As noted by leaders of the World Indigenous Movement, the United Nations and its member states are undemocratic. As such, UN agencies like the WTO, Human Rights Council, and World Bank are inevitably unethical and inherently untrustworthy. Thus, the international architecture of the UN — lauded by its proponents to hold promise in solving global crises like climate change, disease, or poverty — is constructed on a rotten foundation.
Efforts this week just to be heard at the UN climate change talks in Poznan, have left Indigenous Caucus delegates frustrated. Some are sad, others perhaps angry, but all are determined and committed to making the UN rhetoric about the human rights of indigenous peoples a reality.
As enemies of indigenous peoples and their conservation cultures, international institutions and nation–states can be counted on to continue scheming to demoralize the indigenous movement and its pro-environment, pro-democracy allies. What they will need to do to weather this attack on their unity, is to actively guard against the time–tested strategy of divide and conquer using competitive models and co-optive tactics to pit them against one another.