“29 March, 2018
“Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
“UN Special Rapporteur for rights of indigenous peoples
“My dear friend Vicky,
“My attention was drawn to very disturbing legal tangles threatening you as well as several indigenous leaders and human rights defenders in the Philippines as a result of your work defending the indigenous populations of the Philippines. And this has happened while you as UN Special Rapporteur for rights of indigenous peoples enjoy UN guarantees of immunity.
“I remember so well how first we met in the ILO World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (2002-2004), of which I was Co-chair with Mr. Benjamin Mpaka, President of Tanzania, and you were the member specialist on gender and indigenous issues. You commanded everybody’s respect in that Committee for your expertise and constructive approach. Our admiration for you only grew when you were Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous lssues from 2005 to 2010. The fairness and dedication so typical for you has also been manifest in your work as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples since 2014. You have become a monumental figure in the international civil society and your motives have never before been questioned, on the contrary.
“I now want to join my voice to that of Mr. Erik Solheim, Director General of UN Environment; the European Union; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues; Inger Andersen, Director-General of IUCN; and others, who in the past weeks asked for the charges against Ms.Tauli-Corpuz and indigenous people’s rights activist Joan Carling to be dropped immediately.
Former President of Finland 2000-2012