Aug 15, 2021

UNPO asks that right to land be grounded in self-determination

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) has made a submission to the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights to strengthen its forthcoming General Comment on the right to land by grounding it in the right to self-determination. 

The UNPO's submission comes after a members' meeting held on 12 July 2021, which discussed the General Comment and the experiences of the UNPO members. This meeting is available for viewing in its entirety. A report from that meeting has also been published

Through this meet, report and the UNPO's UN submission, we are asking the Committee to strengthen its General Comment to ensure that the right to self-determination becomes an critical component. The right to self-determination is the first right in the International Covenenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the international treaty being discussed by the Committee, and it provides the strongest grounding for the Committee's findings. 

The report follows UNPO reports and investigations on significant land-related problems facing unrepresented nations and people, including a report on violations of the right to self-determinaton of the indigenous CHamoru people caused by the US military build-up in Guam, and an investigation into atrocities being committed by the government of Laos under the guise of land development. It further follows a recommendation report submitted by the UNPO to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People arguing that the UN needs to reform to place the right to self-determination at its very core, as was originally envisaged when the UN was founded.