Building Trans-Pacific Partnerships for
Indigenous Rights & Proposing a New Pacific
Jon Osorio, Native Hawaiian
Arnie Saiki, Hawaii/U.S.
Pablo Salon, Focus on the Global South (Bolivia)
Evelyn Arce, (Chibcha) IFIP
Octovianius Mote (West Papua)
Santi Hitorongi, (Rapa Nui)
Paul Otoku Truk (Micronesia)
Loa Miumeitalo (Polynesian) U.S.
Ali’itosa Stewart (Mauri), New Zealand
Current U.S. economic and military designs would leave the entire Pacific region as an “empire of bases” aimed at containing China, as well as accelerating the exploition of Pacific resources and lands for private foreign corporate profits. However, alternative visions of the Pacific are now emerging. A “people’s Pacific” (Walden Bello), a “sea of islands” (Epeli Hau’ofa), and an “oceanic commons.” This panel will examine some of these alternative visions for solidarity and trans-Pacific alliances, and also report on local and regional success stories.
Ultimately the question will become this: How do small island states protect their indigenous resources? Regional co-operation should not be only economic or political, but ecological as well. Could a regional indigenous-led ecologically-based integrated Pacific Community, develop a new “Pacific Monitoring Authority” rooted in the UNDRIP principle of “free, prior, and informed consent?” Could such an instrument intervene in and resist the negative conditions of investor state agreements?
In 2011, the first Moana Nui Declaration invoked indigenous rights to “free, prior and informed consent.” Can the second Moana Nui create a process and an instrument that will affirm “trans-Pacific dialogue, action, advocacy, and solidarity between and amongst the peoples of the Pacific, rooted in traditional cultural practices and wisdom?”
A proposal for creating exactly such an Authority is now being delivered to the Pacific Caucus of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, with hundreds of supporting organizations. This panel will discuss that project, and others that may have the chance to reversing the present tide.