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;


29 NOVEMBER 2006


UN Non-Action on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a Deplorable Setback to the Global Struggle for Human Rights for All

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the Centre for Organisation Research and Education receive with great disappointment the news that the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted for a non-action motion on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

A resolution put forward by the Namibian delegation to the UNGA which called for the deferment of action on the Declaration was supported by a majority of 82 nation states in favour, 67 governments not in favor and 25 abstained.

We view this latest development as a deplorable setback to the struggle for the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized groups in particular and to the struggle for the realization of human rights for all worldwide.

We reiterate that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a landmark document in the history of human rights and global quest for social justice. It is the result of more than 20 years of hard work by various indigenous and human rights movements and a significant step towards achieving and reclaiming the fundamental rights and entitlements for about 370 million indigenous peoples around the world.

The Declaration affirms the right of self-determination of indigenous peoples and other rights fundamental to their existence. The Declaration also draws its inspiration and substance from the distilled experiences and advances in other international human rights instruments as well as other international conventions, including certain regional and national standards and protection mechanisms, such as those in place in certain Asian countries. It therefore represents an important achievement in developing a truly universal human rights protection system that specifically addresses the indigenous peoples and their issues.

We are therefore saddened that the non-action motion by the UNGA on the Declaration and certain issues repeatedly raised against it such as the right to self-determination and to free prior and informed consent- severely undermine the rights of the indigenous peoples and perpetuate a climate of injustice, historical inequities and the increasingly precarious human rights situation of the indigenous peoples in Asia and worldwide.

Our common vision for "all human rights for all" will never be achieved for as long as there are sections of the world's humanity such as the Indigenous peoples, minorities and other disempowered and excluded groups and persons-who remain discriminated and have the least in rights and basic entitlements.

This latest developments also call upon all human rights defenders and the Asian and global human rights movements to strengthen their solidarity and continue to find common cause with the struggle for human rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

November 29, 2006

Mr Subodh Raj Pyakurel

D Roy Laifungbam
General Secretary