United Nations

A/RES/50/157


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

29 February 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 111


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/634)]


            50/157.     Programme of activities for the
                        International Decade of the World's
                        Indigenous People

      The General Assembly,

      Bearing in mind that one of the purposes of the United Nations,
as set forth in the Charter, is the achievement of international
cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social,
cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

      Recalling its resolutions 48/163 of 21 December 1993 and 49/214
of 23 December 1994 on the International Decade of the World's
Indigenous People, and Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/28
of 3 March 1995, 1/

      Recalling also that the goal of the Decade is to strengthen
international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by
indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment,
development, education and health, and that the theme of the Decade is
"Indigenous people:  partnership in action",

      Recognizing the importance of consultation and cooperation with
indigenous people in planning and implementing the programme of
activities for the Decade, the need for adequate financial support
from the international community, including support from within the
United Nations and the specialized agencies, and the need for adequate
coordination and communication channels,

      Recalling its invitation to organizations of indigenous people
and other non-governmental organizations concerned to consider the
contributions they can make to the success of the Decade, with a view
to presenting them to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of
the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities,

      Taking note of Economic and Social Council decision 1992/255 of
20 July 1992, in which the Council requested United Nations bodies and
specialized agencies to ensure that all technical assistance financed
or provided by them was compatible with international instruments and
standards applicable to indigenous people, and encouraged efforts to
promote coordination in this field and greater participation of
indigenous people in the planning and implementation of projects
affecting them,

      Mindful of the relevant recommendations of the World Conference
on Human Rights, the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, the International Conference on Population and
Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women and the World Summit
on Social Development, and of the Declaration on the Occasion of the
Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, 2/

      Recognizing the value and diversity of the cultures and forms of
social organization of indigenous people, and convinced that the
development of indigenous people within their countries will
contribute to the socio-economic, cultural and environmental
advancement of all the countries of the world,

      1.    Takes note of the final report of the Secretary-General on a
comprehensive programme of action for the International Decade of the
World's Indigenous People and the annexes to that report; 3/

      2.    Decides to adopt the programme of activities for the Decade
contained in the annex to the present resolution;

      3.    Also decides that the programme of activities for the Decade
may 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 those obstacles;

      4.    Affirms as a major objective of the Decade the adoption by
the General Assembly of a declaration on the rights of indigenous
people;

      5.    Welcomes the establishment of an open-ended inter-sessional
Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights with the sole purpose
of elaborating a draft declaration, considering the draft contained in
the annex to resolution 1994/45 of 26 August 1994 of the Subcommission
on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, entitled
"Draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous
peoples", 4/ for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly
within the Decade;

      6.    Also welcomes the decisions of the Economic and Social
Council to approve the participation of some organizations of
indigenous people in the Working Group, and encourages the continuing
cooperation of the Council, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations and the Centre
for Human Rights of the Secretariat in processing further applications as
a matter of priority in accordance with the relevant resolutions of
the Commission on Human Rights and the Council;

      7.    Recognizes among the important objectives of the Decade the
consideration of the possible establishment of a permanent forum for
indigenous people within the United Nations, as recommended in the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World
Conference on Human Rights, held from 14 to 25 June 1993, 5/ and
welcomes the report of the workshop on the possible establishment of a
permanent forum for indigenous people held at Copenhagen from 26 to
28 June 1995 6/ and the ongoing dialogue on this subject;

      8.    Recommends that the Secretary-General, drawing on the
expertise of the Commission on Human Rights as well as the Commission
for Sustainable Development and other relevant bodies, undertake a
review, in close consultation with Governments and taking into account
the views of indigenous people and of the existing mechanisms,
procedures and programmes within the United Nations concerning
indigenous people, and report to the General Assembly at its fifty-
first session;

      9.    Also recommends that the Commission on Human Rights, drawing
on the results of the review and the Copenhagen workshop, consider the
convening of a second workshop on the possible establishment of a
permanent forum for indigenous people with the participation of
independent experts as well as representatives of Governments,
organizations of indigenous people and other non-governmental
organizations concerned and United Nations bodies and specialized
agencies;

