United Nations

A/51/499


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

15 October 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH/SPANISH


                                                A/51/499

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 107


          PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL DECADE OF THE
                           WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

         Implementation of the programme of activities for the Decade

                        Report of the Secretary-General


                                   CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION .........................................    1 - 29     3

      A. Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and
         Protection of Minorities .........................    10 - 17     4

      B. Working Group on Indigenous Populations ..........    18 - 29     5

II.   THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE DECADE ...............   30 - 93     7

      Activities to be undertaken by the major actors ......   34 - 93     7

      1. United Nations observances .......................    35 - 46     7

         (a)  International Day of the World's Indigenous
              People .......................................   35 - 42     7

         (b)  Official observance of the Decade at
              international conferences ....................   43 - 46     9

      2. Activities of the Coordinator and the Centre for
         Human Rights .....................................    47 - 59     9

         (a)  Voluntary Fund for the International Decade
              of the World's Indigenous People .............   47 - 52     9

         (b)  Fellowship programme .........................   53 - 54    10

         (c)  Expert Seminar on Practical Experiences
              Regarding Indigenous Land Rights and Claims ..      55      11

         (d)  Workshop for Indigenous Peoples of the 
              Pacific, on the United Nations Draft 
              Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
              People .......................................   56 - 59    11

      3. Operational activities of the United Nations 
         system ...........................................    60 - 70    11

      4. Activities of regional organizations .............    71 - 74    13

      5. Activities of Member States ......................    75 - 82    13

      6. Activities of organizations of indigenous people .    83 - 85    15

      7. Activities of non-governmental organizations and
         other interested groups, including education
         establishments, the media and business ...........    86 - 93    15

III.  FINAL COMMENTS .......................................   94 - 106   16

                                    Annexes

 I.   Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of the World's
      Indigenous People - estimated income as at 12 September 1996 ....   20

II.   International Decade of the World's Indigenous People ...........   21

III.  Questionnaire for applicants to the Voluntary Fund ..............   23


                               I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   By resolution 48/163, of 21 December 1993 the General Assembly
proclaimed the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People,
commencing on 10 December 1994, the main objective of which is the
strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of
problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the
environment, development, education and health.

2.   By the same resolution, the General Assembly requested the
Secretary-General to appoint the Assistant Secretary-General for Human
Rights as the Coordinator for the Decade.

3.   By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994 concerning the
International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, the General
Assembly adopted the short-term programme of activities for the Decade
for 1995 contained in annex II to the report of the Secretary-General,
1/ and invited the Commission on Human Rights, at its fifty-first
session, to consider it.

4.   The World Conference on Human Rights, which was held in Vienna,
recommended, in its Declaration and Programme of Action, that the
General Assembly should proclaim an international decade of the
world's indigenous people, beginning in 1994 with action-oriented
programmes to be decided upon in partnership with indigenous people. 
It recommended that a voluntary trust fund should be set up and that
consideration should be given to the establishment of a permanent
forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system.

5.   The Programme of Activities for the International Decade of the
World's Indigenous People was adopted by the General Assembly in
resolution 50/157 of 21 December 1995.  The Assembly adopted a number
of recommendations concerning the Decade and decided that the
programme of activities should be reviewed and updated throughout the
Decade and that at the mid-point of the Decade the Economic and Social
Council and the General Assembly should review the results of the
activities to identify obstacles to the achievement of the goals of
the Decade and to recommend solutions for overcoming them.

6.   One of the objectives of the International Decade was the adoption
of the draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous
people, currently under discussion in the Working Group of the
Commission on Human Rights established pursuant to Commission
resolution 1995/32 of 3 March 1995, and the establishment of a
permanent forum for indigenous people within the United Nations.  The
purpose of the forum would be to create a permanent arena where
indigenous people could raise and discuss matters of interest to them
with Governments.  Indigenous people could promote peace and
prosperity in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

7.   The United Nations has carried out a series of activities relating
to the rights of indigenous people.  They include a study of treaties
and agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and
indigenous peoples and one on the protection of the heritage of
indigenous peoples.  In March 1996 an expert seminar on practical
experience regarding indigenous land rights and claims was held in
Whitehorse, Canada, at the invitation of the Canadian Government and
the Centre for Human Rights.  The important topic of the rights of
indigenous people was discussed at various high-level conferences,
including Habitat II in Istanbul, in June 1996, and the Fourth World
Conference on Women in Beijing, in September 1995.

8.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights lays
particular emphasis on international cooperation for the solution of
the problems faced by indigenous peoples, and attaches priority to
promoting and ensuring an ongoing dialogue between Governments and
indigenous people.  He invites Governments and non-governmental
organizations to find better ways of strengthening technical
assistance to indigenous people and encouraging their organizations to
find and implement solutions to their own problems.

9.   The High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights, in
his new institutional infrastructure, has resolved to strengthen and
renew efforts to achieve the goals of the Programme of Activities for
the International Decade.


