The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August will be commemorated this year under the theme “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”. A special event will be held at UN Headquarters on Friday, 8 August to celebrate the day.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (1995 – 2004).
In 2004, the General Assembly declared a Second International Decade, from 2005 – 2014, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.” This year’s theme, “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”, aims to highlight the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous peoples through policies and programmes at both the national and international level, working together towards this common goal with Governments, the United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders.
“The interests of the indigenous peoples must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed. […] Together, let us recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous peoples around the world. Let us work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the day.
A special event will be arranged at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, 8 August, from 3 to 6 pm EDT, featuring a welcoming song by Joan Henry, Tsalagi Traditional Song-Carrier Elisi, Nuyagi Keetoowah Society; messages of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the General Assembly John Ashe; as well as remarks by UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo and Grand Chief Edward John, Vice Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The event, which will be broadcast live via UN Web TV is organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in cooperation with the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Photo credit: Broddi Sigurdarson, UN DESA/UNPFII