Indigenous Peoples taking part in a General Assembly meeting.

GA Third Committee approves resolution “Rights of Indigenous Peoples”

On 19 November,  the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee), of the 75th session of the General Assembly discussed Rights of Indigenous Peoples [item 67(a)].

The Committee took up the draft resolution “Rights of indigenous peoples” (document A/C.3/75/L.20/Rev.1).

The resolution among other issues includes:

  • The decision to convene a high-level event in 2022, organized by the President of the General Assembly, for the launch of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, and further, request the Assembly President to support initiatives relevant to the successful celebration of the International Decade, within existing resources;
  • Underscores the vital importance of full respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples, who disproportionately face discrimination and xenophobia;
  • Underscores the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the lives, health and human rights of indigenous peoples and calls on Member States to ensure their protection;
  • Encourages the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among others, to conduct research on the causes of suicide among indigenous youth and children and good practices in its prevention;
  • Underscores the need to ensure equal protection under the law and equality before the courts for indigenous women and girls at all levels.

The main sponsors were the Plurinational State of Bolivia and Ecuador.

The representative of Bolivia, presenting the draft resolution, underscored the vital importance of the full respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples, who disproportionately face discrimination and xenophobia.  Recalling that COVID‑19 has infected more than 55 million people and killed 1.3 million, he said indigenous peoples represent 6 per cent of the global population but are the among those most affected.  They are at a greater risk of dying from diseases and suffer excessively from lockdown measures.  The draft underscores the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the lives, health and human rights of indigenous peoples and calls on Member States to ensure their protection.

The Committee approved the draft resolution “L.20/Rev.1” by consensus.

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