United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 August 1996



General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 109 of the provisional agenda*

     *   A/51/150.

                       OF THE WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

              Note verbale dated 5 August 1996 from the Permanent
              Representative of the Philippines to the United    
                  Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

     The Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to
the United Nations presents his compliments to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations and has the honour to provide him with a copy of
the Manila Declaration emanating from the Global Indigenous and Youth
Cultural Olympics/Summit for Peace and Sustainable Development, held
at Manila in March 1996.  It may be recalled that it was during this
event that the Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and
Beyond was globally launched by Assistant Secretary-General
Ibrahima Fall, on behalf of the Secretary-General.

     In this connection, the Government of the Philippines would like
to request the Secretary-General to issue the above-mentioned
Declaration as a document of the General Assembly under item 109 of
the provisional agenda.


            Manila Declaration, adopted on 2 March 1996 at the Global
            Indigenous and Youth Cultural Olympics/Summit for Peace
                          and Sustainable Development



PREAMBLE .........................................................           

 I.   INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ..........................................     1 - 31

      A. Cultural identity and the arts .........................      2 - 7 

      B. Land and culture .......................................      8 - 9 

      C. Human rights and responsibilities ......................     10 - 13

      D. Education and health ...................................     14 - 18

      E. Participation ..........................................     19 - 22

      F. Peace and sustainable development ......................     23 - 31

II.   YOUTH ......................................................    32 - 60

      A. Education and health ...................................     33 - 39

      B. Human rights and responsibilities ......................     40 - 44

      C. Participation ..........................................     45 - 47

      D. Peace and sustainable development ......................     48 - 56

      E. The arts, the media and sports .........................     57 - 60

III.  A NEW PARTNERSHIP ..........................................    61 - 70


from around the world and international delegates participating in the
Global Indigenous and Youth Cultural Olympics/Summit for Peace and
Sustainable Development (GICOS), held at Manila, Philippines, from
24 February to 3 March 1996 with the theme "Partnership in action with
youth for peace and sustainable development",

     Taking into account the aspirations, objectives and programmes of
the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, the outcome
of recent world conferences - the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, the World Summit for Social Development,
the International Conference on Population and Development and the
Fourth World Conference on Women - with regard to the strengthening of
the role of indigenous people, as well as the World Programme of
Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond,

     Keeping in mind the need to ensure humane cultural survival while
pursuing people-oriented development,

     Affirming that all peoples contribute to the diversity and
richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common
heritage of humankind, that indigenous people are equal in dignity and
rights to all other peoples and that all peoples have the right to
self-determination within the context of national unity and to be
different, to consider themselves different and to be respected as

     Convinced that respect for and the preservation of indigenous
knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute to sustained
economic growth and sustainable and equitable development, including
the proper management of the environment,

     Recognizing that policies addressing the challenges and potentials
of indigenous people and youth influence current social and economic
conditions and the well-being and livelihood of future generations,

     Realizing the increasingly important role of indigenous people and
youth in solving the major problems facing humankind and the need to
provide them with broader opportunities to play an active part in all
aspects of the social, economic, political, cultural, spiritual and
moral life of their peoples, as partners in development,

     Acknowledging that the arts and the media should provide a space
to promote cultural awareness and dialogue among indigenous people,
youth and civil society,

     Considering the importance of responsible leadership in providing
vision, direction and resoluteness in the pursuit of a better quality
of life for all people, and

     Determined to act in partnership among ourselves and with
cooperating Governments, the United Nations and other international
organizations, as well as with non-governmental organizations, to
attain the dream of peace and sustainable development,


                             I.  INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

     1.  The participants commit themselves to become "partners in
action" in working towards peace and sustainable development,
consistent with the theme of the International Decade of the World's
Indigenous People.  In making this commitment, the participants
respect, uphold and protect the rights of indigenous people to their
cultural identity and arts, land, education and health, full
participation in the life of society and all other rights prescribed
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other
international human rights instruments.

                      A.  Cultural identity and the arts

     2.  Indigenous people have the right to practice, preserve and
revitalize their cultural traditions and customs, consistent with
international human rights standards.  This includes the right to
maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future
manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and
historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and
visual and performing arts and literature, as well as the right to the
restitution of cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual
property taken without their free and informed consent or in violation
of their traditions and customs, as well as the law of the State

     3.  Indigenous people have the right to manifest, practice,
develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs
and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect and have access in
privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the
exclusive use and control of ceremonial objects; and the right to the
repatriation of human remains.

