Even though indigenous peoples are known for their rich cultures, knowledge and identities, they continue to be among the most marginalized groups in society, with no or limited access to decision-making processes that have an impact on their lives and future. According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his for the of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York, 16-27 May), “Millions of indigenous peoples continue to lose their lands, their rights and their resources. They make up one-third of the world’s one billion rural poor. And they are among the most vulnerable and marginalized of any group.”
To better promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples, the United Nations-Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP) was launched on the sidelines of the 10th session. This first global UN inter-agency initiative, involving the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will provide a programmatic focus on indigenous peoples at the country level, supported and complemented by strategic interventions at regional and international levels.
Thematically, UNIPP will focus on:
Legislative review and reform: develop the capacities of State institutions to include and recognize indigenous peoples’ rights within national legal systems, including through constitutional reforms, incorporation at administrative levels, and through indigenous‐specific legislation in areas such as nondiscrimination;
Democratic governance and indigenous peoples’ institutions: strengthen indigenous peoples’ institutions and organizational capacities to fully participate in governance and policy processes;
Access to justice: recognize and strengthen indigenous customary law and justice systems; and their inclusion within national legal systems;
Access to land and ancestral territories: develop and strengthen capacities for land titling, demarcation and use of ancestral territories, including local capacity development initiatives and those aimed at securing greater recognition of indigenous lands;
Natural resources and extractive industries: promote conflict prevention, based on consultation, participation, benefit‐sharing and dispute resolution. This area will have a special focus on conflict prevention initiatives around ancestral land and use of natural resources, in particular the need to develop capacity of indigenous communities in negotiation skills and dispute resolution in line with international legal instruments.
For more information on UNIPP, visit the following website:
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