      10.   Recognizes the importance of strengthening the human and
institutional capacity of indigenous people to develop their own
solutions to their problems, and, for these purposes, recommends that
the United Nations University consider the possibility of sponsoring,
in each region, one or more institutions of higher education as
centres of excellence and the diffusion of expertise, and invites the
Commission on Human Rights to recommend appropriate means of
implementation;

      11.   Recommends that special attention be given to improving the
extent and effectiveness of the participation of indigenous people in
planning and implementing the activities for the Decade, including
through the recruitment, where appropriate, by relevant United Nations
bodies and specialized agencies, of staff from among indigenous
nationals of Member States, consistent with Article 101 of the Charter
of the United Nations and within existing resources and staff levels;

      12.   Recommends that the Secretary-General:

      (a)   Request United Nations representatives in countries where
there are indigenous people to promote, through the appropriate
channels, greater participation of indigenous people in the planning
and implementation of projects affecting them;

      (b)   Ensure coordinated follow-up to the recommendations
concerning indigenous people of relevant world conferences, namely the
World Conference on Human Rights, the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, the International Conference on
Population and Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women and
the World Summit for Social Development;

      (c)   Urge relevant United Nations conferences to promote and
facilitate, to the extent possible and as appropriate, the effective
input of the views of indigenous people;

      (d)   Ensure that information about the programme of activities
for the Decade and opportunities for indigenous people to participate
in those activities is disseminated in all countries and to the
greatest possible extent in indigenous languages, to be financed from
within existing budgetary resources;

      (e)   Report on progress made at the national, regional and
international levels in accomplishing these objectives to the General
Assembly at its fifty-first session;

      13.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to promote the objectives of the Decade, taking into account
the special concerns of indigenous people, in the fulfilment of his
functions;

      14.   Requests the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights,
in his capacity as Coordinator of the Decade, bearing in mind the
contribution that indigenous people have the capacity to make, to
establish, within existing resources, a unit within the Centre for
Human Rights of the Secretariat, including indigenous persons, to
support its activities related to indigenous people, in particular to
plan, coordinate and implement activities for the Decade;

      15.   Invites the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights to
consider the appointment of a fund-raiser who could develop new
sources of funding for the Decade;

      16.   Requests the Administrative Committee on Coordination,
through its inter-agency process, to consult and coordinate on the
Decade, with a view to assisting the Coordinator of the Decade to
fulfil his function, and to report on activities of the United Nations
system in relation to the Decade to the General Assembly in each year
of the Decade;

      17.   Invites the United Nations financial and development
institutions, operational programmes and specialized agencies, in
accordance with the existing procedures of their governing bodies:

      (a)   To give increased priority and resources to improving the
conditions of indigenous people, with particular emphasis on the needs
of those people in developing countries, including by the preparation
of specific programmes of action for the implementation of the goals
of the Decade, within their areas of competence;

      (b)   To launch special projects, through appropriate channels and
in collaboration with indigenous people, for strengthening their
community-level initiatives and to facilitate the exchange of
information and expertise among indigenous people and other relevant
experts;

      (c)   To designate focal points for coordination with the Centre
for Human Rights of activities related to the Decade;

      18.   Emphasizes the important role of international cooperation
in promoting the goals and activities of the Decade and the rights,
well-being and sustainable development of indigenous people;

      19.   Also emphasizes the importance of action at the national
level to the implementation of the goals and activities of the Decade;

      20.   Encourages Governments to support the Decade by:

      (a)   Contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for the
Decade;

      (b)   Preparing relevant programmes, plans and reports in relation
to the Decade, in consultation with indigenous people;

      (c)   Seeking means, in consultation with indigenous people, of
giving indigenous people greater responsibility for their own affairs
and an effective voice in decisions on matters which affect them;

      (d)   Establishing national committees or other mechanisms
involving indigenous people to ensure that the objectives and
activities of the Decade are planned and implemented on the basis of
full partnership with indigenous people;

      21.   Also encourages Governments to consider contributing, as
appropriate, to the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of
Latin America and the Caribbean, in support of the achievement of the
goals of the Decade;

      22.   Appeals to Governments and intergovernmental and non-
governmental organizations to support the Decade by identifying
resources for activities designed to implement the goals of the
Decade, in cooperation with indigenous people;

      23.   Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
first session the item entitled "Programme of activities of the
International Decade of the World's Indigenous People".


