Our friend Viktor Kaisepo has passed away

Viktor KaisepoOur friend Viktor Kaisiepo passed away. We, the members of the German Coordination on ILO 169, are shocked. Viktor was one of our best allies and friend in making indigenous issues known to European people. Among others, we have invited him in 2007 as a well known resource person and key note speaker to our conference on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change in order to reveal the impacts on Indigenous Peoples.

We admired his great knowledge on indigenous issues especially regarding the issue of mining on indigenous territories. He has contributed significantly to the discussion process on "Mining and Indigenous Territories and Rights" carried out under the auspices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights between 1995 and 2000 and was an invaluable resource person and key note speaker in numerous meetings, events and conferences held in Germany in particular, and Europe generally, on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We shall always remember his ever so charming (and at the same time respectful) interpretation of Mrs Erica Daes at the indigenous reception traditionally held during the WGIP meeting in Geneva.

In addition to his invaluable knowledge, we will remember Viktor as a very cheerful and humorous person, sometimes with melancholy when he was referring to his Papuan sisters and brothers. Viktor was speaking so many languages and constantly acting as a link, introducing people to each other, integrating everyone and giving the necessary explanations to newcomers. We are sad, terribly sad. We still would need him. The memory of his enthusiasm will persist and inspire our work.

Our heartfelt sympathy and highest respect for him and his work.

We convey all our sympathy to his family and community.