               A.  Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and
                   Protection of Minorities

10.  During its forty-eighth session, which was held from 2 to 29
August 1996, the Subcommission considered the item relating to
discrimination against indigenous peoples and recommended 2/ that the
Working Group on Indigenous Populations should cooperate as a body of
experts in any conceptual clarifications or analysis, which might also
assist the working group established by the Commission on Human Rights
to elaborate further the draft declaration on the rights of indigenous
peoples.  It also recommended that the Working Group should continue
to address health and other important issues, including education,
development, the environment and land at its future sessions.

11.  The Subcommission requested the Secretary-General to invite
Governments, intergovernmental organizations and indigenous and non-
governmental organizations to provide information and data, in
particular on matters relating to "Indigenous peoples:  land and
environment" and health; these would be made available as background
papers at the fifteenth session of the Working Group.

12.  With regard to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous
Populations and the Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of the
World's Indigenous People, it recommended 3/ that the relevant United
Nations departments should establish separate accounts and separate
bodies for the two Funds and, if possible, transfer the financial
management of the Funds from New York to Geneva.

13.  With regard to the International Decade of the World's Indigenous
People, the Subcommission recommended 4/ that the draft United Nations
declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples should be adopted as
early as possible in the International Decade.  It recommended that
the Centre for Human Rights should organize a workshop of indigenous
journalists, in order to improve dissemination of information about
the United Nations and its activities relating to indigenous peoples
and that it should organize further technical meetings relating to
indigenous land rights and claims, focusing on issues such as the
negotiation process and co-management regimes.

14.  With regard to the permanent forum for indigenous people in the
United Nations system, the Subcommission recommended 5/ that the
Centre for Human Rights should organize a second workshop on a
permanent forum for indigenous peoples in early 1997.  It recommended
that the permanent forum should be established in the early part of
the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People and that its
mandate should include questions relating to all fields included in
the programme of activities for the International Decade.

15.  With regard to the issue of religious freedom of indigenous
peoples, it recommended 6/ that the Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance should explore in
depth the impact that outside influences had on those communities'
ability to practise their religion.

16.  With regard to the protection of the heritage of indigenous
people, the Subcommission recommended 7/ to the Commission on Human
Rights for adoption of a draft decision recommending that
Ms. Erica-Irene A. Daes be entrusted with a continuing mandate to
exchange information with all parts of the United Nations system
involved in activities concerned with the heritage of indigenous
people, with the purpose of facilitating cooperation and coordination
and of promoting the full participation of indigenous people in those
efforts.

17.  With regard to a study on indigenous land rights, the
Subcommission recommended 8/ to the Commission on Human Rights for
adoption a draft decision appointing Ms. Erica-Irene Daes as Special
Rapporteur to conduct a comprehensive study on indigenous land rights
and requesting the Special Rapporteur to submit a preliminary report
to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at its fifteenth
session and to the Subcommission at its forty-ninth session.  It also
recommended that the Economic and Social Council should approve and
endorse that appointment.  


                  B.  Working Group on Indigenous Populations

18.  The purpose of the meetings of the Working Group on Indigenous
Populations is to review developments pertaining to the promotion and
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous
populations, and to develop new standards in that area.  Its most
notable achievements include preparing the draft declaration on the
rights of indigenous peoples, its support for the observance of the
International Year of the World's Indigenous People, and establishing
the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People.

19.  The Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 9/ at its fourteenth
session held from 29 July to 2 August 1996, considered the evolution
of standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples and the sub-
item on "the concept of indigenous peoples".  This sub-item will be
further discussed at the fifteenth session of the Working Group.

20.  A sub-item on health and indigenous peoples was also considered,
and it was decided to recommend that the Subcommission should request
the Centre for Human Rights to organize, together with the World
Health Organization (WHO), meetings within the framework of the
Decade, at regional and international levels, in which Government
health experts, indigenous health experts and others involved in that
field would develop practical projects and programmes.

21.  The Working Group expressed concern about the Human Genome
Diversity Programme, particularly about the lack of information made
available to indigenous peoples targeted by it.  It believed that the
Programme should be halted until all the indigenous peoples affected
by it were fully informed, and that it should be left to the people or
communities to freely decide whether or not to collaborate in the
Programme, and that their decision should be respected.

22.  The Working Group considered that the land and health of
indigenous peoples were closely related issues.  It examined reports
from various Governments and indigenous organizations giving details
of their experience in efforts to improve the health of these peoples. 
It was decided to examine this item further at the following session
of the Working Group.

23.  It was agreed that a review of the question of "Indigenous
peoples:  land and environment" should be included in the agenda of
the fifteenth session of the Working Group.  

24.  The Working Group considered that the permanent forum should be
established at the highest possible level within the United Nations
system, and that it should not be a replacement for the Working Group
on Indigenous Populations.  It expressed its appreciation to the
Government of Chile for its offer to host the second workshop on the
possible establishment of the proposed forum; the workshop is to be
held at the beginning of 1997.

25.  The Working Group called on Governments and specialized agencies
of the United Nations to cooperate closely with indigenous peoples in
order to reach agreements which would ensure that the objectives of
the Decade were achieved.

26.  Voluntary Fund for the International Decade.  The Working Group
felt it was necessary to call on Governments and private bodies to be
more generous in their contributions to the Voluntary Fund for the
International Decade, so that the basic objectives of the Decade could
be achieved.  

