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NGEC and UNDESA in talks on role of indigenous peoples in the SDG framework.

Between 2015 and 2016 the Commission has been holding consistent talks with UNDESA on promotion of rights of indigenous persons and their increased participation in the global transformative inclusive development agenda.

With focus to Kenya indigenous, forest and minority ethnic communities, the two agencies held a consultative meeting in 2016 between the representatives of these communities and the critical government agencies that closely work in indigenous issues including the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, the Kenya Water Towers, the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights, the National land Commissions and Ministry of Interior Coordination among others.

A technical committee led by NGEC was established with a membership of 6 parties. Others are KNCHR, KNLC and three members representing diverse minority indigenous communities. In line with the focus and emerging theme of the 61 CSW, ‘The empowerment of indigenous women’, the commission held an hour consultations with the senior officials of UNDESA led by Chandra Roy-Henriksen, the Chief, Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  

NGEC was led by Commissioner Dr Gumato. The meeting discussed collaboration of the Commission with UNDESA in strengthening the technical working group formed in Nairobi and chaired by NGEC. It was agreed that UNDESA will provide technical support in the inaugural meeting of the committee to be held in early April 2017.  UNDESA will attach an administrator to the committee to help in planning this meeting and prepare outcome document

UNDESA will also support the Commission in the validation of the commissions mapping of minorities and marginalized ethnic communities in Kenya. The meeting will be held in May 2017 with UNDESA providing technical support. The meeting also explored  new opportunities of the Commission working closely together with UNDESA where three critical opportunities were identified thus participation of Kenya critical agencies and indigenous persons in the 16th session of the UN permanent Forum 11 in New York to be held between April 24thand May 5th.

The Commission will send potential invitees to UNDESA to facilitate with invitation letters. The commission and Kenya at large is expected to issue a statement of commitment to the indigenous issues. It was observed that the transformative and substantive matter of indigenous peoples is advancing in the continent and there is need for counties that have piloted specific programs to share experiences. To this end, UNDESA agreed to explore opportunities of bringing several countries where UNDESA has run some programs in the last two years including Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Cambodia to discuss the lessons learned and gaps.

In a bid to enhance UNDESA’s indigenous issues portfolio in Kenya to include ageing and disability issues the Commission expressed interest in the expanded program and will be holding separate consultation with UNDESA core staff on 22nd March 2017.  

In a luncheon earlier held in the day and supported by NGEC with support from Ford Foundation, UNDESA,  the Commission and First lady of Meru county discussed opportunities of addressing indigenous issues at county level through the devolved governments as well as well as though the Commission.

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