Skip to content

10th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Item 6

13.07.2017  15:28

Item 6 – Ten years of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Good Practices and Lessons Learned
Statement by Denmark, together with Greenland

[Check against delivery]

Thank you Chair,

This year we celebrate an important milestone in the recognition of the status and rights of Indigenous Peoples; the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Fulfilling the objectives of the Declaration requires continuous and consistent work both at national and global level. The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples - including the reaffirmation by the members of the UN of their support for the Declaration and the ongoing work conducted to implement the outcome document - are important steps in the efforts to ensure that the ends of the Declaration are fully achieved. Denmark would in this regard like to express our sincere appreciation for the tireless work undertaken by the different UN mechanisms working on indigenous issues.

Denmark finds that the gathering and dissemination of good practices and lessons learned is of key importance in the efforts to advance the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights and look forward to the upcoming report from EMRIP in this regard. 

I would like to give some examples of implementing the Declaration from our own context.

Denmark and Greenland work closely together to promote the rights of indigenous peoples both at national and international level. The establishment of the Self-Government system for Greenland in 2009 is in itself an illustration of the Kingdom of Denmark’s efforts to strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples.

A principal objective of inducing Self-Government has been to facilitate the transfer of additional authority and thus responsibility to Greenlandic authorities. In the preamble to the Self-Government Act, it is recognised that the Greenlandic people is a people pursuant to international law with the right to self-determination.

Accordingly, the Act is based on an agreement between Naalakkersuisut (Government of Greenland) and the Danish Government as equal partners. The Act recognises the Greenlandic language as the official language in Greenland, and it affirms that the Greenland Self-Government authorities exercise legislative and executive power in the fields of responsibility taken over.

In closing, I would like to address the following question to the Special Rapporteur and the Chair of the Permanent Forum: How will the UN mechanisms on indigenous issues advance their strategic collaboration in order to ensure universal implementation of UNDRIP going forward?

Thank you.