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Inuit Leader Announces Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change

Bali, 11 December 2007

Inuit leader and chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Ms Patricia Cochran, has announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali that the Inuit Circumpolar Council will host an Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change in 2009.

Ms Cochran said the global summit to be held in Alaska in May 2009 would be a significant part of a major ongoing effort by the ICC and other indigenous peoples to work closely on climate change.

The worlds indigenous peoples need to work together as one powerful voice to make sure we have a seat at the negotiating table. Imagine the strength of that united voice, she urged the audience attending an ICC-hosted seminar in Bali.

Ms Cochran said the global summit would bring together the worlds indigenous peoples to discuss and work on climate change according to indigenous peoples protocols and views.

The summits steering committee which has representatives of indigenous peoples from around the world has already started working to make this happen, she said.

Ms Cochran and Vice-President of ICC (Canada), Ms Violet Ford, are at the Bali conference this week to ensure that the Inuit and other indigenous peoples are formally included in the two-year process that will end in a new global deal on climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Ms Cochran said that in addition to the Global Summit, the ICC would continue to work in other forums over the next two years to make sure the voice of the Inuit and other indigenous peoples was listened to during the negotiating process.

This includes working with the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples whose meeting next April will focus on climate change. Plans are also already underway for a dedicated Indigenous Peoples Day at the next years UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Poland.

The Indigenous Peoples Global Summit on Climate Change in the first half of 2009 will then set the scene for indigenous peoples involvement in the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Denmark where it is expected that the new global framework on climate change will be finalized.

For further information, contact:

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The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO), founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 180,000 Inuit from Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). ICC works to promote Inuit rights, safeguard the Arctic environment, and protect and promote the Inuit way of life. In regard to climate change, we believe that it is crucial for world leaders and governments to recognize, respect and fully implement the human rights of Inuit and all other Indigenous peoples across the globe.