27.  It recommended that the General Assembly should adopt the draft
United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, to
allow it to continue its work on one of the main objectives of the
Decade, namely, the evolution of international standards to promote
and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

28.  It agreed to invite Governments, intergovernmental bodies,
indigenous communities and associations, non-governmental
organizations and bodies within the United Nations system to submit
comments on the concept of indigenous peoples, and also on the issues
which it had agreed to discuss at the fifteenth session.

29.  The Working Group decided to recommend that the Subcommission
should undertake a wide-ranging study on the recognition of indigenous
land rights, and to appoint a special rapporteur on the subject.  


                  II.  THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE DECADE

30.  In its resolution 50/157, the General Assembly adopted the
programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's
Indigenous People.  In the outline of its objectives, great importance
is attached to the role of international cooperation for the solution
of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights,
the environment, development, health, culture and education.

31.  It establishes education as being of vital importance in the
solution of the problems facing indigenous peoples, and stresses the
need to promote and protect the human rights of indigenous peoples.

32.  It recommends that a permanent forum for indigenous people should
be set up within the United Nations system, and that the draft United
Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples should be
adopted.

33.  It also states that the objectives of the Decade should be
assessed by quantifiable outcomes that will improve the lives of
indigenous peoples and that can be evaluated halfway through the
Decade and at its end.


                Activities to be undertaken by the major actors

34.  The General Assembly, in its resolutions 48/163, 49/214 and 50/157
concerning the Decade, recommends that the United Nations system,
Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and
other interested parties should contribute to the activities and
objectives of the Decade together with the indigenous peoples.


                        1.  United Nations observances

(a)  International Day of the World's Indigenous People

35.  Ceremonies in observance of the International Day of the World's
Indigenous People were held, for the second time, on 9 August 1996 at
United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations
Office at Geneva, in which representatives of indigenous peoples,
Governments and non-governmental organizations took part.  Relevant
aspects of human rights were examined, with attention focused on the
right to health of indigenous peoples.

36.  Participants in the ceremony in New York included representatives
of the American Indian Community House (United States of America) and
the Confederacio'n de Nacionalidades Indi'genas del Ecuador (Ecuador)
and one representative of the Mosiro Masai people (Kenya).  

37.  In his message, the Secretary-General pointed out that the International
Decade promotes concrete action in such vital areas as human rights,
protection of the environment and access to health and education - areas in
which indigenous people must be actively involved; and also referred to the
efforts the United Nations system can make to enhance international
cooperation and understanding on issues of central concern to the world's
indigenous people.  He called on the international community to redouble its
efforts in addressing the legitimate concerns and demands of indigenous
people.

38.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a message
delivered in New York on the International Day of the World's Indigenous
People, spoke of the need to set standards for the promotion and protection of
indigenous people's rights and the desirability of studying fundamental
aspects of their lives.  He indicated that those peoples must be given greater
access to decision-making processes at both national and international levels.

He stressed the urgent need for the adoption of legal instruments to safeguard
indigenous people's rights over their traditional territories, and for the
immediate implementation of those instruments, as the only way of ensuring the
survival of those peoples.

39.  The ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York included the
convening of a panel made up of representatives of the New York Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Labour Organization
(ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF), WHO and UNESCO, as well as three indigenous health
experts - the Director of Health Services of the American Indian Community
House, a member of the Confederacio'n de Nacionalidades Indi'genas of Ecuador,
and a representative of the Masai people of Kenya.  The panel considered the
theme of indigenous people and health, and it was decided that four basic
aspects of the issue should be focused on and analysed:  statistics,
information and education, medicinal plants and nutrition.

40.  Commemoration held at the United Nations Office at Geneva.  On the
occasion of the observance of the International Day of the World's Indigenous
People, the proceedings began with a statement by the Chairperson of the
Working Group on Indigenous Populations, who spoke of indigenous people's
relationship with nature and expressed her confidence in justice.  The event
was attended by delegates of WHO and indigenous representatives of the Aymara
people of Bolivia, the Maori people of New Zealand and the United States
Indian Law Resource Center.

41.  The ceremonies at the United Nations Office at Geneva included a round
table attended by representatives of WHO, the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the
Working Group on Indigenous Populations, representing the Centre for Human
Rights, two delegates of the World Council of Churches, one of them
representing the Aymara people of Bolivia and the other the Maori people of
New Zealand, and one delegate of the United States Indian Law Resource Center.

42.  The round table dealt with the topic of indigenous people and health. 
The discussion focused on the importance of spirituality as a component of
indigenous people's health; on the safeguarding of land rights and territorial
rights as a factor fundamental to their health; and on justice and respect for
the indigenous world-view in relation to health.  The representatives of WHO
gave details of health programmes and their influence on indigenous people. 
It was recommended that the question of indigenous people and health should be
considered in greater depth; and that States and agencies specializing in
health matters, and indigenous people themselves, must be actively involved in
that area.

