In connection with the international climate negotiations, Naalakkersuisut (with Denmark’s support) is working for the indigenous peoples’ rights and the indigenous peoples’ development right to be acknowledged based on the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The indigenous peoples’ organizations constitute an important and constructive voice in the discussion about climate changes in the Arctic. Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is working to strengthen cooperation between indigenous peoples in the Arctic region as well as globally. Through the years, they have had much focus on the consequences of a changed climate. In a global context, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have contributed to strengthening cooperation among indigenous peoples.
ICC works with governments in the Arctic region, including the Greenlandic government, in a number of areas. The organization has been involved in issues particularly regarding environment and sustainable development and is also involved in the area in the context of the Arctic Council. In an international context, ICC participates as an observer in international climate negotiations and contributes to the debate on how challenges caused by a changed climate can be addressed in the Arctic region. This was also the case leading up to COP21 in Paris, when Naalakkersuisut was in close cooperation with ICC to ensure legally binding references to the indigenous peoples’ rights in the final text of agreement. This led to the publication of a joint declaration on climate changes in the Arctic, emphasizing Arctic populations’ development right and the special challenges which climate changes cause for the populations in the Arctic.
Cooperation among indigenous peoples also goes beyond the Arctic region, and in a global context, among other things it has manifested itself through the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which has existed since 2002, and the Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights which was adopted by the UN in 2007.
The forum has contributed to creating a center for discussing matters – such as climate changes – which concern indigenous peoples across the globe. The declaration supports this debate and has also contributed to strengthening the indigenous peoples’ voice in international forums, including international climate negotiations.