ABSTRACT

Fourth World nations have never and do not exist in a vacuum; they are dynamic participants in geopolitical events throughout the world inside existing states, between states and between Fourth World nations and states. Despite their apparent infl uence on social, economic and political conditions in the world, their presence as active players in diplomatic circles at the international level has been, until recently, sporadic and sparse. In the last half-century from 1960 that situation has changed. The movement of nations into the realm of diplomatic dialogue grew to stir the United Nations in New York City and the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (original home of the League of Nations), and in growing numbers of venues throughout the world. This growing presence on the international plane spawned a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; similar declarations from the Organization of American States drafted in the form of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) revision of its Convention 107 Concerning Protection and Integration of Indigenous and Other Tribal and Semi-Tribal Populations in Independent Countries (1957); in the form of Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (1989); Agenda 21 adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992; the Convention on Biodiversity (1994); the Vienna Declaration (1993) for the elimination of racism and protection of minorities, indigenous peoples, and others; and a veritable fl urry of conferences, meetings, declarations and reports convened by representatives of Fourth World nations throughout the world. In a relatively short time, Fourth World nations took advantage of global mobility and communications to form international organizations and speak with representatives from multi-lateral states’ organizations.