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World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

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On 22 and 23 September 2014, the UN celebrated the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

The purpose of the conference was 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.

The meeting was not a complete World Conference such as the World Conference on Racism 2001 held in Durban or the Rio +20 held in 2012; rather it was a high level plenary session of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous peoples according to resolution (A/C.3/65/L.22/Rev.1). As such it was subject to the rules and procedures of the General Assembly and the interpretation of those rules and procedures by States.

There has, however, never before been a UN meeting at this level focusing solely on indigenous peoples’ rights. As such there were huge expectations amongst indigenous peoples for this meeting in terms of both their participation and its outcomes.

The Outcome Document of the UN World Conference of Indigenous peoples was adopted Monday 22 September. Indigenous peoples express moderate satisfaction with the Outcome Document. It is not as action oriented as was hoped for, but it confirms and reaffirms the language of the UN Declaration and will be an important tool for lobbying for implementation of rights back home.

Regional preparatory processes and Alta meeting

During 2012 and 2013, indigenous peoples organized regional preparatory processes to define their aspirations for the World Conference. You can find more information about the preparatory meetings and download the regional declarations here.

From 9-12 June 2013, delegates from each of the seven regions including representatives from the indigenous women and youth caucuses met in Alta, Norway for a Global Indigenous Peoples Conference to exchange views and proposals and develop collective recommendations for the World Conference. The documents from the meeting can be found  on the website of Indigenous Global Coordination Group.

Post Alta

After Alta and till September 2014, indigenous peoples have raised awareness and lobbyed for the inclusion of their recommendations into the outcome document resulting from the World Conference. Indigenous Peoples' common position is presented in the Alta Outcome Document, which was unanimously adopted by all indigenous delegations in Alta on June 12, 2013.