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Indigenous Peoples Continue to be Invisible in the Post-2015 Zero Draft

June 29 2015

Chakma woman at the market in Rangamati town, in the Rangamati district of Bangladesh. Photo by Chris Erni, IWGIA.
The zero draft outcome document for the United Nations post-2015 summit was released earlier this month, and the level of attention to indigenous peoples is lower than ever.


The zero draft outcome document for the United Nations post-2015 summit was released earlier this month, and was discussed at the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations from 22-25 June in New York.

The level of attention to indigenous peoples is lower than ever in this zero draft, despite the commitment to the role of indigenous peoples and sustainable development expressed in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples' Outcome Document. References to human rights, equality, and the elimination of discrimination have been removed or weakened throughout the document. Furthermore, references to the role of natural resources and land rights are poorly reflected.

The near invisibility of indigenous peoples combined with weak references to issues related to land and natural resources in the current draft poses a serious risk of repeating their negative experiences with national development processes and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as further marginalization in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

With the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, the new Sustainable Development Goals could present a unique opportunity to not only remedy shortcomings of the MDGs process, but also historic injustices resulting from racism, discrimination, and inequalities long suffered by indigenous peoples around the world.

The inter-governmental negotiations of the outcome document will continue in the lead up to the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, when world leaders are expected to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Agenda, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals.

IWGIA has been part of several responses to the document prepared by a network of organisations working on land rights, and Danish NGOs, and cooperated with the Indigenous Peoples' Major Group in the preparation of their response.

Read more about indigenous peoples in the Post 2015 development process.