USMCA: Indigenous Peoples Call for Public Hearing on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

USMCA Working Group US House of Representatives

Block

September 13, 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Upon review of the public record of debate concerning the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the proposed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) the systemic disregard for the territorial rights and human rights of Indigenous Peoples is blatantly discriminatory, unacceptable and must be addressed before the agreement is put to vote before the House of Representatives.

As the vote on advancing the USMCA within the US Congress is imminent, we believe that this issue merits a full public hearing before the appropriate committees, and/or Caucus formations for the purpose of informing and updating the US congressional representatives before the USMCA is approved.

The USMCA has been promoted as a necessary "update" of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

NAFTA was adopted in 1994 thirteen years before adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, wherein the principle of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) was articulated and adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007.

Today, the signatories of USMCA must comply with the minimum standards of FPIC or the corporate consortia investing in any development project in violation of FPIC will immediately become financially liable and exposed to the risk of legal challenges and financial penalties that must be presented before their constituencies (states) and shareholders (corporations).

Without the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, there can be no legitimate approval of the USMCA.

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To: USMCA Working Group US House of Representatives
From: [Your Name]

September 13, 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Upon review of the public record of debate concerning the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the proposed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the systemic disregard for the territorial rights and human rights of Indigenous Peoples is blatantly discriminatory, unacceptable and must be addressed before the agreement is put to vote before the House of Representatives.

As the vote on advancing the USMCA is within the US Congress approaches, we believe that this issue merits a full public hearing before the appropriate committees, and/or Caucus formations for the purpose of informing and updating the US congressional representatives before the USMCA is approved.