Lima, 24 January, 2014 H.E. John W.

Ashe President of the 68th session of the General Assembly United Nations Headquarters New York

Re: Designation of an indigenous representative at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (New York, September, 2014) Dear Mr President, It is our honour to greet you respectfully in the name of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas - ECMIA, a twenty-year-old alliance of women's and mixed-gender indigenous organizations from twenty-three American countries. The female leaders of our organizations have participated in the UN system for the past thirty years with the unwavering purpose of forging a solid and respectful alliance between states and indigenous peoples. This productive dialogue and participation has enabled mechanisms for indigenous peoples to be created within the UN system, and their functioning fosters better understanding among all of us. The adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the ratification of the ILO Convention nº 169 in the Americas demanded that both states and indigenous peoples work out a single diplomatic practice based on dialogue, consulting and negotiation. This has set a positive example in building international policies, and represents an important step forward in the recognition of and respect for our human rights and our rights as indigenous peoples. It is in this spirit that we appeal to you as President of the General Assembly of the UNO to support the designation of an indigenous representative that, together with a delegate from the states, would conduct the activities required for the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in September this year. The approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the creation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the existence of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, are all fruits of this good relationship between the states and our peoples.

The viability of this level of dialogue and mutual respect was demonstrated at the 66th session of the General Assembly, where a representative of the state and an indigenous delegate worked together in productive harmony with excellent results as co-facilitators. In response to the call of the General Assembly for the participation of indigenous peoples in the processes preparatory to the World Conference, indigenous peoples from different parts of the world have organized consulting processes which led to the election of our brother John Henriksen, of the Sami people in Norway, to act as our joint representative with the states' delegate. This was also agreed under the ruling of article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which establish that indigenous peoples should have elect representatives chosen by themselves in all decision decision-making process. We believe that your favorable decision regarding the request of the indigenous peoples will intensify the commitment of the United Nations to dialogue and democratic participation. The peoples, the women and youth of the world's seven socio-cultural regions are confident that you will come to a decision that will strengthen the good relations built up over the past thirty years. May you enjoy the good physical and spiritual health that will facilitate your continued success in the discharge of your important responsibility as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization. Fraternally and most respectfully,

Tarcila Rivera Zea, Continental Coordinator ECMIA Eva Gamboa, Coordinator ECMIA South Fabiola del Jurado, Coordinator ECMIA México Joanne Ottereyes Co-Coordinator ECMIA North Rosalee Gonzalez, Co- Coordinator ECMIA North Nancy Henríquez, Coordinator ECMIA Center

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