07.08.2017 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2017

This year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the landmark UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. This is an opportunity to honour the rights of indigenous peoples and their unique contribution to achieving mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development. Indigenous peoples are custodians and practitioners of unique cultures and relationships with the natural environment. They embody a wide range of linguistic and cultural diversity at the heart of our shared humanity. Protecting their rights and dignity is protecting everyone’s rights and respecting humanity’s soul, past and future. 

The protection and well-being of indigenous peoples has never been so important. Despite their cultural diversity and homelands across 90 countries, they share common challenges related to the protection of their rights as distinct peoples. 370 million indigenous peoples make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population but account for 15 per cent of the poorest.



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