Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
For immediate release
June 28th, 2023
MKO Granted Special Consultative Status by United Nations
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – The United Nations Economic and Social Council under the overall authority of the General Assembly, has adopted the recommendation of the U.N. Committee on Non-Government Organizations and has granted Special Consultative Status to the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. MKO joins nine other Canadian entities who have been granted Consultative Status at the United Nations with ECOSOC and who represent First Nations interests.
The granting of status comes following a recommendation made during the 2023 regular session of the Committee on NGOs taking place from January 23 to February 1 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. “We’re looking forward to discussing with the United Nations bodies and with other NGOs the MKO approach to making the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enforceable in Canada’s national law,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee.
Being granted consultative status with ECOSOC means that MKO can enter United Nations buildings to attend official meetings, submit and make written and oral statements, meet official government delegations and other NGO representatives, organize and participate in parallel events, and participate in debates and panel discussions.
“The granting of Special Consultative Status means that MKO will be able to do more,” said Settee. “It allows us to bring our issues to an international level, be it on Indigenous and Treaty rights or on economic, social or human rights issues. We have any number of issues we can bring forward on behalf of our member First Nations as a result of our confirmation.”
“MKO may also be called upon to provide the Secretary-General, ECOSOC and subsidiary bodies with papers or studies as they see fit about subject matter we are considered to be expert in,” added Settee.
Plans are underway for MKO to intervene before the UN Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review of Canada.
The UPR of Canada will take place during the 44th session of the UPR Working Group scheduled for November 6 through 17, 2023. The review of Canada by the United Nations Human Rights Council is scheduled to take place on November 10, 2023 at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
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