International Human Rights Day

press releases

Human Rights Day would have been celebrated - PFII
UN's human rights record challenged
AOS caucus calls for progress on self-determination

Caucus appeals to Russian President

General Assembly missed opportunity - Stavenhagen

IPACC quotes African Charter on Rights
Namibia slammed for killing UN rights resolution
Civil society organisations condemn delay on Declaration
UNGA fails to bring hope to Indigenous Peoples
Tonatierra defends right of self-determination
Defenders of human rights must support indigenous rights
States are acting irresponsibly - NWAC
Canada accused of disgraceful, disgusting conduct at UN
ILRC continue fight to adopt Declaration
Africa denies Saami and Inuit rights to self-determination
Third Committee defers action on indigenous declaration
Key UN committee delays action on declaration

General Assembly President, HE Madame Sheika Heya Rashed Al Khalifa, receives greetings from Indigenous delegate, Jose Carlos Morales. The President listened to requests that the Indigenous Peoples be acknowledged in the General Assembly when the Declaration is formally adopted.

for more information
on the Declaration

Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues

Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights

Documentation Centre
for Indigenous Peoples

Tebtebba Foundation

International Indian Treaty Council

American Indian Law Alliance

International Work Group
for Indigenous Affairs

Rights and Democracy

Amnesty International, Canada

University of Minnesota
Human Rights Library

(Download Kit)

Letter to States by
Special Rapporteur & Chair of PFII

Letter to States by
Indigenous Peoples Caucus

Letter to States by
Ambassadors to UN

Ten Key Points

Declaration (download)

How States voted in the
Human Rights Council

13 October 2006

View Webcast Video - 42 minutes

This media conference occurred at the UN on 13 October 2006 to discuss the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples including its history, significance and current status.

H.E. Mr Enrique Berruga, Permanent Representative of Mexico;
Mr Aqqaluk Lynge

Innuit Circumpolar Conference
Mr Kent Lebsock
Executive Director
American Indian Law Alliance
Ms Elsa Stamatopoulou
Chief, Secretariat, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;


Closing Statement
8 December 2006

Eighth Meeting of Negotiations in the Quest for the Points of Consensus

Xqaqij iwonojel, kamöl taq bey richin ri amaq aj Abya Yala.

Your Excellency Ambassador Juan León Alvarado,
Chairperson of the Working Group to Prepare the Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Ms. Ana Peña, Vice President of Working Group,

Mr. Luis Toro, Office of International Law

Distinguished Representatives of the States

Distinguished Indigenous Brothers and Sisters of the Americas

We, the representatives of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, express our concern about the process of preparing the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We aspire and work for a Declaration that fully reflects our rights. The shortcomings of this process profoundly affect not only us but also our future generations.

We came to this meeting prepared to participate in this process on an equal footing and to contribute to a dignified, constructive dialogue based on mutual respect that will help establish a new relationship between Indigenous Peoples and American States.

We are encouraged that some States support efforts to reach consensus and we regret that other States lack political will to do so.

We are also concerned about the use of a method of work that not only slows the process but also delays the completion of the Declaration on our rights. We consider that the method of work at this meeting does not clearly reflect our proposals in these negotiations and that no real progress was made at this meeting.

We are also concerned about what is occurring with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the Human Rights Council but is now on hold. We reiterate that we cannot accept anything less than the minimum standards for our rights which are already universally accepted and recognized.

Some States are forgetting their commitments and obligations as signatories of conventions and international covenants of the United Nations of which all American States are parties to at least one. Common Article 1 of the International Covenants stipulates that All peoples have the right to self-determination.

The Treaty Monitoring Body, composed of experts elected by the States themselves have applied this right under the Covenants to Indigenous Peoples. We cannot accept a form of the right to self-determination that does not comply with existing minimum standards recognized by the States themselves.

The right to self determination is a fundamental right that is necessary for the survival, dignity and well-being of our Peoples and our future generations.

We respectfully and energetically call on States to achieve real progress in this process at future negotiations.

Washington, D.C., 8 December 2006