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HOME > ICC General Assembly > 2002 Kuujjuaq, Quebec 9th General Assembly: Inuit Voice - Enlightening The...
THE KUUJJUAQ DECLARATION

As declared by Inuit of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Russia
On the occasion of the 9th General Assembly of the
Inuit Circumpolar Conference
11 16 August 2002

THE KUUJJUAQ DECLARATION
on the occasion of the 9th General Assembly
of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference

Russian, Alaskan, Canadian, and Greenland Delegates to the 9 th General Assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, held August 11 16, 2002 in Kuujjuaq, Canada,

RECALLING the early vision of Eben Hopson, Sr. and other Inuit to found, maintain, and foster a strong organization dedicated to Inuit unity and collective international Inuit action;

FURTHER RECALLING that the Principles and Elements for a Comprehensive Arctic Policy published in 1991 by the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) is a wide-ranging guide for Inuit, governments, and others to follow;

HAVING STUDIED the ICC President's report on activities for the period 1998-2002, and the reports from the Chairs of the Inuit Language Commission, the Inuit Communications Commission, and the ICC Task Force on Arctic Trade;

HAVING HEARD the deliberations of delegates and input from observers and guests at this 9th General Assembly on several important matters, including those of the United Nations (UN), self-government, human rights, cultural and intellectual property rights, environment, sustainable development, language, communications, economy and trade, youth, and elders;

RECOGNIZING WITH GRATITUDE the enormous efforts of the ICC executive council and staff over the past four years in their input to historic achievements such as the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the international agreement to eliminate persistent organic pollutants (The Stockholm Convention);

GREATLY AFFECTED by the forced relocations suffered by Inuit in many parts of the Inuit homeland, the dislocation from their traditional areas, and the lack of apologies and adequate compensation by governments;

ACKNOWLEDGING that new known and unknown challenges are facing Inuit over the next four years and well into the new millennium;

DEEPLY ENCOURAGED that the newly-elected and committed ICC Executive Council and Chair are ready to meet the challenges of the next four years in representing Inuit on various matters of international importance;

HEREBY:

    1. WELCOME AND ADOPT the ICC President's report on activities for 1998-2002;

    2. STRONGLY WELCOME the recommendations contained in the report from the Chair of the Inuit Language Commission and, if adequate funding can be raised, DIRECT the Commission, under the guidance of the executive council, to seriously consider these recommendations;

    3. RECEIVE WITH APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING the report from the Chair of the ICC Task Force on Arctic Trade and her strong message of the importance of all Inuit assisting each other on matters of both trade opportunities and barriers;

    4. INSTRUCT the new executive council to seriously consider and monitor the recommendations outlined in the report from the Chair of the Inuit Communications' Commission, including those related to facilitating the establishment of a pan-Arctic news agency and Arctic television network;

    5. REAFFIRM THE COMMITMENT to maintaining a strong ICC presence in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, and to further strengthening the ICC regional office in Chukotka through financial and other forms of assistance;

    6. URGE the ICC Executive Council to consider the guidelines set forth in the document, "Maximizing Efficiency and Delegating Responsibility Within ICC" in order to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication in implementing mandates of importance to all Inuit on an international basis;

    7. STRONGLY PROMOTE the need to keep the Arctic environment safe from trans-boundary pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals, rapid climate change and, generally, unsustainable development; and therefore:

      - CALL UPON governments to enact domestic legislation and promote and implement multi-lateral agreements to reduce and/or eliminate harmful environmental damage and resulting human health problems in the Arctic;

      - MANDATE regional ICC offices to lobby their respective governments to immediately ratify and to urge other states to ratify the 1998 POPs Protocol to the UN/ECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution, 2001 Stockholm Convention on POPs, and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol pursuant to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change;

      - INSTRUCT ICC to work in partnership with Arctic and other governments and appropriate NGOs to develop global initiatives to combat climate change in general, and an Arctic climate change program in particular;