(b)  Official observance of the Decade at international conferences

43.  The Decade has been observed as part of the proceedings of various
international conferences concerned with its objectives and themes.  Such
conferences include the World Summit for Social Development, 10/ held in
Copenhagen in March 1995, which stated that it recognized and supported
indigenous people in their pursuit of economic and social development, with
full respect for their identity, traditions, forms of social organization and
cultural values.

44.  The Fourth World Conference on Women, 11/ held in Beijing in
September 1995, in its Declaration and Platform for Action, called for an
intensification of efforts to ensure equal enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms for all women and girls who face multiple barriers to
their empowerment and advancement because of various factors, such as being
indigenous people.

45.  The International Conference on Population and Development, held in
Cairo in September 1994, 12/ referred in its Programme of Action to the
importance of incorporating the perspectives and needs of indigenous
communities into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the
population, development and environment programmes that affect them; ensuring
that indigenous people are provided with the population and development
services that they consider appropriate from the social, cultural and
ecological standpoints; and studying the social and economic factors that
place indigenous people at a disadvantage.

46.  The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) held in
Istanbul from 3 to 14 June 1996, included a round table in which indigenous
representatives took part; the important issue of indigenous human settlements
was discussed in plenary and the principles of sustainable development were
reasserted.  The item was included in the Global Plan of Action of the
Conference.


                 2.  Activities of the Coordinator and the Centre
                     for Human Rights

(a)  Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous
     People

47.  The Voluntary Fund for the Decade was set up pursuant to General
Assembly resolutions 48/163 and 49/214, with the purpose of financing projects
and programmes during the Decade and strengthening international cooperation
for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people.

48.  The Voluntary Fund is administered by the Secretary-General in
accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the United Nations.  As
of 12 September 1996, the Fund's available resources stood at US$ 274,772 (see
annex I).

49.  Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 50/157, an Advisory Group was
established for the Voluntary Fund for the Decade, 13/ which, at its first
meeting, decided to draw up guidelines and a questionnaire (see annexes II and
III) to submit requests for financial support to the Fund and to consider, in
the near future, the analysis and adoption of projects put forward by and on
behalf of indigenous people.

50.  At its first meeting the Advisory Group recommended to the Coordinator
for the Decade that, within available resources, priority should be given to
the convening of a second international workshop on the possible establishment
of a permanent forum for indigenous people, and to developing a project for
scholarships for indigenous people wishing to acquire experience in the United
Nations system - activities recommended by General Assembly resolution 50/157.

51.  The Advisory Group recommended sponsoring, in conjunction with UNESCO,
the cross-border human rights training programme for indigenous
representatives and official delegates of Peru and Ecuador; providing
technical support for an information workshop on the draft declaration on the
rights of the indigenous people of the Pacific and Asia region, proposed by
the Government of Fiji; and providing assistance for the indigenous project
prepared by the East Africa Regional Information Office, with its headquarters
in Kenya.

52.  The Advisory Group will hold its 2nd meeting in the first quarter of
1997, to consider the analysis of projects put forward by and on behalf of
indigenous people and to make recommendations thereon.

(b)  Fellowship programme

53.  In 1997, the United Nations Office at Geneva will implement a pilot
programme of short-term fellowships for indigenous peoples.  The programme
will include training and practical work on human rights and on the United
Nations system.  It will be carried out in conjunction with organizations of
indigenous peoples and non-governmental organizations.  Fellowships will be
granted to representatives of three different regions, selected by the
Advisory Group to the Voluntary Fund for the International Decade, from
applications received before 15 November 1996.

54.  In February 1996, a UNESCO delegation met in Geneva with the High
Commissioner for Human Rights and officials of the Centre for Human Rights to
consider what activities could be carried out jointly, within the framework of
the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People.  Priority was given
to the cross-border human rights training programme for the indigenous peoples
of Peru and Ecuador, which will begin shortly, with the collaboration of the
Voluntary Fund for the International Decade.

(c)  Expert Seminar on Practical Experiences Regarding Indigenous Land Rights
     and Claims

55.  The seminar took place in Whitehorse, Canada, in March 1996, at the
invitation of the Government of Canada and the Centre for Human Rights, in
response to the proposal in General Assembly resolution 49/214.  Independent,
government and indigenous peoples' experts from various parts of the world
took part in the seminar and put forward proposals for the protection and
development of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples.  A series of
conclusions and recommendations 14/ were submitted to Governments, indigenous
peoples and their organizations, and to intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations.

(d)  Workshop for Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific, on the United Nations
     Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

56.  The workshop took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 4 September 1996.  It
was organized by the Government of Fiji and supported by UNDP, the European
Union, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Centre for Human
Rights.

57.  The Government of Fiji requested support from the Voluntary Fund for the
International Decade for the participation of three resource-persons for the
workshop:  the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Indigenous
Populations, the Special Rapporteur of the Subcommission and member of the
Working Group, and the Secretary of the Working Group on the draft
declaration.  On the recommendation of the Advisory Group of the Voluntary
Fund for the International Decade, the Coordinator decided to support the
workshop.

58.  Participants included 40 representatives of indigenous organizations
from Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua
New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Western Samoa, as well as
representatives of the Government of Fiji, a representative of UNDP and
observers from the Australian and New Zealand Embassies.