     4.  Indigenous people have the primary right to revitalize, use,
develop and transmit to future generations their histories, language,
oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems, arts and literature,
and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places
and persons.

     5.  Indigenous people have the right to establish their own media
in their own languages.  They also have the right to equal access to
all forms of non-indigenous media.

     6.  Indigenous people are entitled to the recognition of the full
ownership, control, preservation and protection of their cultural and
intellectual property.

     7.  Indigenous people have the right to special measures to
control, develop and protect their sciences, technologies and cultural
manifestations, including human and other genetic resources, seeds,
medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral
traditions, literature, designs and visual and performing arts.

                             B.  Land and culture

     8.  Indigenous people recognize that their life and culture
emerge from the land and water, and that their teachings and values
perpetuate their sacred and profound relationships to the land and
water.  Indigenous people view themselves as part of the natural
environment, and not apart from it.  Therefore, indigenous people,
land and culture are interdependent and constitute a sacred whole. 
All lands or areas occupied by them since time immemorial up to the
present should be declared ancestral land and/or ancestral domain.

     9.  Indigenous people have the right to remain in and make full
use of their lands.  Relocation shall take place only with the free
and informed consent of the indigenous people concerned and after
agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the
option of return.

                     C.  Human rights and responsibilities

     10. Indigenous people have the right to the full and effective
enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized in
the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and other international human rights instruments.

     11. Every indigenous individual has the right to nationality.

     12. Indigenous people shall not be subjected to ethnocide and
cultural genocide and victims shall have the right of redress. 
Preventive measures shall be taken against:

     (a) Any action that has the aim or effect of depriving them of
their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their ethnic identities or
their cultural values consistent with international human rights

     (b) Any action that has the aim or effect of dispossessing them
of their lands or resources;

     (c) Any form of population transfer that has the aim or effect of
violating or undermining any of their rights;

     (d) Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or
ways of life on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;

     (e) Any form of propaganda directed against them that would
result in ethnocide or cultural genocide.

     13. Indigenous people have the responsibility to adhere to and
respect universally accepted principles of justice, peace, human
rights and a more humane international order; they also have
responsibility to work for sustained economic growth and sustainable

                           D.  Education and health

     14. Indigenous people, especially their children, have the right
to all levels and forms of education of the State.  They also have the
right to establish and operate institutions providing education in a
manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning,
giving priority to qualified tribal members.

     15. Indigenous children living outside their communities have the
right to be provided access to education in their own culture and

     16. Indigenous people have the right to have the dignity and
diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations
appropriately reflected in all forms of education and public

     17. Indigenous people have the right to equal access to medical
institutions as well as to health and medical care systems.

     18. Indigenous people also have the right to their traditional
medicines and health practices, including the right to the protection
of vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals.  Their traditional
knowledge as regards the identification and use of medicinal plants,
animals and minerals must be protected, and where this knowledge is
commercialized and applied for profit without their consent,
Governments concerned must consult the indigenous people from whom
such knowledge has been taken, on whether they want to be compensated
and if they so desire, the Governments concerned shall assist them in
securing due compensation.  Measures should be taken by appropriate
authority prior to distribution of such traditional medicines to
ensure that these do not have detrimental effects on the health of the

                               E.  Participation

     19. Indigenous people have the right to participate fully, if
they so choose, at all levels of decision-making in matters that may
affect their rights, lives and destinies through representatives
chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well
as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making

     20. Indigenous people have the right to determine and develop
priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. 
The development of health, housing and other economic and social
programmes affecting indigenous people, and the administration of such
programmes, shall be done through their own institutions and in
consultation with them.

     21. Indigenous people require greater control over their lands,
and self-management of their resources.

     22. Indigenous people should be represented, if possible at
international forums, inter alia, by including them in national
delegations to the United Nations.

                     F.  Peace and sustainable development

     23. Indigenous people should encourage and support the joint
efforts of Governments and other groups to establish and maintain
peace and national unity.

     24. Peace and sustainable development are interdependent and
mutually reinforcing.  Indigenous people, who represent a significant
part of the world's population, depend on renewable resources and
ecosystems, as well as the condition of peace, to maintain their well-
being.  While they have evolved a holistic, traditional scientific
knowledge of their land, natural resources and environment, their
ability to practise sustainable development of their lands has been
limited by economic, social and historical factors.

