The Grand Council of the Crees

The United Nations General Assembly has formally approved the "Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People"

Posted: 2005-01-01

The United Nations General Assembly has formally approved the "Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People" (see UN Press Release below). This Decade will begin on January 1, 2005 and will hopefully provide new and ongoing opportunities to effectively advance the human rights of Indigenous peoples.

The detailed Joint Submission on the U.N. standard-setting process and the International Decade that was prepared by the Grand Council of the Crees was relied upon by Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary-General, in recommending the approval of a Second International Decade.

UN Press Release GA/10321

Fifty-ninth General Assembly Plenary

74th Meeting (PM) December 20, 2004

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 61 RESOLUTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES

Full text at:

<a href="http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/ga10321.doc.htm">http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/ga10321.doc.htm</a>
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Excerpts:

**Indigenous People

The report on the programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, 1995-2004 (document A/59/500) contains one draft resolution and one draft decision. The draft resolution, concerning proclamation of a Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, and would have the General Assembly proclaim that Decade to commence on 1 January 2005. It would also decide that its goal should be the further strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment and social and economic development. The Secretary-General would be requested to appoint the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs as the Second Decade's Coordinator, and to establish a voluntary fund as a successor to the already-existing Voluntary Fund established for the present Decade. The Assembly would decide to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People during the Second Decade.

The draft decision would have the General Assembly take note of the notes by the Secretary-General transmitting the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (document A/59/277); the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people (document A/59/258); and the status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations (document A/59/257).

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Subsequently, the Assembly took up the report on the Programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, 1995-2004 (document A/59/500), adopting the included draft resolution to proclaim a Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People - without a vote.

The Assembly then adopted the draft decision to take note of the reports on implementation of the programme of activities for the International Decade, the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, and the status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.