59.  Conclusions and follow-up.  The indigenous peoples of the South Pacific
islands were not well informed about United Nations activities relating to the
rights of indigenous peoples nor about human rights in general.  Interest was
expressed, not only in the draft declaration, but also in other initiatives,
such as the International Decade and the proposal to establish a permanent
forum.  The workshop served as a precedent for arousing greater interest in
the region in the work of the Centre for Human Rights and it is hoped that
there will be increased participation by the indigenous peoples of this region
in human rights meetings.  The Centre for Human Rights will send all
participants more information on the two working groups and on the existing
Voluntary Funds. 


            3.  Operational activities of the United Nations system

60.  In resolution 50/157 and based on the objectives set forth therein the
General Assembly recommends that the United Nations system should establish
coordination centres for indigenous issues, adopt programmes for the Decade,
develop training materials for indigenous peoples on human rights, and hold
consultations on the Decade with all interested parties.

Inter-Agency Consultation on Indigenous Peoples

61.  The Centre for Human Rights called a meeting of United Nations agencies
on 26 July 1996, in order to consult them regarding their activities in
relation to indigenous peoples.  The following information was provided.

62.  UNESCO has a project in Guatemala, called Maya World, in the areas of
education, science and human rights, stressing cultural integrity and
biological diversity.  As part of the activities being carried out in the
context of the World Decade for Cultural Development UNESCO is working to
enhance recognition of indigenous literature and to promote traditional
languages.

63.  WHO has established a focal point on indigenous peoples to deal with all
matters related to indigenous programmes.  On the occasion of the
International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples the WHO Assembly
adopted resolution WHA49.26 and exhorted member States to designate focal
points on issues relating to health and indigenous peoples.

64.  ILO deals with indigenous matters under Conventions Nos. 107 and 169
concerning human rights and offers technical assistance aimed at the
implementation and ratification of the two conventions.  It worked with the
Ministry of Nationalities of the Russian Federation to organize a meeting
in September 1995, the purpose of which was to gather international technical
assistance for the indigenous peoples of that country and to discuss
ratification of Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.  There is
also a project to promote the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples
according to norms established by the ILO.

65.  ILO is carrying out technical assistance programmes in Bolivia,
Guatemala and the Philippines and some training programmes on indigenous
issues in collaboration with intergovernmental organizations.  It is carrying
out an interregional programme to support self-reliance of indigenous and
tribal communities through cooperatives and other self-help organizations
(INDISCO).  This programme has been operating since 1993, with 17 pilot
projects in the Philippines, India and Central America.

66.  UNDP is considering activities for indigenous peoples under two
headings:  to develop a new information policy so as to promote the extensive
public dissemination of documents, and to establish a focal point for
indigenous peoples within the Programme.

67.  The World Bank, through the Department for Asia and Latin America, is
implementing projects which give special consideration to indigenous peoples. 
There is a trend to take into account the land rights and intellectual
property rights of indigenous peoples.

68.  The United Nations Mission for the Verification of Human Rights and of
Compliance with the Commitments of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights
in Guatemala (MINUGUA) is determining issues of identity, discrimination,
culture and right to land; these issues are supported by Convention No. 169. 
It is also involved in the setting up of technical cooperation programmes
outlined in the peace agreements.

69.  The purpose of the International Union for the Protection of New
Varieties of Plants, an intergovernmental organization, established by the
International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, is to
promote intellectual property rights.  It recognizes that there is a close
relationship between intellectual property rights and plant conservation, and
the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and to their survival.

70.  The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, stresses the
importance of the Convention's framework in relation to respect for indigenous
innovations and practices and for the way of life of traditional local
communities, an issue which it is trying to address.


                   4.  Activities of regional organizations

71.  The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of
American States (OAS) is preparing an Inter-American Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous People, a draft of which was adopted by the Commission in
September 1995.  Over an extended period ending on 30 November 1996, the
Commission is holding consultations with governments and organizations of
indigenous people, with a view to revising the draft declaration and later
submitting it to the OAS General Assembly for consideration in 1997.

72.  The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reports that 15/
organizations of indigenous people of the Americas have examined the draft
declaration.  It was discussed at the World Meeting of Indigenous People, held
in Peru in October 1995, a Canadian Bar Association seminar, held at Ottawa in
October 1995, an international meeting on the draft inter-American declaration
held in Canada in February 1996, organized by the Fundacio'n Canadiense para
Ame'rica Latina y el Caribe (FOCAL), and in other forums.

73.  Other governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as the
Directorate of Indigenous Affairs in the Venezuelan Ministry of Education, the
Organizacio'n Nacional Indi'gena Salvadoren~a, the Asociacio'n Kuna Napguana
de Panama', the Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec and the Centros
Culturales Mapuche de Can~ete Asociacio'n Gremial, have provided comments on
the draft declaration to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

74.  The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been concerned with the
health of indigenous people since 1992.  In its 1995 work plan, PAHO proposed
to give priority to the development of programmes for indigenous people,
including a traditional medicine programme and a subregional communication and
coordination programme.


                        5.  Activities of Member States

75.  Mention should be made of the ILO Convention on Indigenous and Tribal
Peoples in Independent Countries (No. 169), which has now been ratified by 10
countries:  Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Guatemala, Honduras,
Paraguay, Peru, Mexico and Norway.