     25. Governments and international organizations must recognize
the values, traditional knowledge and resource management practices
that indigenous people use to manage their environments, and apply
this knowledge to other areas where development is taking place. 
Governments should also provide indigenous people with suitable
technologies to increase the efficiency of their resource management.

     26. Indigenous people have the right to maintain and develop
their distinct cultural, economic and social systems, to be secure in
the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development and to
engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. 
Indigenous people who have been deprived of their means of subsistence
and development are entitled to due process of law and just and fair

     27. Indigenous people have the right to special measures for the
immediate, effective and continuing improvement of their political,
economic and social conditions, including in the areas of employment,
vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and
social security.

     28. International agencies and Governments are encouraged to work
with indigenous people to support their development plans and
priorities, religious partnerships, international trade and
strengthening of local economies.

     29. Indigenous people have the right to the conservation,
restoration and protection of the total environment and the productive
capacity of their lands and resources.  Governments must recognize
that indigenous lands need to be protected from environmentally
unsound activities, and from activities the people consider to be
politically, socially and culturally inappropriate.  There should be
national dispute-resolution procedures to deal with concerns about the
settlement of land and use of resources.

     30. Indigenous people should have access to adequate financial
and technical assistance, from States and through international
cooperation, to pursue freely their cultural, economic, social and
spiritual development and for the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms
recognized in the present Declaration.

     31. Governments are encouraged to incorporate the rights and
responsibilities of indigenous people into national legislation. 
Countries should adopt laws and policies to preserve customary
practices, and protect indigenous property, including ideas and
knowledge.  Indigenous people should be allowed to participate
actively in shaping national laws and policies on the management of
resources or other development processes that affect them.

                                  II.  YOUTH

     32. Young people represent a major and growing sector of the
world's population and, as inheritors of the future, have an important
role to play in solving the major problems facing humankind.  It is
necessary for them to play an active part in all aspects of the
social, economic, political, educational, cultural, spiritual and
moral life as partners in the development of society.

                           A.  Education and health

     33. All young people have the right to basic and relevant
education and to health services in their own interest and of society
as a whole.  It is the responsibility of each Government to mobilize
the necessary awareness, resources and channels.  These measures
should be supported by international cooperation.

     34. Youth, especially the economically and socially disadvantaged
and those with physical or mental disabilities, must have access to
their right to culture.  They must be allowed to strengthen their
cultural bonds, looking into their historical origins to draw from the
mainspring of spiritual traditions in a spirit of freedom and
diversity, communicating self-worth, hope and a vision and commitment
for a dignified life.

     35. Opportunities for young people to pursue advanced or
university education, or engage in research or be trained for self-
employment, should be encouraged in developing countries.

     36. Efforts should be expedited to achieve the goals of national
health-for-all strategies, based on equality and social justice in
line with the Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care, by
developing or updating country action plans or programmes to ensure
universal, non-discriminatory access to basic health services,
including sanitation and drinking water, to protect health, and to
promote nutrition education and preventive health programmes.

     37. Support should be provided for stronger, better coordinated
global actions against major diseases that take a heavy toll of human
lives, such as malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever and
HIV/AIDS; in this context, support should be continued for the Joint
and Co-sponsored United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

     38. Governments, in cooperation with youth organizations, should
promote healthier lifestyles and, in this context, should investigate
the possibility of adopting policies for discouraging drug, tobacco
and alcohol abuse, including the possibility of banning advertisements
of tobacco and alcohol.  They should also undertake programmes that
inform young people about the adverse effects of drug, alcohol and
tobacco addiction.

     39. Programmes should be instituted, with the appropriate
assistance of the United Nations bodies and organizations concerned,
to train medical, paramedical and educational personnel, and personnel
working with youth, in health issues of particular concern to young
people, including healthy lifestyles.  Research into such issues
should be promoted, particularly research into the effects and
treatment of substance abuse.  Youth organizations should be involved
in these efforts.

                     B.  Human rights and responsibilities

     40. The young generation has the right to live in peace, freedom
and security in the social context, as well as the right to education,
work and occupational development.

     41. Governments should ensure that the United Nations Decade for
Human Rights Education (1995-2005) is adequately observed in schools
and educational institutions.  In order to make youth aware of their
civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, as well as
their societal responsibilities, and in order to develop harmonious
intercommunity relations, mutual tolerance, mutual respect, equality
between women and men, and tolerance for diversity, [in the framework
of their beliefs] Governments should develop human rights education
strategies targeted to youth, taking particular account of the human
rights of women and the girl child.

