International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2008

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2008“Conciliation and Reconciliation between States and Indigenous Peoples”

In commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (9 August), an observance at UN Headquarters on Friday, 8 August will focus on efforts by indigenous peoples and States to foster reconciliation.

A panel discussion, titled “Conciliation and Reconciliation between States and Indigenous Peoples,” will include speakers Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations; Henri Paul Normandin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations; and Chief Oren Lyons, spiritual leader, Onandaga Nation.

Reconciliation between indigenous peoples and States can take many forms that differ from country to country. Generally it involves recognition for past injustices, justice for victims and the healing of relationships. The adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, after more than 20 years of negotiations among States and indigenous peoples with the mediation of the United Nations, is itself an historic act of reconciliation.

In a message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the Declaration, saying: “The result of more than two decades of negotiations, [the Declaration] provides a momentous opportunity for states and indigenous peoples to strengthen their relationships, promote reconciliation, and ensure that the past is not repeated.”

Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, further emphasized that “the Declaration is a manifestation of reconciliation between indigenous peoples and states – and a mechanism for carrying that reconciliation forward. Indeed, 2008 has already witnessed concrete measures towards reconciliation in several countries.”

Programme of the Day

Press release

Webcast of the event (Realplayer required to view webcasts. Click here to download free player.)

Photos of the event


Messages of the Day

  • Message from Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2008
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  • Statement by Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang,and S. James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people AR | EN | ES | FR | RU | ZH
  • Message from Mr Juan Somavia Director of the International Labour Organization on the occasion of the International Day of the World´s Indigenous People
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  • SCBD: Message from Mr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on the occasion of the International Day of the World´s Indigenous People
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  • UN Forum on Forests: Message from the United Nations Forum on Forests on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
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  • Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator for the Second Decade of the World´s Indigenous People on the International Day of the World´s Indigenous People
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  • Victoria Tauli-Corpuz: Message of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz Chariperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
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  • Statement from Mr. Kemal Dervis, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
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  • UNESCO: Message from Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO on the Occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
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