Expert Mechanism can investigate status of implementation of CHT Accord: Priti Bindu Chakma in EMRIP

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Hill Voice, 21 July 2023, International Desk: Representative of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) Priti Bindu Chakma said on 3rd day of the 16th session of UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples being held in Geneva of Switzerland that as an impartial body, the Expert Mechanism could investigate the status of implementation of the Accord and identify what was still unimplemented and provide technical assistance to the government to implement the remaining ones.

PCJSS representative Mr. Priti Bindu Chakma said these while presenting his statement on Agenda Item 6: Country Engagement in the 3rd day’s meeting of 16th Session of EMRIP held in Geneva on 19 July 2023.

This 16th Session of the UNEMRIP started on 17 July and will be ended on 21st July.

Priti Bindu Chakma said in his statement that “Country engagements could be considered as a very crucial mechanism to help UN member states and indigenous peoples to identify the needs and develop domestic laws and policies related to indigenous peoples’ rights and provide technical advice.

For instance, the implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts or CHT Accord of 1997 in Bangladesh can be considered. The implementation of the Accord is also contemplated as part of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In this Accord, the government recognized indigenous peoples’ rights to self-government, land and natural resources, among others.

However, it is necessary to mention that the Bangladesh government has implemented only two-third provisions of the Accord in 25 years, now it is continuing its propaganda with ill intention by saying that 65 of the 72 provisions of the Accord have been fully implemented.

As an impartial body, the Expert Mechanism can investigate the status of implementation of the Accord and identify what is still unimplemented and provide technical assistance to the government to implement the remaining ones. It could also provide assistance in rules or law formulation if needed.

Therefore, I call upon the Expert Mechanism to convince the Bangladesh government to take the initiative of country engagement for the implementation of the Accord.”