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;

Key U.N. committee delays action
on declaration to protect
rights of native peoples

The Associated Press

The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee voted Tuesday to delay action on a declaration to protect the rights of native peoples, dealing a blow to indigenous rights advocates who have been campaigning for a U.N. resolution for many years.

The new U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, approved the declaration on June 29 and recommended that the 192-member General Assembly adopt it.

The draft declaration asserts that "indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms." It also states that indigenous people should be free from discrimination and have a right "to consider themselves different and to be respected as such."

But the draft failed to pass its first hurdle in the assembly's human rights committee.

Peru, supported by a number of European and Latin American countries, urged adoption of the declaration. But Namibia said some provisions in the draft declaration contradicted the national constitutions of a number of African countries.

On behalf of African nations, Namibia proposed amendments to put off consideration of the declaration to allow further consultations and to conclude consideration of the declaration by the end of the current General Assembly session in September 2007.

The committee adopted the amendments by a vote of 82 to 67 with 25 abstentions.

The amended draft declaration was then adopted by a vote of 83 to 0 with 91 abstentions.

Among developed countries, Finland on behalf of the European Union urged a vote against delaying action on the declaration, saying it would be a groundless delay. But New Zealand, Australia and Canada spoke in favor of a delay. The United States abstained on both votes.

New Zealand said the text was fundamentally flawed and in the face of widespread reservations, a delay was warranted to try to reach consensus.

Mexico, on the other hand, said it seemed strange to ask for additional time since 24 years of negotiations had taken place and the delay would only put off attention to the rights of indigenous peoples.

Adele Wildschut of the Indigenous Caucaus told the Human Rights Council in June that the declaration had its roots in the 1970s when American Indians were asserting their rights.