76.  Bolivia and Peru are among the Member States which have reported the
establishment of National Committees for the Decade.  Such actions are among
the ways in which countries have responded to the resolutions on the Decade;
Member States are urged to emulate that response by forming more national
committees for the Decade.

77.  The Government of Bolivia reports that fundamental constitutional and
educational reforms have been carried out which grant specific rights to
indigenous people.  In 1996 it held the First Multi-ethnic Conference of
Bolivian Women with a view to analysing issues affecting women from the
standpoint of gender and culture.

78.  The Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
announced that the Government of Canada recognizes and observes 9 August as
the International Day of the World's Indigenous People, emphasizing, in
particular, the importance of trade and economic development for Canada's
indigenous people.  The Government notes that enterprises and the
participation of indigenous people in international trade are growing through
worldwide bilateral initiatives.  On the International Day, the Government
recognizes that an objective of the International Decade of the World's
Indigenous People is to strengthen international cooperation for the solution
of problems faced by indigenous people.

79.  The Government of Canada has carried out activities in connection with
the Decade.  It declared 21 June, the date of the summer solstice, which is of
great spiritual importance to Canada's indigenous people, as the national day
of indigenous people.  It participates in the Working Group on Indigenous
Populations of the Commission on Human Rights (Subcommission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities) and is a member of the open-ended
inter-sessional Working Group of the Commission which is elaborating a draft
declaration on the rights of indigenous people.

80.  The Arctic Council, of which Canada is a member, includes the Arctic
countries and circumpolar organizations, such as the Inuit Circumpolar
Conference, the Saami Council and the Association of Indigenous Minorities of
the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation, which represent
the majority of indigenous people of the Arctic region.  The Council is
working on two main projects:  an environmental protection strategy and a
sustainable development strategy for the Arctic region.  An objective of the
Canada-Mexico Declaration, signed in June 1996, is the development of trade
between indigenous people of the two countries.

81.  In March 1996 the Government of the Philippines held the Global
Indigenous and Youth Cultural Olympics/Summit for Peace and Sustainable
Development with the theme "Partnership in action with youth for peace and
sustainable development".  The Summit adopted the Manila Declaration, which
takes into account the aspirations, objectives and programmes of the
International Decade of the World's Indigenous People and the outcome of
recent world conferences, keeping in mind the need to ensure humane cultural
survival while pursuing people-oriented development.  The Declaration has
three sections; the first deals with indigenous people, the second with
indigenous youth and the third with a new partnership with indigenous people.

82.  The main themes of the Summit were:  cultural identity and the arts;
land and culture; human rights and responsibilities; education and health;
participation; and peace and sustainable development.


             6.  Activities of organizations of indigenous people

83.  Representatives of organizations of indigenous people of the western
hemisphere, including, inter alia, Organizacio'n Nacional Indi'gena de
Colombia, Coordinadora de Nacionalidades Indi'genas del Ecuador, Asociacio'n
Intere'tnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana, Consejo de Todas las Tierras
Mapuche Wali Mapuche de Chile, Regio'n Auto'noma del Atla'ntico Norte de
Nicaragua, La Nacio'n Kuna de Panama', Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec,
Centro de Informacio'n Indi'gena de Sur Ame'rica and SAIIC, met at Copenhagen
from 5 to 10 August 1996, with a view to holding a dialogue, exchanging
experience regarding current problems in their communities and considering
future actions to be taken to solve those problems.

84.  The following was discussed at the meeting:  territorial rights,
autonomy and self-determination; biodiversity and intellectual property; the
indigenous woman; indigenous health and medicine; communication; religion and
spirituality, education and culture; international agreements; international
cooperation and development for indigenous people.

85.  The conclusions and resolutions of the meeting expressed the view that
the right to self-identification was an inalienable right of indigenous people
and all other people.  Discussions centred on the importance of organized
participation in the United Nations, OAS and the European Union in order to
broaden opportunities for consultation through unified approaches to the
development of international legal instruments for indigenous people.  The
meeting culminated in the adoption of the Copenhagen Declaration.


7.  Activities of non-governmental organizations and other
    interested groups, including education establishments,
    the media and business                                

Parlamento Indi'gena de Ame'rica

86.  At its Tenth Meeting held on 28 and 29 March 1996 in Quito, Ecuador,
with the participation of indigenous representatives from Bolivia, Ecuador,
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, the Parlamento
Indi'gena de Ame'rica approved a draft agreement with UNESCO on indigenous
languages and intellectual property of indigenous people on the American
continent and an agreement between PAHO and WHO concerning the health of
indigenous people.

87.  At that meeting, taking into account, inter alia, that the International
Decade of the World's Indigenous People offers an ideal opportunity for
promoting actions in support of the overall development of indigenous people,
the Quito Declaration was adopted.

88.  The European Parliament Intergroup for Indigenous People is an informal
group of members of the European Parliament that was established to discuss
issues affecting indigenous people.  The European Parliament raises such
issues in the European Union.  Two decisions have been adopted which recognize
the importance of the participation of indigenous people in decisions on
matters which affect them.  The Council of Europe has been requested to adopt
a common position in the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights with
regard to the adoption of the draft declaration on the rights of indigenous
people in the context of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous
People.

