International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Grand Chief Edward John, Vice Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples comes at a critical moment as the world endeavours to meet the Millennium Development Goals, forge a new vision for sustainable development and prepare the groundwork for the adoption of a new legal climate agreement – all by 2015.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (9 August) was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995 – 2004).

In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005 – 2014, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.” The focus of this year’s International Day is “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of indigenous peoples”.

The theme aims to highlight the importance of implementing the rights of indigenous peoples through policies and programmes at both the national and international level working together towards this common goal with Governments, the United Nations system, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders.

A special event at UN Headquarters in New York will be held on Friday, 8 August, from 3 to 6pm, featuring the UN Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the Vice Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, a delegate from a member State, a representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, and an indigenous representative. The event will be webcast live at webtv.un.org.

The first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will be held on 22-23 September 2014. The meeting will be an opportunity to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

See here for activities in 2015