Engaging Free, Prior and Informed Consent for Mutual Benefit

Engaging Free, Prior and Informed Consent for Mutual Benefit
Rudolph C. Rÿser
Fourth World Journal, Summer 2021; 21(1) pp 98-143
The Center for World Indigenous Studies, prompted by inquiries and urgings by leaders of indigenous nations, sponsored the planning, organization and convening of a Congress of Nations and States–the process that began in the summer of 2019. In this article we discuss the Congress as a new international mechanism to facilitate engagement by indigenous nations and states on an equal political plain in pursuit of comity and establishment of cooperative measures for mutual benefit. This article discusses the consequences of the failure of decolonization advanced by the United Nations in 1945 that resulted up to 1.9 billion people from indigenous nations left without their consent inside the boundaries of existing states contributing to social, economic, political and security conflicts demanding relief. More than 5000 nations occupy territories and political space inside states with the states’ claiming those territories and competing for political space by asserting state sovereignty. The article presses forward by emphasizing the importance of the principle of free, prior and informed consent responding to the long list of principles and commitments in the policy areas of economics, environment, culture & society, political governance, security, and justice made by nations and states since 1977. I suggest that existing agreements on principles and commitments if implemented by nations and states may resolve most of the current conflicts. Specific principles and commitments are discussed and sourced to treaties, conventions, declarations, and outcome documents issued by nations and states from 1977 forward.

Editor’s note: The Fourth World Journal is published by the Center for World Indigenous Studies.

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