On International Day, United Nations marks 10th anniversary of Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
UNITED NATIONS, 8 August 2017 – Ten years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, progress has been made in terms of the formal recognition of indigenous peoples in several countries, but indigenous peoples overwhelmingly continue to face discrimination, marginalization and major challenges in enjoying their basic rights.
"While indigenous peoples have made significant advancements in advocating for their rights in international and regional fora," more than 40 United Nations system entities and other international organizations said in a joint statement, "implementation of the Declaration is impeded by persisting vulnerability and exclusion, particularly among indigenous women, children, youth and persons with disabilities."
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 September 2007, establishing a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples. The landmark document is the most comprehensive international instrument on indigenous peoples’ collective rights, including the rights to self-determination, traditional lands, territories and resources, education, culture, health and development.
"The Declaration, which took more than twenty years to negotiate, stands today as a beacon of progress, a framework for reconciliation and a benchmark of rights," Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, the Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples said in a joint statement on the day. "But a decade on, we need to acknowledge the vast challenges that remain. In too many cases, indigenous peoples are now facing even greater struggles and rights violations than they did ten years ago," they added.
Although some countries have taken constitutional and legislative measures to recognize the rights and identities of indigenous peoples, exclusion, marginalization and violence against indigenous peoples continue to be widespread.
Indigenous experts from Canada, Republic of the Congo, Ecuador and Namibia will look back at the last decade and discuss the way forward at a special event at United Nations Headquarters in New York, organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on Wednesday, 9 August, from 3-6 p.m. UN offices around the world are also celebrating the day with a variety of events and activities, including in Australia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
Partnering with Twitter to amplify visibility
To elevate the profile of the anniversary on social media, the Department of Public Information partnered with Twitter to create and promote a branded emoji for the hashtags #WeAreIndigenous and #IndigenousDay that will be live from 8 August to 15 September, covering both the International Day (9 August) and the actual date of the adoption of the Declaration (13 September).
"Recognizing the popularity and value of "emojis" in reaching wider and younger audiences, we are grateful to Twitter for partnering with the United Nations by introducing a special emoji for the International Day," said Maher Nasser, Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. "The emoji is a new and exciting way to raise the profile of the International Day and engaging broader audiences in promoting indigenous peoples’ rights," he added.
"Twitter helps people see every side. Empowering indigenous peoples to share their unique cultures and perspectives in a global conversation using #WeAreIndigenous and #IndigenousDay is consistent with that mission," said Colin Crowell, Global Vice President of Public Policy and Philanthropy of Twitter. "Marking the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in partnership with the UN with Tweets will help amplify awareness about the important goals of the Declaration."
About the International Day
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August, in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982. The International Day was established by the General Assembly in December 1994.
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.
Media contact: Martina Donlon: +1 212 963 6816. firstname.lastname@example.org, UN Department of Public Information
Joint statement by the Inter-Agency Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues: http://bit.ly/2vJM19P
Joint statement by the Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples: http://bit.ly/2vJ6U4Z
More information on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday
On Twitter, follow #WeAreIndigenous #IndigenousDay #UNDRIP @UN4Indigenous
Live webcast: http://webtv.un.org: Wednesday, 9 August, 11:00 am press conference, 3:00 pm special event