                                                          97th plenary meeting
                                                              21 December 1995


                                     ANNEX

          Programme of activities for the International Decade of the
                           World's Indigenous People


                                A.  Objectives

1.    Taking into account General Assembly resolution 48/163 of
21 December 1993, the main objective of the International Decade of
the World's Indigenous People 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.

2.    The specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other
international and national agencies, as well as communities and
private enterprises, should devote special attention to development
activities of benefit to indigenous communities.

3.    A major objective of the Decade is the education of indigenous
and non-indigenous societies concerning the situation, cultures,
languages, rights and aspirations of indigenous people.  In
particular, efforts should be made to cooperate with the United
Nations Decade for Human Rights Education.

4.    An objective of the Decade is the promotion and protection of the
rights of indigenous people and their empowerment to make choices
which enable them to retain their cultural identity while
participating in political, economic and social life, with full
respect for their cultural values, languages, traditions and forms of
social organization.

5.    An objective of the Decade is to further the implementation of
the recommendations pertaining to indigenous people of all high-level
international conferences, including the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, the World Conference on Human Rights, in
particular its recommendation that consideration be given to the
establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United
Nations system, the United Nations Conference on Population and
Development and the World Summit for Social Development as well as all
future high-level meetings.

6.    An objective of the Decade is the adoption of the draft United
Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples 4/ 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.

7.    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.


              B.  Activities to be undertaken by the major actors

                        1.  United Nations observances

8.    A formal observance each year on the International Day of the
World's Indigenous People, in New York, Geneva and at other offices of
the United Nations.

9.    Official observance of the Decade as part of the Fourth World
Conference on Women, the United Nations Conference on Human
Settlements (Habitat II) and other international conferences related
to the aims and themes of the Decade.

10.   Issuance of a special series of stamps by the United Nations
Postal Administration highlighting the goals and themes of the Decade.

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

11.   Establish, as a matter of urgency, an adequately staffed and
resourced indigenous people's unit.

12.   Request Governments to second qualified indigenous people, in
consultation with interested national indigenous organizations, to
assist in the administration of the Decade.

13.   Create a fellowship programme, in collaboration with the Advisory
Services of the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat and
Governments, to assist indigenous people wishing to gain experience in
the different branches of the Centre and in other parts of the United
Nations system.  Such fellowships might be available for indigenous
research and other similar activities.

14.   Open a roster of indigenous experts in various fields who might
be available to assist United Nations agencies, in collaboration with
Governments, as appropriate, as partners or consultants.

15.   Create an advisory group of persons with relevant knowledge of
indigenous issues, acting in their personal capacity, to advise the
Coordinator for the Decade and United Nations organizations, at their
request.  The members of this advisory group could include eminent
indigenous persons, governmental representatives, independent experts
and officials of the specialized agencies.

16.   Consider the need to hold coordination meetings of Governments,
organizations of the United Nations system and indigenous and
non-governmental organizations, as necessary, to consider, examine and
evaluate Decade activities and to develop an integrated,
action-oriented strategy to advance the interests of indigenous
people.  The Economic and Social Council should hold mid-term and end-
term reviews of the Decade in accordance with its resolution 1988/63
of 27 July 1988.  The Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the
Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities should review international activities undertaken during
the Decade and receive information from Governments on the
implementation of the goals of the Decade in their respective
countries.

17.   Compile, on the basis of communications of the focal points in
the United Nations system, a regular news-sheet containing information
about meetings of interest, major or innovatory projects, new sources
of funding, policy developments and other news to be widely
distributed.

18.   Encourage the development of partnership projects in association
with Governments to address specific regional or thematic issues
bringing together Governments, indigenous people and appropriate
United Nations agencies.

19.   Establish an information programme linking the Coordinator of the
Decade to focal points of the United Nations system, national
committees for the Decade and, through appropriate channels,
indigenous networks; also develop a database of indigenous
organizations and other relevant information, in cooperation with
indigenous people, Governments, academic institutions and other
relevant bodies.

20.   Organize meetings on relevant themes of concern to indigenous
people with indigenous participation.

21.   Launch a series of publications on indigenous issues to inform
policy makers, opinion-formers, students and other interested people.