     42. Countries should combat human rights abuses against youth,
especially young women and girls, and see that their children are
healthy, adequately fed, educated and protected from pollution and
toxic substances.

     43. As recommended by the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action, the International Conference on Population and Development,
the World Summit on Social Development and the Fourth World Conference
on Women, and bearing in mind that young women are especially
vulnerable, Governments should cooperate at the international level
and take effective steps, including specific preventive measures, to
protect children, adolescents and youth from neglect, abandonment and
all types of exploitation and abuse, such as abduction, rape and
incest, pornography, trafficking and acts of paedophilia, as well as
from commercial sexual exploitation resulting from pornography and
prostitution.  Governments should enact and enforce legislation
prohibiting female genital mutilation wherever it exists and give
vigorous support to efforts among non-governmental and community
organizations and religious institutions to eliminate such practices.

     44. The opportunities for youth to learn their rights and
responsibilities, promoting their social, political, developmental and
environmental participation and removing obstacles that affect their
full contribution to society, must be encouraged.

                               C.  Participation

     45. Governments should consult youth and establish procedures
allowing for consultations and participation of youth in decision-
making processes on matters that affect them, including the
environment, among others, and to involve youth at the local, national
and regional levels.

     46. Youth, particularly indigenous youth, should be represented
if possible at international forums, inter alia, by including them in
national delegations to the United Nations.

     47. The rights of disadvantaged and vulnerable youth must be
protected; they should be encouraged to participate fully in the life
of society.

                     D.  Peace and sustainable development

     48. Peace and sustainable development plans should ensure young
people a secure future, including a healthy environment, improved
living standards, education and jobs.

     49. Governments should be encouraged to implement youth
entrepreneurship programmes.

     50. Governments, in cooperation with regional and international
organizations, should formulate model programmes of training for youth
in individual and cooperative enterprises.  They are encouraged to
establish self-contained enterprise centres where young people may
plan and test their enterprise venture concepts.

     51. The deterioration of the natural environment is one of the
principal concerns of young people worldwide as it has direct
implications for their well-being at present and in the future.  The
natural environment must be maintained and preserved for both present
and future generations.  The causes of environmental degradation must
be addressed.  The environmentally friendly use of natural resources
and environmentally sustainable economic growth will improve human
life.  Sustainable development has become a key element in the
programmes of youth organizations throughout the world.  While every
segment of society is responsible for maintaining the environmental
integrity of the community, youth have a special interest in
maintaining a healthy environment because they will be the ones to
inherit it.

     52. Government should provide grants of land to youth and youth
organizations, supported by financial and technical assistance and
training.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
and the International Labour Organization are invited to document and
disseminate information about national experience with land-grant and
settlement schemes for use by Governments.

     53. Programmes aimed at learning peacemaking and dispute and
conflict resolution should be encouraged and designed by Governments
and educational institutions for introduction to schools at all
levels.  Children and youth should be informed of cultural differences
in their own societies and given opportunities to learn about
different cultures as well as tolerance and mutual respect for
cultural and religious diversity.  Governments and educational
institutions should formulate and implement such educational
programmes that promote and strengthen respect for all human rights
and fundamental freedoms; and enhance the values of peace, solidarity,
tolerance, responsibility and respect for the diversity and rights of

     54. Governments and other relevant organizations, particularly
youth organizations, should consider organizing information campaigns,
educational and training programmes in order to sensitize youth as
well as their families to the personally and socially detrimental
effects of violence in the family, community and society, teach them
how to communicate without violence, and promote training so that they
can protect themselves and others against violence.  Governments
should also develop programmes to promote tolerance and better
understanding among youth, with a view to eradicating contemporary
forms of racism, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination,
xenophobia, and related intolerance, and thereby prevent violence.

     55. To prevent violence and crime, the development of social
organization, particularly through youth organizations and community
involvement, should be fostered by a supportive social policy and
within a legal framework.  Government assistance should focus on
facilitating the abilities of community and youth organizations to
express and evaluate their needs concerning the prevention of violence
and crime, to formulate and implement actions for themselves, and to
cooperate with each other.

