Panel Chairman Speaks at UN Indigenous Issues Forum Event
Panel Chairman Gonzalo Castro de la Mata on April 26 explained the Panel’s history and mandate at a side event at the 16th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. At the session, moderated by Panel Operations Officer Tamara Milsztajn, Dr. Castro de la Mata also discussed thePanel’s cases involving indigenous peopleswith a focus ona 2005 case from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that resulted in the recognition of Pygmies as indigenous peoples by the World Bank and the DRC government. Adrien Sinafasi Makelo, a complainant in the DRC case and the coordinator and spokesperson for Dignité Pygmée, applauded the Panel’s work on the case and said a new book will detail the positive outcomes. Albert Barume, African representative to the UN Expert Mechanism, said the results of Panel cases provide the “raw material” for policy guidance to the World Bank. The session was part of a full day of side events sponsored by the World Bank Group at the UN forum.