Scores of the world’s indigenous nations have taken the initiative to initiate the development and convening of the Congress of Nations and States twenty-eight years after it was first discussed by states’ and nations’ governments in 1992. The 21st century Congress of Nations and States is expected to convene in 2022 to demonstrate the historical convergence of nations’ delegations meeting with states’ delegations on the same political plane to jointly formulate and adopt methods for constructively conducting relations to maximize peaceful resolution of disputes and facilitate beneficial cooperation and mutual coexistence. Ultimately the Congress of Nations and States is expected to adopt into international law new methods and protocols for implementing internationally enshrined principles and policies already agreed to by nations and states. The existence of growing numbers of international conflicts, the adverse effects of climate change combined with violence between contending groups causing mass migrations and refugees, and the impending collapse of life-supporting biological diversity due to over development and consumption demand deliberate action. These conditions demand the massive and abrupt economic, social, political, and security changes in the conduct of relations between the world’s 5000 nations and 206 internationally recognized states. It is time for deliberate and responsible action. Beginning in June 2019, the Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) (an international NGO cwis.org) working with l’Organisation des Nations Autochtones de Guyane Française (ONAG), and nations’ eight initial representatives began the process of planning, organizing and convening the Congress. The goal has been to invite nations, states, and observer non-governmental organizations, and labor and business agencies assembled to engage in dialogue and deliberations on critical procedures for constructive nation and state relations. CWIS is joined by many more international NGOs and more indigenous nations actively pursuing the goal of convening the Congress of Nations and States in 2022.
The Congress of Nations and States was originally introduced by the newly formed Russian Federation under President Boris Yeltsin as a new international mechanism in 1992 with the support of the newly formed Russian Federation government and the governments of Germany, Japan and the United States of America under the presidency of George W.H. Bush. The nations governments of Saami, Maasai, Lummi, San Blas Kuna, Yakut-Sakha and Tibet also lent their support. The purpose of the Congress was to formulate new methods for resolving disputes and to implement principles already agreed to in such instruments as the Draft UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These governments formed the Preparatory Committee with the agreement that the purpose of the Congress would be to jointly formulate new methods to resolve disputes in the areas of economic, social and cultural, political strategic and geographic relations between nations and states. Before the scheduled first session of the Congress was to occur in May of 1993 differences over goals emerged between the US government under then President Bill Clinton and the Russian Federation causing an abrupt halt in the process and cancelation of the Congress.
The Congress was conceived as a regular international process responding to the recommendations of the International NGO Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas (September 20-23, 1977 Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland) the adoption of the International Labor Organization Convention 169 in 1989 and the then in process Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in process of being submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations.