MCV received consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2016, for the efficient humanitarian work we have implemented over the past nine years in Maasai communities. Upon receiving our status, Jessica Censotti, MCV President, and Elizabeth Kocek, MCV Executive Assistant, registered to participate in the Permanent Forum because we have on-the-ground experience and understand the urgency needed to protect the rights of the Maasai people. Indigenous nations, including the Maasai, play a key role in shaping a sustainable future for all.
UN Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Indigenous Rights Declaration
This year marks the tenth anniversary of adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The UNDRIP was adopted in 2007, after 25 years of negotiations and ongoing advocacy from indigenous leaders around the world. The Declaration is a non-binding document which provides awareness on indigenous rights at the international and national level to protect their land, resources, and to maintain their culture. High on the agenda of the UN international meeting was to further discuss mechanisms for its implementation.
MCV was invited to speak regarding what we have witnessed on the ground working in the Maasai communities, relating to particular agenda items. Examples include how far along the Maasai have come since the UNDRIP was signed ten years ago and human rights violations. MCV President agreed to speak in these forums on certain agenda items.
The opening ceremony included an array of indigenous presentations from the Charrúa people of Uruguay, the Onondaga Nation of northeast North America and statements from around the world. MCV was moved by the speech from the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs of Canada.