Forum invitation 2003

Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples
Forum conference 2003:

“Indigenous Rights: Focus on the UN system. Cases from Asia”


We would hereby like to invite you to this year`s conference in the Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples. The conference takes place at the University of Tromsø on October 9th and 10th 2003. The title of the conference is “Indigenous Rights: Focus on the UN system and cases from Asia”. The target group for the conference are researchers, developments workers and Sami institutions with experience from international indigenous work, but also others with interest within this field are welcome to participate.

This years conference has two sessions. During the first session speakers are asked to give a critical assessment of how indigenous issues have been addressed through the UN system, and discuss the status of The working group for Indigenous Peoples, the Draft Declaration, and the newly established Forum for Indigenous Issues.
Main speakers:

  • Rodolfo Stavenhagen. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedom of indigenous peoples.
  • Martin Scheinin. Member of the Human Rights Committee, established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: “Economic sustainability and development as an element of indigenous peoples’ rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.
  • Ole Henrik Magga. Leader UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

In the second session speakers will address the situation of indigenous peoples in Asia. Main speakers:

  • Chandra Roy: “Impact of Development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts: Ways forward”
  • Wiveca Stegeborn: “Understanding Human Rights: Barriers in understanding and communication between the Wanniyala-Aetto of Sri Lanka and the international community”.

Additionally, there will be room for other current issues under the headline “Forum update”. We welcome suggestions for items under this heading. News and updates in the program will be published at our homepages.

“Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples” has its background in the evaluation of the Norwegian Program for Indigenous Peoples (UD Evaluation Report 8.98), White paper nr. 21 (1999/2000 Menneskeverd i sentrum), and the Follow-up Plan for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples (UD 1999). The Forum was established in 2000, and is aiming to be a meeting place for researchers, development workers, administrators and activists working with indigenous peoples’ issues, and where they can share experiences from their work with different development projects related to indigenous peoples. The Forum is led by an advisory board at the University of Tromsø, with external representation from the University of Bergen/IWGIA, the Sami Council and the Norwegian Church Aid. The Centre for Sami Studies at the University of Tromsø hosts the administration of the Forum. The opening conference in 2000 gathered representatives from Norwegian and Sami organisations, researchers and development workers, and the focus was on the wishes and expectations to the Forum. Topic for the conference in 2001 was ”Competence Building and Indigenous Peoples”. Topic at the conference in 2002 was ”Strategies for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples”. The Forum has contributed to focus on different aspects in the strategies from the cooperating countries and Norway concerning indigenous peoples, and how this influences the capacity and ability of indigenous peoples to shape and control their own development.

The conference languages will be saami, Scandinavian and English. Please register for this year’s Forum conference “Indigenous Rights: Focus on the UN system. Cases from Asia” by using the registration form on our web pages: The number of participants is limited to 200. The registration deadline is set to October 1st 2003. If the registration is cancelled after October 1st , there will be a charge of NOK 150,-


Sidsel Saugestad
Leader of the advisory board
Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples

Terje G. Lilleeng
Senior Executive Officer