Inclusion and Democracy in the Americas

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Inclusion and Democracy in the Americas”- XXX OAS Roundtable

Monday, May 23, 2011

Opening Remarks of June L. Lorenzo

I would first like to say thank you for the invitation to participate in this dialogue with two distinguished co-panelists. I have known Margarita’s work and am very impressed to read the bio on Alejandra. It is a privilege to be part of this process today.

Before making specific comments on Indigenous peoples and democracy, I would like to highlight two preambular paragraphs from the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The very first paragraph “recognizes that representative democracy is indispensable for the stability, peace, and development of the region,” and further on down, another paragraph reaffirms that “human rights is a basic prerequisite for the existence of a democratic society.” Indigenous people have echoed these same concerns before OAS bodies for years. Ms. Klinger in her opening comments quoted Article 9.,but I would like to bring attention to articles 3, 6 and 7 as well.

Indigenous people have been exercising many of the

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