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Indigenous Issues: Quick Guide

Indigenous Issues at the United Nations

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Permanent Forum Sessions:

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is a high- level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. The Forum provides a global platform for expert advice and recommendations on indigenous to the Council.  The Eighteenth Session (2019), will take place on 22 April – 3 May 2019 – at the UN Headquarters, New York.  This year's theme is:   “Traditional Knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection”

Previous Sessions

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. 

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples was  established by the General Assembly  resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994. The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on 9 August every year. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

See: Previous observances

United Nations and Indigenous peoples.

The United Nations Division of Economic and Social Affairs track the history of the indigenous issues and the UN since 1923.  

UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

On 22-23 September 2014, the  First UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples took place in New York. This was a High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 69th General Assembly.

UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

International Year and Decades of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

  • In resolution 48/163 the UN General Assembly proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.
  • The same year, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, starting on 10 December 1994 (resolution 48/163).
  • The Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People began in 2005.
  • On 13 September 2007 the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted as a resolution (A/RES/61/295) by the General Assembly.  

Learn more about the International Years and themes from the UN's Department of Economic Affairs : Indigenous Peoples Page

More information about the Declaration, including its procedural history  is available through the Audiovisual Library of International Law.

Additional resources

 

More information

Search for e-books, articles and more in DAG Discovery:

Disclaimer

This guide is intended to provide delegates and UN Secretariat Staff with selected content from both UN and non-UN sources. It references third-party web sites, books and articles. It does not imply the endorsement of the content by the United Nations.

Access to electronic Resources

Books and articles can be accessed online within the UN Headquarters. Articles can be delivered to permanent mission by e-mail upon request.

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Spotlight: 2019 - The International Year of Indigenous Languages

  

The International Year of Indigenous Languages was launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 by resolution (A/RES/71/178).  The same year, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues expressed concern that 40 per cent of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages, majority of which were indigenous were in danger of disappearing . The International Year aims to foster awareness and strive to preserve, support and promote indigenous languages.

More information is provided by UNESCO.

UN Reports & Publications

Books

Search the Library catalog for peer-reviewed articles on Indigenous people.