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;

Statement by Indigenous Peoples Caucus
9 December 2006

UNs human rights record challenged by Indigenous Peoples

360 million Indigenous Peoples throughout the world continue to struggle against crippling conditions of poverty, yet the United Nations remains uncertain whether to support human rights for Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous Peoples are clearly the poorest and most oppressed societies in the world. This poverty continues because governments refuse to acknowledge indigenous title to lands and indigenous self-determination.

Last week the United Nations lost credibility when the General Assemblys Third Committee used a procedural vote to prevent final adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The no action motion set back twenty-three years of work to complete the human rights standard. This work involved states, human rights experts and Indigenous Peoples participating together in negotiations.

The Third Committee voted to delay the adoption because some states claimed they do not know who are the Indigenous Peoples.

These states also interpreted the Declaration as authorising secession, and enabling veto of parliaments. Such interpretations are eccentric and groundless.

The 53 African member states voted as a bloc to delay adoption of the Declaration. They risk being seen as supporters of continuing colonisation and subjugation of Indigenous Peoples.

UN member states should not be so irresponsible as to dispense such hysterical interpretations of the Declaration and international law.

They discredit the UNs reputation on human rights and cast doubt upon the integrity of the UN.

The United Nations is sending mixed messages about whether the promotion and protection of human rights is a genuine major objective of the new Millennium.

The United Nations should be held accountable through democratic and transparent procedures wherever the will of the peoples of the world is under threat.

The creation of the Human Rights Council has been a positive step. The Human Rights Council decided, by an overwhelming majority, to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at its first session in June 2006.

In particular, Indigenous Peoples call for the immediate adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without amendment, by the UN General Assembly.

The Indigenous Peoples Caucus calls upon the United Nations to double its commitment and efforts to promote human rights as the major pillar for the global development, equally, of all peoples.

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