Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Frustrations Building

"The more than 7000 Fourth World nations are the ancient seed of the world’s immigrant populations and the original peoples that populated the world before the formation of modern states over the last 450 years. Fourth World nations are the native populations on top of which were formed many new states since 1948—nations that did not agree to the formation of the state and were not integrated into the political power structure of the state.

Fourth World nations include the Pashtun and Balukis in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Palestinians in the Middle East, Chechens in the Caucasus, as well as the Catalans of Spain, the Ogoni of Nigeria and the Ainu of Japan. The Pashtun along with the Hasara, Balukis, Tadjiks, Uzbeks and Uygurs in Central Asia are now at the center of a mean battle that concerns the whole world. What the people in these Fourth World nations think, decide and do on their own behalf will decide much of the world’s international policies for generations to come.

The terrified United States of America that suffered the debilitating attacks of September 11 has in the last twenty years almost singlehandedly worked in the international arena to deny self-determination to Fourth World nations. A new foreign policy in the United States must now reconsider that approach....

States’ governments in many parts of the world threaten the peace and security of Fourth World nations through their economic, military, political, environmental, and social policies causing cultural disorientation, dislocation, disease, and death. Representatives of states’ governments have been too concerned only with the relations between states and with corporations and with the business of generating wealth that they fail to notice the burning and desperate frustrations building in the FourthWorld—the very frustrations that bin Laden hopes to capture and ignite for his own foul goals....

In 1992, immediately after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Center for World Indigenous Studies was invited by then president of the Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Kasbulatov, to consult with the withered Russian government on appropriate approaches to dealing with the 150 non-Russian peoples remaining with the Russians in what was left of the USSR. We suggested that Russia, Germany, Japan and the United States of America join ten Fourth World nations including the San Blas Kuna of Central America, Tibet, Sami of Scandinavia, Massai of southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania, Lummi of the United States of America, the Crimean Tartar and others in a planning body to organize an international Congress of Nations and States in Moscow.

The Russian government and the government of Germany were open to working with the ten indigenous nations to plan, organize and convene this unprecedented Congress of States and Nations at a venue in Moscow. ...The United States, under the leadership of President George Bush, held back and finally opposed this hopeful effort at establishing dialogue between Fourth World nations and the world’s states’ governments on a peaceful approach to long and festering conflicts....

The US government subsequently took a harsh stance in opposition to applying the internationally recognized principle of self-determination to indigenous nations at the UN meeting on Human Rights in Austria two years later. The US government vigorously opposed inserting language on the right of self-determination in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Objections during the Clinton Administration effectively halted UN consideration of a carefully developed international declaration by objecting to the self-determination language in the Commission on Human Rights....

If ever there was a time for states’ governments and their international organizations to open a rapprochement with the nations of the world that time is now."
--Rudolph Ryser, Chair, Center for World Indigenous Studies

[read the full article in the CWIS Spring 2006 Newsletter]


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