22.   Develop, in collaboration with Governments, training programmes
on human rights for indigenous people, including the preparation of
relevant training materials, when possible in indigenous languages.

23.   Establish a board of trustees or advisory group, including
indigenous people, to assist the Coordinator of the Voluntary Fund for
the International Decade.

24.   Encourage the development of projects and programmes, in
collaboration with Governments and taking into account the views of
indigenous people and the appropriate United Nations agencies, for
support by the Voluntary Fund for the Decade.

25.   Ensure, in coordination with Governments and indigenous
organizations, the necessary measures to guarantee financing of the
objectives of the Decade.


               3.  United Nations public information activities

26.   Produce and disseminate a series of posters on the Decade using
designs by indigenous artists.

27.   Organize a lecture series at United Nations information centres
and campuses linked to the United Nations University, using indigenous
speakers.

28.   Publish in indigenous languages the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, international human rights conventions and, upon its
adoption, the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous
people, considering the use of audiovisual material for this purpose. 
Consider also the involvement of indigenous experts and their own
information networks in disseminating information about the Decade.

29.   Prepare, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights,
information about indigenous people for distribution to the general
public.


            4.  Operational activities of the United Nations system

30.   Establish focal points for indigenous issues in all appropriate
organizations of the United Nations system.

31.   Encourage the governing bodies of specialized agencies of the
United Nations system to adopt programmes of action for the Decade in
their own fields of competence, in close cooperation with indigenous
people.

32.   Urge Governments to ensure that the programmes and budgets of
relevant intergovernmental organizations give priority and devote
sufficient resources to furthering the aims of the Decade, and request
that regular reports on the action taken be submitted to the governing
body or executive council of each organization.

33.   Prepare, publish and disseminate a manual containing practical
information for indigenous people on the operations and procedures of
United Nations agencies.

34.   Develop research on the socio-economic conditions of indigenous
people, in collaboration with indigenous organizations and other
appropriate partners, with a view to publishing regular reports in
order to contribute to the solution of problems faced by indigenous
people, taking into account paragraph 6.26 of the Programme of Action
of the International Conference on Population and Development, held at
Cairo from 5 to 13 September 1994. 7/

35.   Encourage Governments to establish appropriate mechanisms and
practices to ensure the participation of indigenous people in the
design and implementation of national and regional programmes of
concern to them.

36.   Hold regular inter-agency consultations, in collaboration with
Governments and indigenous people, to exchange views and develop
strategies on the programme of action for the Decade.

37.   Hold consultations with Governments to examine, with national
committees and development agencies, possibilities of cooperation in
the activities of the Decade.

38.   Develop training materials for indigenous people on human rights,
including the translation of the main international instruments into
different indigenous languages, and give them wide distribution. 
Consider the possibility of using radio programmes to gain access to
indigenous communities not having written languages.

39.   Prepare a database on national legislation on matters of
particular relevance to indigenous people.

40.   Hold consultations of all interested parties on the themes of
human rights, the environment, development, health, culture and
education, with a view to elaborating programmes in these areas.


                   5.  Activities of regional organizations

41.   Implement existing and develop new regional programmes of action
to promote and support the objectives of the Decade.

42.   Hold regional meetings on indigenous issues with existing
regional organizations with a view to strengthening coordination,
taking advantage of the machinery of the United Nations system and
promoting the direct and active participation of indigenous people of
different regions in collaboration with Governments.  The Working
Group on Indigenous Populations could consider the possibility of
holding its sessions in conjunction with these meetings.

43.   Develop training courses and technical assistance programmes for
indigenous people in areas such as project design and management,
environment, health and education, and promote the exchange of skills
and experiences of indigenous people from different regions.

44.   Make funds available at the regional level to activities
benefiting indigenous people.

45.   Encourage regional organizations to draw up regional instruments
for the promotion and protection of indigenous people in the framework
of their own structures and promote existing regional instruments.


                        6.  Activities of Member States

46.   Establish national committees for the Decade or similar
mechanisms, including indigenous people, all relevant departments and
other interested parties duly convened by Governments, to mobilize
public support for the various activities connected with the Decade.