89.  In Chile, the Instituto de Estudios Indi'genas de la Universidad de la
Frontera has established a centre for the preservation of indigenous culture,
with the aim of increasing the visibility of the indigenous people of Chile.

90.  In Spain, the independent intellectuals' debating forum of the
Fundacio'n de Pueblos Indi'genas, meeting in Madrid on 12 July 1996, decided,
inter alia, to urge similar writers' organizations throughout the world,
especially those in countries members of the European Union, to recognize
explicitly the collective intellectual property rights of indigenous people.

91.  The International Alliance of the Indigenous Tribal Peoples of the
Tropical Forests, which represents organizations of indigenous people in 30
countries, met in Geneva on 26 July 1996, in order to draw up a calendar of
international meetings to be held during 1996-1997 on topics related to
indigenous people and to increase the participation of indigenous people in
such meetings.

92.  The NGO Committee for the Decade, in which organizations of the world's
indigenous people participate, meets once a month in New York to discuss
matters relating to the Decade.

93.  The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has institutional affiliates
in over 50 countries, has held meetings with indigenous and rural communities
on such topics as the management of protected areas and conservation of
natural resources.


                             III.  FINAL COMMENTS

94.  The Programme of Activities for the International Decade of the World's
Indigenous People is very comprehensive, and indispensable for resolving the
many problems facing indigenous people.  Despite all that has been done and
all the headway made in this last year, much remains to be accomplished, and
hence all those involved are urged to make a greater effort to advance the
goals of the Decade.

95.  The main objective of the Decade, and the focus of the work being done,
is the strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems
faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment,
development, health, culture and education.  It is recommended that
Governments, regional organizations, organizations of indigenous people,
government bodies, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties
should establish coordination mechanisms for the solution of such problems.

96.  It is recommended that national committees or similar mechanisms should
be  established at various levels, with full indigenous participation, and
that regional, national and local focal points should also be established to
help implement plans of action.

97.  It is recommended that the Commission on Human Rights should adopt the
Subcommission's draft resolution appointing Ms. Erica-Irene Daes as Special
Rapporteur to conduct a comprehensive study on indigenous land rights.

98.  Governments, private organizations, indigenous organizations and
individuals are to be commended for their collaboration and the contributions
they have made to the Voluntary Fund for the International Decade.  Yet
although progress has been made in achieving the goals of the Decade, the
existing budgetary resources do not permit full realization of all the planned
activities; and it is therefore imperative for Governments, intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and other private
bodies to give more generously to the Fund.

99.  It is recommended that the programme of fellowships offered by the
United Nations Centre for Human Rights and certain specialized agencies to
train indigenous people wishing to gain experience relevant to indigenous
issues should be expanded; and also that community-based training and
educational programmes on human rights and indigenous rights should be set up,
and training and technical assistance courses in project design and management
should be developed.

100. It is recommended that Governments and indigenous and other
organizations should promote a knowledge and appreciation of the cultures of
indigenous people among teachers, public health workers and all who work or
have dealings with indigenous communities; and that teaching material should
be prepared, in indigenous languages when possible, reflecting aspects of the
culture under consideration.

101. It would be desirable for the Centre for Human Rights to organize a
workshop for indigenous journalists in order to improve dissemination of
information about the United Nations and its activities relating to indigenous
peoples; and to organize further technical meetings on questions relating to
indigenous land rights and claims.

102. It is recommended that the Coordinator of the Decade, with the help of
Governments, regional organizations, Member States, organizations of
indigenous people, non-governmental organizations and other interested
parties, should organize a communications network guaranteeing the prompt
distribution of information about the Decade to those concerned.

103. It is recognized that progress has been made in realizing the objective
of the Decade that consists in implementing the recommendations pertaining to
indigenous people by all high-level international conferences, and it is
suggested that such conferences should give more time to the discussion of
matters relating to the objectives of the Decade.

104. A permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system
would provide them with an arena for raising and discussing issues of interest
to them, and its main purpose would be to promote development, peace and
prosperity, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.  The hope is
that it will be possible to establish it early in the Decade; accordingly, it
is recommended that the Centre for Human Rights should organize a second
workshop on a permanent forum in early 1997, as planned; and the offer by the
Government of Chile to host the second workshop is welcomed.

105. With regard to the adoption of the draft United Nations declaration on
the rights of indigenous peoples and the further development of international
standards as well as national legislation for the protection and promotion of
the human rights of indigenous people, including effective means of monitoring
and guaranteeing those rights, it would be of great benefit to indigenous
people if its adoption coincided with the observance of the fiftieth
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in 1998.  The
relevant Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights is therefore
encouraged to continue its consideration and elaboration of the draft
declaration during its session from 21 October to 1 November 1996.

