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We The [Indigenous] Peoples Of The United Nations

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Chapter Summary

International law, particularly in the human rights field, faces a serious tension today between its reach for universal legitimacy on the one hand and the cultural diversity of its expanding subjects on the other. The 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended 30 years of religious warfare in Europe, serves as a convenient birthing moment in the origin story of the modern state and, by extension, the modern interstate system. The world today is rent by two contradictory post-war impulses: that of Dumbarton Oaks, which gave us the United Nations (U.N.), and that of Bretton Woods, which gave us the current capitalist global economy. The U.N. and indigenous participants in its fora generally prefer flexible, working descriptions of indigenous peoples to rigid, legal definitions. The Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP) experts themselves doubted for several years that indigenous peoples enjoy the classically stated right of self-determination.

Keywords: Bretton Woods; global economy; International law; self-determination; United Nations (U.N.); Westphalia; Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP)



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