Indigenous people are often underrepresented in local and national legislative bodies, but they especially lack representation at the international level and at the United Nations. In the past, steps have been taken to ensure that UN bodies can invite communities such as indigenous peoples to decision-making processes, but the indigenous peoples often have to compete with other local groups to gain access to these platforms. As they are conflated together with local communities, their legal standing in these procedures is greatly diminished.
Advocates for indigenous peoples argue that the only way to address the many challenges, violations and injustices faced by these groups is to improve and ensure full, meaningful representation and participation in decision-making processes, on local, national and international level. Others argue that indigenous peoples do not deserve this special representation more than other local communities and that there is a way for their voices to be heard: through local and national parliaments.
The committee should debate whether or not to increase representation of indigenous peoples at the United Nations, and if so, in what capacity.