A permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/41


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling the recommendations pertaining to indigenous people included in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, in particular the recommendation that the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system should be considered,

Recalling also the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to involve indigenous people and their communities in the United Nations programmes of environment and development as stated in article 22 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and in chapter 26 of Agenda 21,

Recalling further its previous resolutions 1994/28 of 4 March 1994 and 1995/30 of 3 March 1995, as well as General Assembly resolutions 49/214 of 23 December 1994 and 50/157 of 21 December 1995,

Taking note of the document entitled "Consideration of a permanent forum for indigenous people: report of the workshop held in accordance with Commission resolution 1995/30, Copenhagen, 26-28 June 1995" (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1995/7), the comments received by the Centre for Human Rights thereon, the comments and suggestions of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations contained in its report to the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1995/24) and resolution 1995/39 of 24 August 1995 entitled "Permanent forum in the United Nations for indigenous people" adopted by the Sub-Commission at its forty-seventh session,

Recalling that the programme of activities for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 50/157 recognizes among the important objectives of the Decade that consideration be given to the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system,

Recognizing the importance of involving indigenous people and their organizations in the consideration of the possible establishment of a permanent forum, and acknowledging the important role of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in this respect,

1. Endorses the recommendation of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities that the Secretary-General transmit the document entitled "Consideration of a permanent forum for indigenous people: report of the workshop held in accordance with Commission resolution 1995/30, Copenhagen, 26-28 June 1995" (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/1995/7) and the comments received by the Centre for Human Rights thereon to Governments and organizations of indigenous people, inviting them to express their views concerning the question of the establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people and to report on the comments and suggestions received to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at its fourteenth session;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the document entitled "Consideration of a permanent forum for indigenous people: report of the workshop held in accordance with Commission resolution 1995/30, Copenhagen, 26-28 June 1995" and the comments thereon received by the Centre for Human Rights to relevant intergovernmental organizations;

3. Welcomes the recommendation of the General Assembly, as contained in Assembly resolution 50/157, that the Secretary-General, drawing on the expertise of the Commission on Human Rights, as well as the Commission for Sustainable Development and other relevant bodies, undertake a review, in close consultation with Governments and taking into account the views of indigenous people, of the existing mechanisms, procedures and programmes within the United Nations concerning indigenous people and to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure, from within existing resources, the implementation of the review in order to have it completed and circulated to Governments, relevant intergovernmental organizations and organizations of indigenous people for their comments well in advance of the fifty-first session of the General Assembly; 5. Urges the relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and financial institutions responsible for the existing mechanisms, procedures and programmes concerning indigenous people to facilitate the completion in full and on time of the review to be conducted by the Secretary-General in accordance with General Assembly resolution 50/157;

6. Requests the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at its fourteenth session to continue to give priority consideration to the possible establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people and to submit its further comments and suggestions, through the Sub-Commission, to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-third session;

7. Requests in particular the Working Group on Indigenous Populations to place the Working Group's own contribution to the review of existing mechanisms, procedures and programmes concerning indigenous people on the agenda of its fourteenth session, and requests the Secretary-General to invite relevant United Nations bodies and specialized agencies to submit written information on their contributions to the review to be conducted by the Secretary-General in accordance with General Assembly resolution 50/157;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to make this information available to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in advance of its fourteenth session;

9. Takes note of the recommendation of the General Assembly as contained in Assembly resolution 50/157 that the Commission on Human Rights, drawing on the experience of the Copenhagen workshop and the results of the review to be conducted by the Secretary-General, consider the convening of a second workshop on the possible establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people with the participation of independent experts, as well as representatives of Governments, organizations of indigenous people and other non-governmental organizations concerned and United Nations bodies and specialized agencies;

10. Decides to continue the consideration of a second workshop at its fifty-third session in the context of the Commission's continued consideration of the possible establishment of a permanent forum under the agenda item entitled "Indigenous issues";

11. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Commission at its fifty-third session with a report on the activities undertaken and information received in pursuance of the present resolution.

52nd meeting 19 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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