An innovative practice: UN Indigenous Peoples Partnership

In May 2011, four United Nations entities: the International Labour Organization (ILO ), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UNDP launched the UN Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP), the first global inter-agency initiative to support country efforts to advance indigenous peoples’ rights. UNIPP is a commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and also seeks to address the various recommendations made by the UNPFII over the years that stress the importance of greater coordination and joint action by UN organizations at the local level to support the effective implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights. As a UN collaborative framework, the primary goal of UNIPP is to focus on developing national capacities to promote effective dialogue and partnership to fulfill these rights at the country level.
The Governments of Denmark, Finland and Ireland have contributed to the Fund with an estimated US$ 1.7 million, most of which has been allocated to six inception country projects in Congo, Cameroon, Bolivia, Nicaragua, the Central African Republic, Nepal and the Southeast Asian region. Some of the key thematic areas of intervention of these projects include: legislative review and reform; democratic governance and indigenous peoples’ institutions; access to justice; access to land and ancestral territories; natural resources and extractive industries.
Country-level programmes will be supplemented by thematic, regional and global undertakings that can strengthen the implementation of indigenous peoples’ rights through research, networking, and capacity-development efforts. UNIPP will primarily comprise joint country-level programmes whereby participating UN organizations collaborate around common programmatic goals. The complementary priority lines of support are: capacity development for the realization of indigenous peoples’ rights; and, consultative mechanisms and participatory processes with the state and with United Nations country teams.