UN launches global partnership to put indigenous rights into action

20 May 2011

New York – Four United Nations agencies today launched the first global initiative to put into action the rights enshrined in an international declaration to protect the more than 370 million indigenous peoples who live in some 90 countries around the world.

The new UN-Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP) aims to work through training and consultation with governments and organizations and representatives of indigenous peoples to boost their role in high level decision-making and policy work.

During the 10th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, being held 16-27 May in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all countries to support this new initiative.  “Indigenous people make an enormous contribution to our world,” Ban Ki-moon said.  “By helping them regain their rights, we will also protect our shared environment for the benefit of all.”.

UNIPP’s work flows from the 2007 Declaration, widely recognized as one of the key international instruments to protect indigenous peoples who make up 15 percent of the world’s poor and one-third of the 900 million people living in extreme poverty.

In addition to disproportionate levels of poverty, indigenous peoples have endured a catalogue of injustices over hundreds of years, limiting access to legal and health services as well as to education and employment.  The partnership brings together the International Labour Organization, UN Development Programme, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Children’s Fund and governments to work on areas such as conflict prevention around ancestral land and use of natural resources.

Contact Information

Kevin Cassidy
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Tel: +1 646 707-2956

Carolina Azevedo
UNDP New York
Tel: + 1 212 906 6127

Janine Kandel
Tel: + 1 212 326-7684

Ravina Shamdasani
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Tel: +41-22-9179310

UNIPP specializing in poverty reduction, labour, children’s and human rights