     56. One of the most important tasks of youth policy is to improve
the situation of girls and young women.  Governments therefore should
implement their obligations under international human rights
instruments as well as under the Platform for Action of the Fourth
World Conference on Women, the Programme of Action of the
International Conference on Population and Development, the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human
Rights and other programmes of relevant United Nations conferences. 
Girls are often treated as inferior and are socialized to put
themselves last, thus undermining their self-esteem.  Discrimination
and neglect in childhood can initiate a lifelong downward spiral of
deprivation and exclusion from the social mainstream, negative
cultural attitudes and practices, as well as gender-biased educational
processes, including curricula and educational materials and
practices.  Teachers' attitudes and classroom interaction reinforce
existing gender inequalities.

                      E.  The arts, the media and sports

     57. Arts, media and sports institutions should be encouraged to
promote peace and sustainable development.

     58. Governments should, to the extent consistent with freedom of
expression, encourage the media and advertising agencies to develop
programmes to ensure widespread dissemination of information on
environmental issues to continue to raise awareness thereof among

     59. The importance of leisure-time activities in the
psychological, cognitive and physical development of young people is
recognized in any society.  Leisure-time activities include games,
sports, cultural events, entertainment and community service. 
Appropriate leisure programmes for youth are elements of any measure
aimed at fighting social ills, such as drug abuse, juvenile
delinquency and other deviant behaviour.  While leisure programmes can
contribute greatly to the development of the physical, intellectual
and emotional potential of young people, they should be designed with
due care and concern so that they are not used as a means for
excluding youth from participating in other aspects of social life or
for indoctrinating them.  Leisure-time activity programmes should be
made freely available to young people.

     60. The media should promote positive cultural awareness and
dialogue among indigenous people, youth and civil society.  The media
should be called upon to address its image distortions of cultural
groups by portraying positive images of indigenous people, youth and

                            III.  A NEW PARTNERSHIP

     61. To achieve peace and people-oriented development, we, the
participants, agree to forge a new partnership among indigenous
people, youth and artists and we commit ourselves to fulfil the
commitments and to work for the aspirations reflected in the foregoing

     62. We agree to support ongoing and new creative partnerships,
recognizing that indigenous people, youth and other disadvantaged and
vulnerable groups possess in common the potential for diverse
realization of full human development.

     63. In the spirit of cooperative linkages for joint exploration
of human potentials, we agree to focus on partnership actions that
clarify, interpret, create, protect and promote socio-legal,
political, economic, educational, cultural, moral and spiritual
processes affecting the abilities of indigenous people and youth to
choose, maintain, access, encourage, manage and actualize their
diverse ways of achieving just and humane growth and development.

     64. We believe that the struggle against poverty, pollution,
ignorance and injustice can be won through dialogue and the arts,
continuing education, cultural olympics and summits that will link the
energy and idealism of youth with the wealth and wisdom of indigenous
people, and thus build a bridge to serve the dynamic flow of a new
partnership for a culture of peace and sustainable development,
between the keepers of Earth-based knowledge and the voices and hopes
of the future.  We therefore agree to mobilize the creative force of
the values and culture of indigenous people, youth, the arts and the
media, to stop violence against humankind and mother Earth.

     65. We agree to support indigenous people, youth and other
disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, as well as artists, in their
pursuit of cultural identity, education and health, human rights and
responsibilities, rights to land and culture, full participation in
the life of society, and development in a condition of peace and in
harmony with nature.

     66. We agree to encourage initiatives relating to the betterment
of the quality of life of indigenous people, including:  (a) human
rights education centres in indigenous communities staffed by
volunteers; (b) training institutes for indigenous leaders to build
capabilities among youth, women and artists; (c) exchange programmes
to facilitate action among indigenous people and youth across borders;
and (d) adequate orientation and training for government officials who
may be involved in the development, establishment and maintenance of
such initiatives.

     67. We agree to practise and promote new partnerships in cultures
and the arts, the media and communications, new and emerging arts and
the information highway.

     68. We agree to foster among indigenous people and youth the
development of spiritual and religious energy in its personal,
communitarian and social dimension.

     69. We agree to promote the values of dialogue and intercultural
and interreligious openness and tolerance, so that we can develop:

     -   The ethic of solidarity;

     -   The enjoyment and protection of human rights as part of our
         way of life;

     -   The conduct of consultations as the preferred approach to
         problems requiring policy decisions;

     -   The observance of production and consumption patterns
         supportive of the livelihood and integrity of indigenous
         people; and

     -   An atmosphere where indigenous people confidently share their
         wisdom with the young, and youth in turn mobilize their
         energy in exploring and regenerating their traditional

     70. Finally, we agree to take the lessons learned and the
principles that emerged from this dialogue to higher levels of
discussion in future international forums.



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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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