Senin, 11 Agustus 2008

In Search of Recognition

At its 1999 Congress, AMAN issued a famous statement which has made it internationally renowned.

'We will not recognize the State, unless the State recognizes us.'
This strong statement has not only challenged the government to respond to the demands of the indigenous peoples, it has also stimulated a fertile and much needed debate inside the communities on what kind of recognition the indigenous peoples do actually seek from government. Moreover, the question goes further: if the State does recognize the rights of indigenous peoples how exactly will they then exercise these rights. Are customary institutions strong enough to resume the role of community self-governance? Is customary law well enough respected in the communities to assure community welfare, social justice and sound natural resource management? Is customary law suited to governing the interactions between communities and global markets? Does custom need strengthening or reforming?

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