On 9 August UNESCO celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
On 9 August UNESCO celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. On this day UNESCO appeals to the Member States, intergovernmental bodies, organizations of the United Nations system, relevant non-governmental organizations and civil society to raise public awareness and encourage spreading of knowledge about the history and culture of the indigenous people - bearers of unique customs and traditions.
On 23 December 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (Resolution 49/214).
UNESCO’s contribution starts with normative action. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), and the conventions devoted to the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) and the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005) are milestones, recognizing indigenous peoples as unique custodians of cultural and biological diversity. For UNESCO, development and culture must move forward together –- starting with the cultures of the most marginalised peoples.
UNESCO works also to promote the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples. Its Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems programme seeks global recognition of the importance of indigenous knowledge for understanding the impacts of climate change and for developing ways to adapt at the community level. It is vital to integrate this knowledge into global approaches to climate change.
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