United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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Tribal leaders participate in the March 10 scoping session held by the U.S. State Department.

Preparations for the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples continue and the Center remains committed to supporting tribal nations and indigenous peoples to achieve lasting measures to improve the lives of indigenous peoples. Providing regular updates to tribal nations and organizations is part of our work to ensure indigenous peoples are up to date on key developments and decisions, and important upcoming events.

In late February, the President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) responsible for overseeing the organization of the World Conference issued a controversial decision regarding how the preparatory process and consultations among states and indigenous peoples would proceed. The Center contacted the PGA expressing concerns with his process as outlined, provided an analysis of the decision to our allies, and encouraged indigenous peoples throughout the Americas to also send letters to the PGA asking him to reconsider his poor decision. You can view the letter and other details in an update we sent to tribal nations on March 6, 2014 (http://indianlaw.org/content/world-conference-center-calls-indigenous-peoples-respond).

Today, we are pleased to report that the PGA is proposing a new framework for consultations among states and indigenous peoples for development of the World Conference outcome document. The revised decision is now in the final stages of reaching consensus from all the UN regional groups.

On March 10th, Center staff, board members, and over 75 tribal leaders participated in a Scoping Session organized by the United States Department of State regarding the World Conference. This meeting provided an opportunity for tribal leaders to present key recommendations and discuss directly with the government officials what is needed to make the Conference a success. As a result, the United States has committed to a full-day discussion with tribal leaders and others on May 9th at the State Department, Washington, DC.

We encourage you to engage in preparations for the World Conference. Indeed, most of the work will be done before the actual date of the Conference. Below is a brief list of important upcoming events:

  • May 12-23, 2014: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th Session, UN Headquarters, New York City, NY. This year, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will hold a full day discussion on the World Conference on May 19th. If you wish to attend this year’s Forum and do not hold consultative status with ECOSOC, you can register as an “Indigenous Peoples Organization” by following the instructions available here.
  • TBD [possible dates: May 16, May 23, or May 24, 2014]: Informal, interactive hearing conducted by the President of the General Assembly to receive input from indigenous peoples and their representatives on the World Conference, UN Headquarters, New York City, NY. Plans for this hearing are still being finalized. Please continue to check our World Conference webpage periodically for updates.

The Center remains optimistic that the World Conference is an historic opportunity to ensure the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are realized.

, 04/07/2014 - 1:08pm

by Robert T. Colter  - How tribes can get involved at the United Nations. 

, 11/07/2013 - 12:30pm

September 2013  |  Highlights from the Center’s participation in the  24th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland (MORE)

, 09/11/2013 - 3:49pm

Over 80 U.S. Indian nations and organizations banded together to call for strong, action-oriented outcomes from the 2014 UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. (More…)  (Declaración En Español) UN photo

, 05/24/2013 - 12:31pm

Commentary by Robert T. Coulter on 2-year anniversary of U.S. endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

, 12/14/2012 - 5:17pm

September 13 is the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

, 09/12/2012 - 6:38pm

by Karlya E. General - Though the federal government ended treaty-making with Native nations in 1871, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples presents a timely opportunity for Native nations and a tool that can be used to facilitate a new era of indigenous-State relations, including upholding treaty obligations and creating new legally enforceable government-to-government agreements.

, 08/31/2012 - 8:15am

by Robert T. Colter -The courage and determination of tribes all over the country to continue fighting for basic fairness are very moving and inspiring. Our goal is to help Indian nations that are fighting back against these injustices and trying to change the legal system that treats them so unfairly. One way we are moving towards a new era is with the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples. 

, 08/29/2012 - 9:39am

Indian Law Resource Center delivers statement at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE

, 05/15/2012 - 1:44pm

President Barack Obama announced the United States’ support for the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples in 2010.  Native nations now have the opportunity to use the Declaration as the basis for defining a new era of federal Indian policy. The Center is holding briefing sessions to give Native leaders and advocates an overview of the Declaration and to provide practical case studies on how it applies to Native nations today.

, 04/17/2012 - 5:51am
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