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A/RES/48/163 





General Assembly

Distr: General
21 December 1993
Original: English

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Forty-eighth session
Agenda item 114 b

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

48/163. International Decade of the World's Indigenous People

The General Assembly,

Bearing in mind that one of the purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, is the achievement of international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Recalling its resolution 45/164 of 18 December 1990, in which it proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World's Indigenous People, with a view to strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in areas such as human rights, the environment, development, education and health,

Acknowledging the significance of the Year in raising international awareness of the contribution of, and problems faced by, indigenous people throughout the world, and aware of the need to build on the results and lessons of the Year,

Recognizing the importance of consulting with indigenous people, the need for financial support from the international community, including support from within the United Nations system, including the specialized agencies, the need for a strategic planning framework and the need for adequate coordination and communication channels,

Expressing its appreciation for the work undertaken by the Coordinator for the Year, the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat, the Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Rigoberta Menchu, and the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities,

Recognizing the value and the diversity of the cultures and the forms of social organization of the world's indigenous people,

Welcoming the report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in which the vital role of indigenous people and their communities in the interrelationship between the natural environment and its sustainable development is recognized, including their holistic traditional scientific knowledge of their lands, natural resources and environment,

Recognizing the importance of considering the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the framework of an international decade,

Taking note of the recommendation in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, that the General Assembly should proclaim an international decade of the world's indigenous people, which should begin from 1994 and should include action-oriented programmes to be decided upon in partnership with indigenous people,

1.Proclaims the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, commencing on 10 December 1994, the period from 1 January to 9 December 1994 to be set aside for planning for the Decade in partnership with indigenous people;

2.Decides that the goal of the Decade should be the strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health;

3.Also decides that, beginning in the first year of the Decade, one day of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Indigenous People;

4.Requests the Commission on Human Rights, at its fiftieth session, to invite the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to identify at its next session an appropriate date for this purpose;

5.Requests the Secretary-General to appoint the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights as the Coordinator for the Decade;

6.Requests the Coordinator to coordinate the programme of activities for the Decade in full collaboration and consultation with Governments, competent bodies, the International Labour Organisation and other specialized agencies of the United Nations system, and indigenous and non-governmental organizations;

7.Requests competent United Nations bodies and specialized agencies to designate focal points for coordination with the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat of activities related to the Decade;

8.Invites Governments to ensure that activities and objectives for the Decade are planned and implemented on the basis of full consultation and collaboration with indigenous people;

9.Requests specialized agencies, regional commissions and other organizations of the United Nations system to consider with Governments and in partnership with indigenous people how they can contribute to the success of the Decade, and to transmit their recommendations to the Economic and Social Council;

10.Appeals to the specialized agencies, regional commissions, financial and development institutions and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system to increase their efforts to take into special account the needs of indigenous people in their budgeting and in their programming;

11.Invites indigenous organizations and other interested non-governmental organizations to consider the contributions they can make to the success of the Decade, with a view to presenting them to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations;

12.Requests the Commission on Human Rights to ask the Working Group on Indigenous Populations to identify possible programmes and projects in connection with the Decade and to submit them through the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to the Commission for its consideration;

13.Recommends that adequate human and financial resources be made available to the Centre for Human Rights in support of its activities related to indigenous people, within the overall framework of strengthening its activities envisaged in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action;

14.Requests the Secretary-General to establish a voluntary fund for the Decade, and authorizes him to accept and administer voluntary contributions from Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other private institutions and individuals for the purpose of funding projects and programmes during the Decade;

15.Urges Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to contribute to the voluntary fund for the Decade to be established by the Secretary-General and invites indigenous organizations to do likewise;

16.Invites Governments, competent United Nations bodies and specialized agencies and other intergovernmental institutions, including financial institutions, to consider providing additional resources to finance the attachment of suitable staff, including indigenous staff, to the Centre for Human Rights on a regionally balanced basis;

17.Encourages Governments to establish national committees or other more permanent structures involving indigenous representatives to plan activities for the Decade;

18.Requests that the meeting to be convened in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/128 of 17 December 1991 to review the Year also consider preparations for the Decade, giving full participation to indigenous people, particularly with regard to the elaboration of a detailed plan of action, including an evaluation mechanism, and the establishment of a funding plan for the Decade, and that the meeting report to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations;

19.Urges the competent United Nations organs, programmes and specialized agencies, in planning activities for the Decade, to examine how existing programmes and resources might be utilized to benefit indigenous people more effectively, including through the exploration of ways in which indigenous perspectives and activities can be included or enhanced;

20.Requests the Commission on Human Rights at its fiftieth session to give priority consideration to the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system;

21.Requests the Secretary-General to give all the assistance necessary to ensure the success of the Decade;

22.Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to it a preliminary report at its forty-ninth session and a final report at its fiftieth session on a comprehensive programme of action for the Decade;

23.Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-ninth session an item entitled "Programme of activities of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People".

86th plenary meeting
21 December 1993