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A Consultation Conference among the Member Organizations of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP): A Call for Unity in the Renaming Movement of Province No. 1

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

Bhaktapur:  A 3-day consultation conference with the member organizations of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) was held from 27th to 29th June 2023 organized by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities. The program was completed with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the cooperation of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

In this program, General Secretary Gam A. Simre, and Deputy General Secretary K Jung of Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), and a total of 46 (19 women and 27 men) representatives from member organizations like: National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), Nepal Indigenous Disables Association (NIDA), Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN) Nepal, NGO-Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities (NGO-FONIN) including Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities Journalists (FONIJ) and Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP), NEFIN District Coordination Council, and  Provincial Coordination Council were present.

The main objective of the program was to discuss about the protection of the rights of the indigenous peoples of Nepal, exchange experiences about past, present and future strategies and implement them in the face of challenges and together with the need of coordination to move forward the currently on going province no, 1 renaming movement.

AIPP General Secretary Gam A. Simre shared to the participants that the AIPP organization was established in 1992 and is committed to protecting and promoting the human rights of the indigenous peoples of Asia. Mr. Jagat Baram, the former president of NEFIN and the executive member of AIPP added that, “Not only in Asia, but also in other international areas, the role played by AIPP in raising the voice and self-determination of indigenous peoples is very important and the cooperation and coordination of AIPP will continue”.

 In the program, various indigenous speakers emphasized that since the indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination in the current Province No, 1’s movement, it is very important to have consultation and unity among the member organizations and networks of AIPP. Language activist Mr. Amrit Yonjan Tamang emphasized that a person without his/her past history, origins and culture is like a tree without roots. As the traditions, culture, native language and precious knowledge of the indigenous peoples are disappearing, it is necessary to protect and preserve them on time.

In the same way, there was a detailed discussion on the challenge of continuing the life-ways and practices of the indigenous peoples, the forgotten traditions/practices, specific name recognition, various original songs, and art. etc and their importance. Moreover, AIPP’s strategic plan and coordination of other issues of indigenous peoples of Nepal, common vision and responsibility, human rights related mechanisms, development including the presentation about the displacement of indigenous people from their homes by the development projects and the diversion of natural resources for livelihood were other major topics of discussion.  The program was facilitated by Mr. Tunga Bhadra Rai, director of Climate Change Partnership Program of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities.