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South Asia Meet Discusses IPs Issues, Way Forward

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

KATHMANDU, August 2019 — A three-day event titled “South Asia Sub-Regional Meeting” was organized in Kathmandu on June 21-23, 2019, with a view to discussing key developments and issues as well as concerns and priorities of members of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) in South Asia and strengthening coordination and cooperation among AIPP members, partners and networks across the region.

At the program, the country assessment reports were presented by respective focal organizations of the three countries that commonly highlighted that IPs from all three countries continued to face exclusion, discrimination, eviction and human rights violation. The reports stated that the struggles of IPs continued and stressed the need for further collaboration and improved communication, leadership development, network building and organizational strengthening within/among their organizations, to secure rights of IPs from the region.

The participants also underscored the importance of AIPP’s continuous support to its member organizations in advancing IPs rights and stressed that AIPP introduced more programs with an eye to mainstreaming indigenous women, IPs youths and IPs with disabilities in AIPP’s institutional processes, programs and mechanisms.

The event was organized by AIPP in collaboration with the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), the National Indigenous Women Federation (NIWF), Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN), NIDA and NGO-FONIN. There was a total of 63 participants, with IPs delegates representing Bangladesh and India besides the host country, Nepal.

AIPP General Secretary Gam A. Shimray and Assistant General Secretary Chanda Thapa Magar; NEFIN Chair Jagat Bahadur Baram and Vice-Chairs Gobinda Chhantyal and Nabin Roka Magar; Phulman Chaudhary, member of UNPFII; Devashish Roy, Bangladesh; and Signe Leth, IWGIA, among others, attended the program.

An interaction session on IPs issues was held before the closing of the program. On the occasion, representatives from various stakeholder organizations aired their views. Among them were Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav from Nepal Academy; Deviram Bhandari, Secretary at Indigenous Peoples Commision; Bishnu Prasad Chaudhary, Chair of Tharu Commission; Chandra Bahadur Gurung, Vice-chair of NFDIN; Labadev Aswathi, Chair of Language Commission; and Mohana Ansari, Member of National Human Rights Commission.