Delegate Brown calls for Navajo Nation’s permanent participation within the United Nations

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office
202-682-7390

For Immediate Release

Delegate Brown calls for Navajo Nation’s permanent participation within the United Nations

UNITED NATIONS—Navajo Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown today affirmed the Navajo Nation’s support of enabling the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions at the United Nations before members of the U.N. The U.N. consultation was held during the 16th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at U.N. headquarters.

“The Navajo Nation supports Indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions to attend and participate in all meetings of the General Assembly and its main committees on issues affecting them,” stated Delegate Brown.

The proposal is aimed at enabling the selection and venues of participation of Indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions within the U.N. Currently, the Navajo Nation and other indigenous nations must go through nongovernmental organizations or civil societies in order to participate in the U.N.

Additionally, Delegate Brown said the Navajo Nation supports the establishment of a new mechanism to select Indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions for participation within the U.N.

“The Navajo Nation recommends that Indigenous peoples and/or experts on the rights of indigenous peoples must be part of the selection mechanism, not the permanent forum,” said Delegate Brown.

The permanent forum accredits nongovernmental organizations and civil societies to participate within the U.N. and not indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions such as the Navajo Nation. The new mechanism in the proposal would accredit the Navajo Nation as a governing institution. 

“Lastly, the Navajo Nation offers the final two recommendations. The Navajo Nation strongly believes the permanent forum should have no role when it comes to enabling indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions to participate in the United Nations.”

Delegate Brown concluded in his address by stating, “Let me remind this body, the Navajo Nation is not a nongovernmental organization or a civil society. While NGOs and civil societies enjoy the privilege of participating in the United Nations, indigenous governing institutions such as the Navajo Nation, with dully elected officials that are responsible to their people are limited in full participation in the United Nations. This must change.”

The final U.N. consultation will take place May 3 and U.N. General Assembly will consider the proposal in September.

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