Categories Updates, World

ICCA Consortium holds successful online General Assembly

The association’s 17th General Assembly had more than 200 unique participants over three days, shared multimedia reports on key areas of work and took several important decisions, including on governance documents and new Council members

The ICCA Consortium held its 17th General Assembly (GA) online for the second year in a row due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Although virtual assemblies come with their own challenges and drawbacks, they have also enabled more people from the membership to participate than is usually possible with in-person GAs. This year, more than 200 unique participants (including 81 Member organizations and at least 55 Honorary members) from 57 countries joined the GA. It had simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish and French, thanks to the kind support of The Christensen Fund.

A defining feature of the ICCA Consortium is that decisions are taken by consensus. After learning from experience at the 16th GA in 2020, the Council and Secretariat developed a better process for gathering inputs from the membership on key organizational documents and for building consensus in the weeks and months before proposed decisions were tabled for approval. During the GA, the Chair (President Teddy Baguilat) ensured the membership understood how decisions would be taken by consensus and ensured consistency in that procedure throughout the GA. Although further improvements can still be made, these were important steps forward for inclusive and collective decision-making in the association. This improved process enabled more thorough review, debate and revision of proposed decisions in advance and enabled the membership to take decisions by consensus relatively quickly during the GA itself.

Key outcomes of the 17th General Assembly included:

  • Revising the Statutes to include specific mention of the new role of Vice President and updated powers of the Council;
  • Approving the new Governance Procedures and Membership Policy and Procedures, which together replace the previous Operational Guidelines;
  • Electing two new Council members: Sara Oliveros López as Secretary and Dr. Patricia Mupeta-Muyamwa as Vice President;
  • Noting the reports of the 2020-2021 Action Plan, Council, Treasurer and Auditor of Accounts, and approving the 2021-2022 Action Plan and budget; and
  • Appointing Marc Foggin as the Auditor of Accounts and Ombudsperson for the coming year.

A new addition this year was a number of video “Member Spotlights”, which featured powerful initiatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities from around the world. These included experiences with Indigenous self-determination and decolonization in Taiwan and globally; the development of a national TICCA network in Colombia; advocating for a new law on Indigenous peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; defending the Salween Peace Park against violence and the military coup in Burma/Myanmar; and successfully resisting a proposed military instalment in the highlands of Sinjajevina, Montenegro. The serious nature of the discussions was also complemented by fun activities such as a scavenger hunt, dance break and development of an online map of participants.

The minutes of the 17th GA will be available here soon.

A highlight reel of the ICCA Consortium’s 17th General Assembly from 8-10 June 2021 and a social event hosted by NTFP-EP on 11 June. Credit: Diana San Jose/ICCA Consortium