COMMIUNIQUE (New York, 11/17/10)

Following an initiative by the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus yesterday a draft resolution (A/C.3/65/L.22/Rev.1) in which countries agreed to hold a “World Conference on Indigenous Peoples” in 2014.

The Conference, which will take place at the end of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005 – 2014), aims to exchange criteria for the fulfillment of the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The resolution calls on Member States and the international community to help find solutions to the problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas including culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and socio-economic development.

The resolution makes reference to the first World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, organized by the Plurinational State of Bolivia in Cochabamba from April 20th to 22nd, 2010.

It also expands the mandate of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples to include facilitating the participation of representatives of indigenous organizations in the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.

Comprising 7 preambulary paragraphs, and 10 operative paragraphs, the resolution will be ratified in December of this year by the General Assembly.

Following its presentation by the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the resolution was co-sponsored by the following nations: Argentina, Australia, Benin, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and the Boliviarian Republic of Venezuela. Upon its adoption, the following were added: the United States, Brazil, New Zeland, Canada, Italy, Estonia, Spain, Albania, Chile, Greece, Congo, Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Paraguay and Luxembourg.

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