In Poznan, Poland in 2008, the UN excluded indigenous nations delegates from participating in climate change talks, insinuating that only UN member states are legitimate governing authorities. The motivation for the United Nations exclusionary policy on indigenous peoples participation was that the UN was meeting to hatch a new scheme for transnational corporations and investment banks to control the world: it was called REDD, a Ponzi scheme for carbon-market trading that would make the Wall Street heists of today look like chicken feed. Indigenous nations sent delegates to protest this life-threatening fraud by the UN and its agencies like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO. Civil society groups spoke in support of the indigenous peoples, UN officials closed them out, and the world never knew.
In the runup to the 2009 UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, I wrote about the news ruse perpetrated by the UN to undermine the Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change. True to their past practices, they repeated this trickery with an added twist, stating indigenous peoples could only participate through UN-recognized non-governmental organizations.
This privileged participatory posture of the UN was repeated in 2010 in Cancun, where the Indigenous Caucus spokesman Tom Goldtooth had his credentials revoked for calling the conference a trade show for promoting false solutions. Goldtooth and others were ejected by the UN for drawing media attention to the fact that a major agenda item of the international discussion in Cancun, as in Copenhagen, was to silence indigenous peoples. I later wrote about the NGO ambassadors of greed fronting for the UN scheme, noting commentary by Goldtooth that he had never witnessed the intensity of deception as unleashed by the UN in Copenhagen and Cancun.
Now, in the runup to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, the UN has preselected indigenous representation — already compromised by bribery from UN agencies and transnational corporations — as those that will be permitted to participate. As cheerleaders funded by such entities as Ford Foundation, these supplicants amount to little more than public relations puppets.
The challenge for indigenous media, then, is to outmaneuver the fraudulent manipulations by the UN bureaucracy and expose their hypocrisy. Perhaps of greatest importance is dispelling the notion, once and for all, of the UN as an honest broker.
Adapting to a rapidly-changing ecosystem requires new kinds of leadership. State-centric, market-oriented institutions have failed, and indeed are an ongoing impediment to our survival. If humankind has any chance of evolving organizationally to deal with the climate change crisis, it will be the relational understandings of indigenous peoples and their network of civil society friends who lead the way; not the US, EU, or UN.
In commenting on the difficulties of Fourth World nations to develop independent of colonial structures like the UN, Dr. Rudolph Ryser — Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies — once remarked that where a people lacks the ability to develop politically, they remain unable to advance their own social, economic and human rights. He went on to say the age of colonialism has prevented the emergence of politically strong Fourth World nations, and that the UN promises to permanently lock these nations into a cage of political subjugation.
If you look at what the UN does, as opposed to what it says, it isn’t much different from its member states. This isn’t to say we don’t have to deal with its agencies; it only means we have to be as vigilant in holding it accountable as we do the US and EU.
As a modern agency of colonial powers, the UN is admittedly adept at the use of psychological warfare in subverting the World Indigenous Peoples Movement. Arming ourselves against this onslaught requires that we instruct young people in this kind of conflict, while simultaneously exercising our networks as the front line of defense.