Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG)

25078576594_191be79a57_zThe Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG) on Indigenous Issues was established to support and promote the mandate of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues within the United Nations system.

The IASG was initiated during the informal meetings of UN system entities during the drafting process of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (circa 1994).   ILO and OHCHR took the lead in organizing informal meetings to share information among the UN system agencies, funds and programmes participating at the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva.  This included, among others, the ILO, OHCHR, World Bank, UNESCO, WHO, WIPO and others.

When the first session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was held in April 2002, at UNHQ in New York, the agencies provided support including through staff/consultants who helped organize the two-week session. The IASG was formalized by the PFII at its 2nd session as follows:

The Forum expresses its satisfaction that the Inter-Agency Support Group has met since the first session of the Forum to organize its input to the second session, and expresses appreciation to the ILO and the World Bank for having convened the Group. The Forum requests the Group to extend its membership to other United Nations system entities so as to promote the largest possible participation of the system in the work programme of the Forum, and requests the secretariat of the Forum to provide substantive support to the rotating Chair of the Group. The Forum also expresses appreciation for the active participation of agency focal points in a constructive dialogue during its second session, and expresses the hope that focal points will continue to participate at its third session.  

The main objectives of the UN Inter-agency support group are:

  1. to provide an opportunity for the exchange of information in regards to their work on indigenous issues;
  2. strengthen inter-agency cooperation to promote the human rights and well-being of indigenous peoples including the dissemination and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  3. analyze, disseminate and contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of the Forum;
  4. interact with the Forum and its members to provide and seek information, advice and substantive inputs; and
  5. advise in the mainstreaming of indigenous peoples issues within the UN system, and strengthen mutual collaboration.

2021 Session Recommendations addressed to UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes