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• States must consult indigenous peoples regarding all decisions that affect them:
The guarantee of effective participation of the members of indigenous peoples in development plans imposes on the States the duty to actively consult with the community, respecting their customs and traditions.
The art. 32.2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved in 2007 with the support of Ecuador, provides that “[t]he States shall hold consultations and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own institutions representatives in order to obtain their free and informed consent before approving any project that affects their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in relation to the development, use or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.”
Likewise, ILO Convention 169 states that the States must “consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever legislative or administrative measures are envisaged that may affect them directly.”
• How should the consultation be to be effective?
The consultation, to be effective, must meet the following requirements:
a) That the State accept and provide information, which implies constant communication between the parties;
b) That it be prior, in the first stages of the development plan and not only when the need arises to obtain the approval of the community;
c) That it be in good faith, through culturally appropriate procedures; Y
d) for the purpose of obtaining consent.
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