THE ECOSPIRITUALITY FOUNDATION|
IN CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
The Ecospirituality Foundation has obtained an important acknowledgement by the United Nations. It was nominated "Non Governmental
Organization in Consultative Status with the United Nations".
The United Nations headquarters in New York
This qualification has arrived after many years of collaboration with the United Nations on the topic of Indigenous Peoples, in the ambit of the Commission for Human Rights. An important role has been acknowledged to the Ecospirituality Foundation, that of being a guarantor of Indigenous Peoples spiritual rights, which is the essential reason for having arrived at this tribute.
The Ecospirituality Foundation's efforts for the defense of the Indigenous Peoples religious rights and of their sacred sites, in particular Mount Graham, the Apache's sacred mountain, and the Menhirs of Carnac (Brittany), have been recognized through this esteem that places the Foundation in the role of a privileged organization which the United Nation consults when in need of expertise on issues in the field of Indigenous Peoples.
Thus, the Ecospirituality Foundation has become part of the large family of the United Nations so that it can closely collaborate for the defense of the Indigenous Peoples spiritual rights, for their rights to use their sacred sites and for the protection of their heritage.
The granting of this recognition followed the Foundations convocation at the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations held at the United Nations at New York between the 5th and 18th of January 2005. The Committee's purpose was to establish the roles that the various non-governmental organizations, from around the world, were to hold in reference to the United Nations.
The Commission was made up of governmental representatives from every continent and its duty was to judge the organizations suitability for "Consultative Status".
The Commission's session lasted for two weeks, during which
the Representatives of the Ecospirituality Foundation, Giancarlo Barbadoro and Rosalba Nattero, answered a series of questions that were posted by the various governmental representatives , in order to judge the Foundation's suitability, about the nature of their activities.
The hall of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
These interventions gave the opportunity to gain international attention for two cases that the Ecospirituality Foundation considers particularly significant: one is the case in the United States of the Sacred Mountain of the Apaches, Mount Graham, for 15 years profaned by the astronomical observatory under construction, and the other involves the Menhirs of Carnac, in Brittany, a sacred spot for the Breton people, for 13 years fenced in and not accessible to the inhabitants of the place.
In the debate raised by the governmental delegates of the different nations, there was a perplexity aimed at the kind of aid that the Foundation gives for the defense of Mount Graham. As a matter of fact, some governments contested the issue that the Ecospirituality Foundation wished to defend Mount Graham because this would mean, from their point of view, interfering with progress. The rebuttal to this was that the Indigenous Peoples are not against science and progress; they only seek respect for their heritage and thus for their identity.
It was also underlined that Indigenous Peoples do not only need assistance; but they have the right to protect their identity and the roots of their heritage because it are these roots that distinguish their nature and through them they are capable of building their own lives and living out their choices.
Rosalba Nattero and Giancarlo Barbadoro at the UN building in New York
So it was explained that the Ecosprituality Foundation's efforts to protect the Indigenous Peoples spiritual and moral identity would inevitably bring them towards protecting their sacred sites and their cultural identity, while avoiding all situations of conflict that would only damage both parties, but operating for the effective resolution of any facing problems.
The majority of the delegates accepted this operational principle; and the vote concluded with the Ecospirituality Foundation's official acknowledgement.
Following the Committee's deliberation, the Ecospirituality Foundation has become an organization recognized by the United Nation with the title of "NGO in consultative Status with the United Nations".
This will surely bring a great advantage in the efforts to protect Indigenous Peoples spirituality and heritage. It also allows us to present, aside the Mount Graham case, the problems facing the Native Europeans, not only at the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples of Geneva but also at other international Conferences.
Once this acknowledgement was granted a series of useful contacts for the work of supporting the Indigenous Peoples were established at New York. The Representatives of the Ecospirituality Foundation met with the chair of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Populations, an organization that is developing a permanent confrontation between the Indigenous Peoples, which are presided by Tribal Council members from around the world.
Rosalba Nattero with Roberto Mucaro Borrero in his office at the Museum of Natural History of New York. Roberto Mucaro Borrero is a Native American, representative of the Taino Nation and United Nations delegate; he also a teacher at the Museum.
While in New York, Rosalba Nattero and Giancarlo Barbadoro started a joint collaboration for "Les Cahiers du Graal" of Ecospirituality Foundation and for support in favor of the Indigenous Peoples.
The United Nations is formulating a Charter for the Rights of Indigenous Population within the ambit of this forum. Following the appeals made by the Ecospirituality Foundation at Geneva, the right to religious freedom of every Population and the preservation of their sacred sites shall be included in this Charter.
Always in the ambit of this forum, that takes place every year at New York during May, it was proposed that the Ecospirituality Foundation collaborate with other NGOs that are working for the protection of specific indigenous populations sacred sites, to organize a Convention in which the Mount Graham and Carnac cases could be included.