47.   Intensify coordination and communication at the national level
between relevant ministries, agencies and regional and local
authorities by establishing focal points or other mechanisms for
coordination and dissemination of information.

48.   Use part of the resources of existing programmes and of
international assistance for activities of direct benefit to
indigenous people and, where possible, provide additional funds for
specific activities.

49.   Develop, in collaboration with indigenous communities, national
plans for the Decade, including main objectives and targets, fixing
quantitative outcomes and taking into account the need for resources
and possible sources of financing.

50.   Provide appropriate resources for indigenous institutions,
organizations and communities to develop their own plans and actions
according to their own priorities.

51.   Adopt measures, in cooperation with indigenous people, to
increase knowledge, starting at the elementary-school level and in
accordance with the age and development of schoolchildren, concerning
the history, traditions, culture and rights of indigenous people, with
special emphasis on the education of teachers at all levels, and adopt
measures to restore indigenous place names.

52.   Consider ratification and implementation of the Indigenous and
Tribal Peoples Convention of the International Labour Organization
(No. 169) and other international and regional instruments, in close
consultation with the indigenous organizations of each country.

53.   Recognize the existence, identity and rights of indigenous people
through constitutional reforms or the adoption of new laws, when
appropriate, to improve their legal status and guarantee their
economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights.

54.   Implement chapter 26 of Agenda 21, 8/ adopted by the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and the relevant
provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 9/ the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference
on Human Rights, 5/ the Programme of Action of the International
Conference on Population and Development 7/ and the Programme of
Action of the World Summit for Social Development, 10/ as well as the
relevant provisions of future high-level conferences.


             7.  Activities of organizations of indigenous people

55.   Establish an information network which can be linked to the
Coordinator of the Decade and facilitate communications between the
United Nations system, relevant governmental departments and
indigenous communities.

56.   Indigenous organizations and international indigenous networks
should develop information for local communities concerning the goals
of the Decade and the activities of the United Nations.

57.   Establish and support indigenous schools and university-level
institutions and collaborate with the relevant United Nations
agencies; participate in the revision of school texts and the contents
of programmes of 
study in order to eliminate discriminatory content and promote the
development of indigenous cultures and, where appropriate, in
indigenous languages and scripts; develop indigenous curricula for
schools and research institutions.

58.   Create documentation centres, archives and in situ museums
concerning indigenous people, their cultures, laws, beliefs and
values, with material that could be used to inform and educate
non-indigenous people on these matters.  Indigenous people should
participate on a preferential basis in the administration of these
centres.

59.   Establish and promote networks of indigenous journalists and
launch indigenous periodicals at the regional and international
levels.

60.   Indigenous people may transmit their views on the programmes
concerning their priority rights to Governments, the United Nations
and the specialized agencies and regional organizations.


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

61.   Cooperate with indigenous organizations, communities and people
in the planning of activities for the Decade.

62.   Non-governmental organizations working with indigenous people
should involve indigenous people in their activities.

63.   Create radio and television centres in indigenous regions, when
appropriate and in accordance with national legislation, to provide
information on the problems and proposals of indigenous people and to
improve communications between indigenous communities.

64.   Promote indigenous cultures, with due respect for intellectual
property rights, through the publication of books, the production of
compact discs and the organization of various artistic and cultural
events which enhance knowledge of and serve to develop indigenous
cultures and establish indigenous cultural and documentation centres.

65.   Involve different social and cultural groups in the activities
planned for the Decade.


                              Notes

      1/    Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1995,
Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/1995/23 and Corr.1 and 2), chap. II,
sect. A.

      2/    Resolution 50/6.

      3/    A/50/511.

      4/    See E/CN.4/1995/2-E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/56, chap. II, sect. A.

      5/    A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

      6/    E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1995/7 and Add.1-3.

      7/    See Report of the International Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994, (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.95.XIII.18), chap. I, resolution 1, annex.

      8/    Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.
I and Vol. I/Corr.1, Vol. II, Vol. III and Vol. III/Corr.1)) (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: 
Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

      9/    See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on
Biological Diversity (Environmental Law and Institutions Programme
Activity Centre), June 1992.

      10/   A/CONF.166/9, chap. I, resolution 1, annex II.

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