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Indigenous peoples, the 2030 agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September 2015, the UN Member States adopted 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets that will guide global development efforts on poverty eradication, food security, environmental sustainability and the rule of law from now till 2030.

The 2030 development framework only has a few specific references to indigenous peoples. Nevertheless, it will have an enormous impact on indigenous peoples as the goals and target will direct global and national efforts and funding with regards to the environment, water, agriculture, education, health, gender etc. for the next decade and a half. 

We measure what we treasure

The goals and targets are widely anchored in international human rights standards as shown by the Human Rights Guide to the SDGs elaborated by the Danish Institute for Human Rights.  

However, the goals and targets are underpinned by indicators that may either strengthen or dilute their human rights base as they are implemented locally.

It is therefore crucial that indigenous peoples and other concerned groups monitor the indicator process closely and make consistent demands to keep a strong human rights focus on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  


Indigenous Peoples' Major Group has developed a position paper on the proposed SDG Indicators, which was presented at the second meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, held in Bangkok on 26-28 October 2015.

Work to complete the list of indicators and define the monitoring and reporting system is undertaken by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on the SDG Indicators  (IAEG-SDGs).

The list of global indicators was be adopted by the UN Statistical Division in March 2016. These must now be adopted to local circumstances by national statistical offices.

The Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGS) conducted an open consultation on the development of a global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals with all countries, regional and international agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector, which was closed in September 2015. The inputs received informed the discussion at the Bangkok meeting.

Roundtable conference on indigenous peoples, Copenhagen 8-9 October 2015 

Two weeks after the adoption by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Goals indigenous peoples gathered in Copenhagen to take stock and strategize on their involvement in the 2030 agenda.