United Nations

A/RES/51/78


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 107


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/616)]


            51/78.      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 previous resolutions on the International Decade of
the World's Indigenous People, as well as those of the Commission on
Human Rights,

      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 International Decade of the World's Indigenous
People, 1/ 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 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,

      Recalling its resolution 50/156 of 21 December 1995,

      1.    Affirms its conviction of the value and diversity of the
cultures and forms of social organization of indigenous people and
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;

      2.    Notes that the programme of activities for the International
Decade of the World's Indigenous People 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 in order to identify obstacles to the
achievement of the goals of the Decade and to recommend solutions for
overcoming those obstacles;

      3.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
implementation of the programme of activities for the Decade; 2/

      4.    Welcomes the resolve of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights to strengthen efforts to achieve the goals of the
programme of activities for the Decade;

      5.    Reaffirms the adoption of a declaration on the rights of
indigenous people as a major objective of the Decade, and notes that
there have been two sessions of the open-ended inter-sessional working
group of the Commission on Human Rights established pursuant to
Commission resolution 1995/32 of 3 March 1995 3/ with the sole
purpose of elaborating a draft declaration, considering the draft
United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples annexed
to resolution 1994/45 of 26 August 1994 of the Subcommission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities; 4/

      6.    Underlines the importance of effective participation by
indigenous representatives in the working group, and encourages
organizations of indigenous people that are not already registered to
participate and wish to do so to apply for authorization in accordance
with the procedure set out in the annex to Commission on Human Rights
resolution 1995/32;

      7.    Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the existing
mechanisms, procedures and programmes within the United Nations
concerning indigenous people, 5/ and requests the Secretary-General
to transmit the review, prior to the fifty-third session of the
Commission on Human Rights, to Governments, indigenous people and
relevant international organizations for their comments;

      8.    Recognizes amongst the objectives of the Decade, as listed
in the programme of activities, the consideration of the establishment
of a permanent forum for indigenous people within the United Nations
system;

      9.    Recalls its recommendation contained in resolution 50/157 of
21 December 1995 that the Commission on Human Rights, drawing on the
results of the workshop on the possible establishment of a permanent
forum for indigenous people within the United Nations system, held at
Copenhagen from 26 to 28 June 1995, 6/ and the Secretary-General's
review, consider the convening of a second workshop;

      10.   Recommends in the light of the review that efforts be made
to ensure that relevant United Nations organs, organizations and
bodies take part in any further consultations on the issue, and
welcomes the offer of the Government of Chile to host a second
workshop on the possible establishment of a permanent forum for
indigenous people within the United Nations system;

      11.   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;

      12.   Reaffirms the importance of strengthening the human and
institutional capacity of indigenous people to develop their own
solutions to their problems and, for these purposes, its
recommendation 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;

      13.   Emphasizes the importance of action at the national level
for the implementation of the goals and activities of the Decade;

      14.   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 that 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;

      15.   Also encourages Governments and other donors to contribute
to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations in
order to assist indigenous representatives in participating in the
Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the
open-ended inter-sessional working group of the Commission on Human
Rights charged with elaborating a draft declaration on the rights of
indigenous people;

      16.   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;

      17.   Invites the United Nations financial and developmental
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 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 amongst indigenous people and other relevant
experts;

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

      18.   Recommends that the Secretary-General ensure coordinated
follow-up to the recommendations concerning indigenous people of
relevant world conferences, namely, the World Conference on Human
Rights, held at Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development, held at Rio de Janiero,
Brazil, from 3 to 14 June 1992, the International Conference on
Population and Development, held at Cairo from 5 to 13 September 1994,
the Fourth World Conference on Women, held at Beijing from 4 to 15
September 1995, and the World Summit for Social Development, held at
Copenhagen from 6 to 12 March 1995;

      19.   Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, when developing programmes within the framework of the United
Nations Human Rights Education Decade, to give due regard to the
dissemination of information on the situation, cultures, languages,
rights and aspirations of indigenous people;

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

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


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 50/157, annex.

2/    A/51/499.

3/    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.

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

5/    A/51/493.

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

 

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