      - DIRECT ICC to protect the interests of Inuit initiatives in international fora such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

    8. REAFFIRM the importance of the Arctic Council as an institutional vehicle to protect the environment and promote culturally and environmentally appropriate sustainable development in the Arctic;

    9. DIRECT ICC to use its status as a "permanent participant" to the Arctic Council to further the environmental and sustainable development interests of Inuit and, when appropriate, work cooperatively with other permanent participants to the Council and actively seek funding for Arctic Council activities, including involvement in ministerial summits, meetings of Senior Arctic Officials (SAO), and Council programmes and working groups;

    10. STRONGLY SUPPORT the ICC executive council in the new and major undertaking of working within the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and COMMIT to providing direct assistance to ICC when called upon;

    11. SUPPORT the UN Advisory Committee composed of executive council members and others to provide on-going advice to ICC on all UN matters of importance to Inuit and other indigenous peoples;

    12. URGE the new ICC Executive Council to continue to promote, with other indigenous peoples, the adoption of the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in language acceptable to them;

    13. AGAIN CALL UPON national, provincial, and state governments to recognize the inherent rights of Inuit with respect to sustainable hunting, co-management, and other subsistence activities, and DIRECT ICC to assist Inuit through advocacy, education, litigation and empowerment on these matters;

    14. PROMOTE the removal of international and national trade barriers that affect all forms of Inuit livelihood, in consultation with affected Inuit, at the same time ensuring that the rights of Inuit to their intellectual and cultural property, traditional knowledge, and access to capital, employment, contracts, financing, royalties, local revenue, and other financial benefits of development are enhanced in the process;

    15. GREATLY ENCOURAGE ICC to undertake a comprehensive study on how best to address global forces, such as the "animal rights" and other destructive movements that aim to destroy Inuit sustainable use of living resources, and to report back to the next General Assembly on its findings;

    16. INSTRUCT ICC, when requested, to assist the various local, regional, and national Inuit organizations in pursuing the matters of forced relocations and dislocations as matters of human rights violations;

    17. ESTABLISH an "ICC Decade on the Promotion of Self-Determination" that will include a programme of exchanging experiences and mutual encouragement among regions, and INSTRUCT the Executive Council to develop a framework for such a Decade;

    18. DIRECT ICC to represent Inuit by promoting their rights and protecting their interests in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), European Union (EU), Organization of American States (OAS), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other relevant organizations;

    19. ENCOURAGE the ICC executive council to prudently expand its international development activities with the aim of assisting Inuit and other indigenous peoples globally;

    20. REITERATE the need for ICC to act as a facilitator for Inuit trade and economic development in a supportive role to Inuit-owned companies and individuals undertaking business development;

    21. MANDATE the ICC Executive Council to intensify its support to Yupik and other indigenous peoples in Chukotka by building upon the 2001 memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Governor of Chukotka, the ICC President, and the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Chukotka;

    22. RECEIVE WITH APPRECIATION the important recommendations from Inuit youth at this General Assembly and DIRECT each ICC office to offer support and advice to Inuit youth as they reorganize their international efforts, and to EXPAND existing scholarships for youth;

    23. WELCOME WITH GRATITUDE the guidance received from Inuit elders at this General Assembly and URGE the ICC executive council to intensify its efforts in seeking funding for elders' meetings and activities until 2006;

    24. REQUEST the Executive Council to begin updating ICC's Principles and Elements for a Comprehensive Arctic Policy, the first activity of which should be a comprehensive Inuit-wide consultation process to accurately determine the nature and scope of required changes;

    25. REMIND the Executive Council that ICC is fundamentally an international organization dedicated to the promotion of human rights and, as such, REQUEST the Council members to integrate the human rights dimension into each mandate, program, and activity of ICC.

The President and Executive Council of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference hereby confirms that the Kuujjuaq Declaration was unanimously passed by delegates of the 9th General Assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference on 15 August 2002

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