Another Cordilleran elected to UN

BAGUIO CITY — Another Cordilleran has been elected last July 15, 2008 into one of the indigenous peoples’ positions in the United Nations system.

Secretary Eugenio A. Insigne, chairman of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), was elected into the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) as one of the two Asian Region representatives for government.

Insigne, a ‘Baguio boy’ who claims to be a Tinggian from Baay-Licuan, has represented the Philippines to a number of UN fora on Indigenous peoples concerns. He was present at the UN when the Declaration for Indigenous Peoples Rights was adopted last year and was also part of the government contingent at the UN Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council hearing on the Philippines.

The UNPFII is within the mandate of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is a 16- member council composed of government representatives, accredited NGOs, peoples organizations and UN experts.

The UNPFII takes up issues and concerns of indigenous peoples all over the world on the economic and social development, environment, education, health and human rights. It provides expert recommendations and advice to the council, programs and the different agencies of the UN.

In the Forum is Victoria Tauli-Corpus, the present chair, a Cordilleran who also identifies with the Kankana-ey ethno-linguistic group of Besao, Mt. Province and Atty. Jose Mencio Molintas who was recently chosen an expert in the IP body, also an Ibaloi of Benguet.

In a talk with Corpus, the position of Asian representative is for three years and is required to meet with the body at least once a year. Insigne garnered 22 votes while the second Asian representative from the Middle East country Iran got 18 votes.# KTO(NorDis)

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