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Economic and Social Council

In a resumed organizational session today, the Economic and Social Council filled vacancies in three of its subsidiary bodies, electing members by secret ballot and by acclamation. Voting by secret ballot, the Council elected Iran to a four-year term on the Commission on Population and Development, beginning today and expiring at the close of that body’s forty-eighth session in 2015.
While well versed in overseeing the implementation of peace accords, the United Nations system had much less experience in supporting indigenous peoples and communities in conflict resolution, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues should consider what kind of role it could play in addressing those gaps, that body was told today as it took up the report of its Special Rapporteur on the status of implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997.
With nearly a billion people living without access to an improved water source and 2.5 billion lacking access to improved sanitation facilities, the world faced a “true crisis” the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, during a half-day discussion on the right to water.
Bedouin Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank were in dire need of access to their traditional natural resources — rangeland and water — as well as basic health and education services, denied to them since their forcible displacement from the Negev Desert in 1948, community representative Mohamed Al Korshan said at a Headquarters press conference today.
Indigenous peoples must be consulted — and their right to free, prior and informed consent respected — if the target of halving the proportion of people lacking access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation was to be reached by 2015, in line with the Millennium Development Goals, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said at a Headquarters press conference today.