeal
    Repeats...
    Suggests...
    Strongly...
    Supports...
    Takes note of...
    Transmits...
    Urges...
    Welcomes...
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Glossary

Accede: "Accession" is the act whereby a State accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other States. It has the same legal effect as ratification. Accession usually occurs after the treaty has entered into force.

Collective: Denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole.

Colonization: An act of colonizing, meaning to establish a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state.

Convention: Legally binding agreement between states; used synonymously with treaty and covenant. Conventions are stronger than Declarations. The United Nations General Assembly creates international norms and standards when it adopts Conventions; Member States can then ratify the UN Conventions, signifying acceptance of their obligations. State Parties to a Convention can be held accountable for violating them.

Covenant: A legally binding agreement between States used synonymously with treaty and convention.

Declaration: A document that represents agreed upon standards, but which is not legally binding. The General Assembly often issues influential but legally non-binding declarations. Enter into force: When it enters into force, a treaty is legally binding on all parties that have ratified the treaty. A treaty usually goes into effect when a certain number of member states have ratified it.

General Assembly: The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is composed of representatives of all Member States, each of which has one vote. The General Assembly passes resolutions on important issues concerning everything from outer space to disarmament.

Indigenous: No definition has ever been adopted by any UN-system body. In absence of a consensus on the meaning of this term, Jose R. Martinez Cobo, the Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, has offered a working definition: “Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system.”

International Decade: An International Decade is a ten-year period in which the UN focuses on a specific topic (for example: Indigenous Peoples) and tries to fulfill important goals regarding that topic.

NGO - The World Bank, defines NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) as "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development". NGOs are typically non-profit organisations which depend, in whole or in part, on charitable donations and voluntary service.

Rapporteur: An expert entrusted by the UN with a special human rights mandate, acting in his or her personal capacity.

Ratify: Ratification defines the international act whereby a State indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties intended to show their consent by such an act. The institution of ratification grants States the necessary time-frame to seek the required approval for the treaty on the domestic level and to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to that treaty.

Reservations: When a State makes a reservation to a treaty, it means that the State considers itself bound to the treaty, except for those provisions to which it makes the reservation. A reservation enables a state to accept a multilateral treaty as a whole by giving it the possibility not to apply certain provisions with which it does not want to comply. Reservations must not be incompatible with the object and the purpose of the treaty. Furthermore, a treaty might prohibit reservations or only allow for certain reservations to be made.

Self-determination: The fundamental right of all peoples to determine their economic, social, political, and cultural development.

Signed: To write one’s [country’s] name as a token of assent, responsibility or obligation.

Treaty: A contract in writing between two or more political authorities (as states or sovereigns) formally signed by representatives duly authorized and usually ratified by the lawmaking authority of the state.

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: When the General Assembly adopted the Programme of Activities for the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples; it recognized that the establishment of the Forum was one of the primary objectives of the Decade.

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action: 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna discussed the creation of the Permanent Forum. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action recommended that such a forum should be established within the framework of the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (1995-2004).

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Indigenous Organisations

The following active organizations of indigenous peoples have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council:

1. Asociación Kunas Unidos por Nabguana
2. Four Directions Council
3. Grand Council of the Crees (Quebec)
4. Indian Council of South America
5. Indian Law Resource Centre
6. Indigenous World Association
7. International Indian Treaty Council
8. International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development
9. Inuit Circumpolar Conference
10. National Aboriginal and Islander Legal Services Secretariat
11. National Indian Youth Council
12. Saami Council
13. Sejekto Cultural Association of Costa Rica
14. Yachay Wasi
15. World Council of Indigenous Peoples

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Contact Information for UNSCHR Co-Sponsors

    Carol Baur Foundation
    Campos Eliseos 75-1
    Polanco, C.P. 11580  Mexico D.F.
    Email: fcbaur@carolbaur.edu.mx
    URL:   www.carolbaur.edu.mx

    Global Education Motivators (GEM)
    Chestnut Hill College
    9601 Germantown Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19118
    Phone: 1-215-248-1150
    Email: gem@chc.edu
    URL:   www.gem-ngo.org

    InterConnections 21
    PO Box 960
    Wilson, WY 83014
    Phone: 1-307-733-0549
    info@ic21.org
    www.ic21.org

    UN International School (UNIS)
    United Nations International School, Copyright 2004
    24-50 FDR Drive
    New York, NY 10010
    Tel: (212) 684-7400
    jbassenne@unis.org

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5-7 December 2007


UN International School, NY

United Nations
Headquarters, NY


Intermediate and
Secondary Students
(grades 7-12)


Recognising the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 



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