Nov 25, 2014

UNPO Organizes Round-Table on Indigenous Rights in Brazil


The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, sponsored by the Nando Peretti Foundation, in cooperation with the office of Brazilian MP Padre Ton, will be convening a round-table discussion on 25 November 2014 from 10:00-12:00 at the Brazilian National Congress. The Brazilian MP Sarney Filho and Mr. Erik von Pistohlkors from the EU Delegation to Brazil will also attend as notable speakers. With the participation of Conselho Indigenista Missionário Cimi and 40 leaders of the State of Maranhão, panelists will raise awareness about how environmental devastation, depletion of resources and a general disregard for indigenous rights undermines indigenous communities in Brazil, and pushes them further into poverty and insecurity.  


Nothing focuses international attention on a country than a major sporting event, and this year’s World Cup in Brazil was no different. In a country still riven by stark inequalities, where the benefits of development are not evenly shared, the matter of how Brazil treats it very poorest and most vulnerable is subject to greater global scrutiny than ever before. The consequences of football’s greatest spectacle for Brazil’s indigenous minorities, and their human dignity, were far less visible. Indeed, as indigenous lands and resources are the financial motors behind so much of Brazil’s economic miracle, it is not difficult to trace a link from indigenous reservations all the way to the gates of the Maracanã Stadium.

Brazil is heavily investing in development and infrastructure, but at what cost? The cost of environmental diversity and vitality? At the expense of future generations? How does it affect the most vulnerable and unrepresented indigenous peoples? Will benefits of development be equally shared?


Roundtable Speakers:

- Brazilian MP Padre Ton (Partido dos Trabalhadores)

- Brazilian MP Sarney Filho (Partido Verde)

- Mr. Erik von Pistohlkors, 1st Councellor for Political Issues and Human Rights, EU Delegation to Brazil

- Conselho Indigenista Missionário Cimi

- Iva Petkovic, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization


The proposed initiative will build on the progress made at a conference convened earlier this year on 22 January 2014, in collaboration with Richard Howitt (S&D) and Catherine Grèze (Greens/EFA) MEPs at the European Parliament in Brussels. The aim of the conference entitled “Awá: On The Brink Of Extinction – Indigenous Rights in Brazil” was to assess the current and future courses of action related to the protection of indigenous peoples in the Amazon and seize the opportunity to initiate dialogue with Brazil. The conference proved to be very successful in establishing a new forum and bringing together different actors and perspectives to the discussion and cultivating new outlooks on the question of indigenous peoples’ rights that could potentially make Brazil a leading international model on this matter. The conference opened new opportunities of cooperation an established new ties between UNPO and a Brazilian Member of Parliament (Padre Ton) and FUNAI (Brazilian Government’s National Indian Foundation), while also opening new channels of dialogue with the Brazilian Government, which will be further cultivated at the proposed follow-up conference.


Click here for the formal invitation (in Portuguese).

Click here to read the latest UNPO report on the current situation of the Awá in Brazil.