Strengthened engagement with indigenous peoples through partnerships and coordination


To promote the rights of indigenous peoples and to mainstream indigenous issues, UNDP participates actively in the work of relevant UN bodies and is engaged in supporting efforts to advance indigenous peoples’ rights and to internally ensure coordination and coherence on indigenous peoples’ issues.

UNDP supports the work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and implements the recommendations of the Forum with its UN partners. UNDP also actively participates in the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues (IASG) which was established to support and promote the mandate of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
 
The establishment of the UNPFII in 2000 came after a ten-year process of international consultation following the Vienna Conference of 1993. The Forum has a broad mandate, namely to discuss economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights and to advise the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations system on all matters pertaining to its mandate, promote the coordination and integration of indigenous issues in the United Nations system, raise awareness about indigenous issues and produce information materials on indigenous issues. More than 1,500 indigenous participants from all parts of the world attend the annual sessions of the UNPFII in New York, in addition to representatives from some 70 countries and around 35 UN agencies and inter-governmental entities.
 
UNDP participates in and supports the work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). EMRIP was established in 2007 by the Human Rights Council, the UN’s main human rights body, as a subsidiary body of the Council. The Expert Mechanism is made up of five independent experts and provides the Human Rights Council with thematic advice, in the form of studies and research, on the rights of indigenous peoples as directed by the Council. The Expert Mechanism may also suggest proposals to the Human Rights Council for its consideration and approval.
 
UNDP collaborates with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in advancing the rights of indigenous peoples and to provide guidance and disseminate information on indigenous issues. The Special Rapporteur promotes good practices concerning the rights of indigenous peoples, reports on the overall human rights situation of indigenous peoples, addresses specific cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples and conducts or contributes to thematic studies of special importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.
 
To ensure system-wide coordination on indigenous issues, the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) has developed the UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples' Issues (2008) with the purpose to assist the UN system in mainstreaming and integrating indigenous peoples' issues in UN system processes and activities.
 
UNDP is also supporting the UNPFII in preparing for the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 69th session of General Assembly in September 2014, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. The main objective of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples is to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Selected Resources
  • Fast Facts: UNDP and Indigenous Peoples (UNDP, 2009) English | Spanish
  • UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples' Issues (UNDG, 2008) English | French | Spanish
  • UNDP and Indigenous Peoples towards Effective Partnerships (UNDP, 2006) English
  • UNDP and Indigenous Peoples: A Policy of Engagement (UNDP, 2001) English | French | Spanish