106. Considering that the objectives of the Decade should be assessed by
quantifiable outcomes that will improve the lives of indigenous people and
that can be evaluated halfway through the Decade and at its end, a review of
the projects supported by the Voluntary Fund is recommended, for an analysis
of the results of the planned activities will furnish the information needed
to assess the achievement of the objectives of the Decade.  Accordingly, it is
further recommended that a report should be prepared reviewing the activities
carried out under the programme of activities for the Decade during the period
1994-1996, which shall be included as a separate item in the agenda for the
fifteenth session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations.


                                     Notes

     1/  A/49/444.

     2/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.31.

     3/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.32.

     4/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.33.

     5/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.34.

     6/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.39.

     7/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.51.

     8/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.52.

     9/  E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/L.21.

     10/ A/CONF.166/9.

     11/ A/CONF.177/20.17.

     12/ A/CONF.171/13/Rev.1.

     13/ E/CN.4/AC.4/1996/4.

     14/ E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1996/6.

     15/ Press release 12/96 of the Organization of American States.


                                    ANNEX I

                   Voluntary Fund for the International Decade
                   of the World's Indigenous People - estimated
                       income as at 12 September 1996 a/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donor                     Date           Amount in US       Remarks
                                           dollars
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greece                   18 May 1995           3 000
                          9 May 1996           3 000

Kuwait                    9 August 1994       10 000

New Zealand              16 July 1996          6 779      New York receipt

Norway                   28 December 1994     72 881

Switzerland              19 January 1995      18 333      SwF 24 200

Switzerland              23 January 1996      37 931      SwF 44 000

Canada                   23 January 1996      11 094      Can$ 15 000

Japan                    30 April 1996        50 000      New York receipt

Australia                14 May 1996          31 920
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Relaxation Company   29 February 1995      2 333
                         25 October 1995         761

Aboriginal and            3 November 1994      5 344
Torres Strait            14 July 1995          5 660
Islander Commission      15 May 1996           7 975

Intuition Music. Inc.    28 June 1995             25
                         17 August 1995           25
                         21 September 1995        25
                          4 October 1995          50
                          1 March 1996            25
                         14 March 1996            25
                         15 March 1996            25
                          6 May 1996              50
                         15 May 1996              50
                         26 July 1996             50
                         22 August 1996           50

E. Stamatopoulou          5 January 1996         800

Verlagsgesellschaft      25 April 1995         4 541
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Total                                   274 752
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


      a/ Based on information available at the Legislation and Prevention of
Discrimination Branch of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights.


                                   ANNEX II

             International Decade of the World's Indigenous People

           First meeting of the Advisory Group of the Voluntary Fund
                         for the International Decade

                          Geneva, 29 April-1 May 1996


                                  Guidelines

Objectives of the Voluntary Fund

     -   to support the programme of activities adopted by the General
         Assembly in its resolution 50/157

     -   to provide assistance to projects and programmes advancing the goal
         of the International Decade:  international cooperation for the
         solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as
         human rights, the environment, development, education, culture and
         health

Who can apply

     -   indigenous peoples, communities and organizations, non-governmental
         organizations and academic and other similar institutions;
         organizations should be non-profit-making

     -   national committees for the Decade

     -   intergovernmental organizations and Governments with proposals for
         joint or "partnership" projects in cooperation with indigenous
         peoples

Main project areas

     -   the programme of activities and objectives of the Decade as well as
         the recommendations of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of
         Action as they relate to indigenous people

     -   indigenous organizational structures and procedures and their
         strengthening through education, training and institution- and
         capacity-building, bearing in mind the need to respect their
         relevant traditions

     -   education and training in human and indigenous rights

     -   information about indigenous peoples and the International Decade

     -   communications and exchanges between the United Nations system and
         indigenous peoples and between indigenous peoples

     -   fund-raising initiatives in furtherance of the objectives of the
         Decade

Criteria for selection

     -   projects should be of direct benefit to indigenous people in all
         parts of the world

     -   projects should be prepared by or in full consultation with
         indigenous people

     -   projects will be considered taking into account gender balance

     -   particular consideration will be given to projects from
         underdeveloped areas in different regions

     -   projects will be approved in relevant areas including in particular
         those relating to the promotion, protection and implementation of
         human and indigenous rights


                                   ANNEX III

              Questionnaire for applicants to the Voluntary Fund


1.   Please give the project title.

2.   Describe the main objective(s) of the project.  Please also indicate how
     the project relates to one of the six main projects areas.

3.   Provide a summary of the project, including information about how it
     will be implemented.

4.   What is the executing organization?  Please provide information about
     the organization, including information about membership, past
     activities and projects as well as relevant financial details.  Provide
     information about any partner organizations.

5.   What are the expected benefits for indigenous people?  What is the
     expected follow-up to the project?

6.   What is the duration of the project, including information about each
     phase of the project?

7.   What are the total costs of the project, including breakdown of proposed
     expenditures?  What is the contribution requested from the Voluntary
     Fund?  What are the other sources of funding?  How will the accounting
     of the project be managed?

8.   How will the project be evaluated?  Are the results quantifiable?

     Projects should be sent to the Secretariat before 15 March each year.

     Applications for the Voluntary Fund will be considered annually in
     April.

     Contributions from the Voluntary Fund will not exceed US$ 50,000.


                                    -----  

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