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Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Adoption of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

On 13 September 2007, the General Assembly, through its resolution A/RES/61/295, adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration establishes a comprehensive framework of minimum standards for economic, social and cultural well-being, and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples. Ten years after its adoption the world’s indigenous peoples have become more visible as attested by their increased participation in political processes both at the national and international levels. A day before the commemoration, on 24 April 2017 at the Opening Ceremony of 16th Session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the newly-elected Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, posited “We are mindful of the expectations and also of the responsibility placed on us to raise awareness and to integrate indigenous issues within the work of the United Nations.”

To regard the achievements of the Declaration in ten years since its adoption and the challenges still yet to be prevailed over, the President of the General Assembly organized a high-level event on April 25, 2017 in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It was participated by Member States, the United Nations system, indigenous peoples’ representatives, and relevant institutions and organizations. The high-level event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was enriched by the keynote addresses of H.E. Mr. Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General of the New York Office of Human Rights; Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and Mr. Albert Barume, Chairperson of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  H.E. Evo Morales Ayma poignantly remarked, “By constructing a new paradigm for production and consumption patterns and providing equality between peoples—this is how to live well. And to defend the rights to peace, to sovereignty, and to self-determination eradicating imperialism. ”

By the United Nations General Assembly in 1994, 9 August is designated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The theme of this year is 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For this year’s observance of an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living in 90 countries, UN starts the #WeAreIndigenous campaign on social media.

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