ROUND-TABLE AT BRAZILIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS WITH UNPO
Background: There has been considerable debate in the recent times regarding a controversial amendment, which would transfer the decision-making powers over demarcation of indigenous territories to the Brazilian National Congress. Under article 231 and 232 of the Brazilian Constitution, several rights are awarded to the indigenous and tribal communities in Brazil. However, this new amendment will greatly affect the implementation of these rights.
Developments: The conference aimed to provide representation for all the stakeholders, in order to formulate solutions to the abovementioned issues. During the discussion, indigenous leaders talked about the dangers faced by their communities, particularly the lack of enforced rights guaranteed in the Constitution, the most problematic of which, is the lack of demarcation. The urgency and importance of adequately demarcating indigenous lands, was also highlighted. Suggestions were also made regarding increasing indigenous representation in the Brazil National Congress. This was required to counter the significant influence and representation of the major economic powers in the Brazilian Government, marginalizing indigenous issue as a consequence. It resulted in the drafting and signing a declaration on their joint position regarding the recent developments threatening indigenous peoples of Brazil.