5 years of rights for indigenous people

The 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held in New York from 7 to 18 May.

This 11th session will focus on “The Doctrine of Discovery”. There has already been extensive discussion on the Doctrine of Discovery, its historical development, past and present impacts, the different ways it has affected or affects indigenous peoples, as well as the relationship between governments and indigenous peoples. This year the Forum will look at ways of redefining indigenous and State relationships as an equally important lens through which to understand the Doctrine of Discovery and work together to build a future on mutual respect, equity and justice.

Discussions on the right to food and food sovereignty for indigenous peoples, as well as the challenges indigenous peoples are facing in the Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia region will be part of the Forum.

On 17 May, there will be a high-level commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This Declaration provides a crucial opportunity to integrate indigenous visions of development into states’ policies and legislative frameworks, as well as into the UN work towards the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). There is a need for indigenous peoples to provide their own holistic definitions of well-being and development with culture and identity. Rio+20 and inclusion of indigenous concepts of relationship with nature, land and natural resources is one of the main current challenges for the world’s indigenous peoples.

The General Assembly has decided to organize a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014. The main objective of this Conference  is to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A discussion will be held during this 11th session on this World Conference. The full and effective participation of indigenous peoples at all the stages of the process, including the definition of the modalities, is of the outmost importance to ensure its success and sustainability.

For more information: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples.aspx