The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People was observed this year at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 10 August 2009.
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 and the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the theme of the observance at UN Headquarters was “Indigenous Peoples and HIV/AIDS”.
The event included messages from the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, and the Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. There were also performances by indigenous artists, and a panel discussion on “Indigenous Peoples and HIV/AIDS”.
“Indigenous peoples also tend to suffer from the low standards of health associated with poverty, malnutrition, environmental contamination and inadequate healthcare. With that in mind, this year’s observance of the International Day focuses on the threat of HIV/AIDS. It is essential that indigenous peoples have access to the information and infrastructure necessary for detection, treatment and protection.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
In 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (Resolution 49/214of 23 December). The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
The UN General Assembly had proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, and the same year, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, starting on 10 December 1994 (Resolution 48/163). The goal of the First Decade was to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health.
In 2004, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples through Resolution 59/174. The goal of the Second Decade is to further the “strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development, by means of action-oriented programs and specific projects, increase technical assistance, and relevant standard-setting activities”.
Messages of the Day
- Message of the Secretary General [AR] [EN] [ES] [FR] [RU] [ZH]
- Message of the President of the United Nations General Assembly [EN] [ES]
- Message of the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
- Message of the Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
- Message from the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
- Opinion Piece from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Statement by the Executive Director of UNICEF