Choose a news category:

Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights Approaches Landmark UN Decision

Posted on: Thursday, September 13, 2007

Keywords: Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Indigenous Rights

September 13, 2007—New York—Today, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly will deliberate over whether to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a human rights framework over twenty years in the making. In advance of these negotiations, MADRE called on the General Assembly to finally approve the Declaration before the end of its 61st session this month.

MADRE further stressed that this Declaration addresses critical issues, such as the right to self-determination, the recognition of the role of Indigenous Peoples in sustainable development, and the rights of Indigenous women. In the context of an escalating debate over climate change, the Declaration also states that, “respect for Indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment.”

Later this month, the UN will host a conference with high-level government leaders, to address the challenge of climate change. MADRE asserted that the approval of this Declaration will set a positive tone for progress at that conference and will promote a sustainable approach to halting environmental degradation.

Vivian Stromberg, Executive Director of MADRE, said today, “This Declaration speaks to the core of the crises we all face today, and the UN cannot afford to delay this opportunity. Indigenous communities have too long faced the threat of government discrimination and corporate exploitation of their lands and territories. The passage of this Declaration will signal a major shift in the landscape of international human rights law, in which the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples will finally be recognized and defended.”

The Declaration was already approved in June 2006 by the UN Human Rights Council. Yet, it has since faced stiff opposition from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other states. This antagonism towards the declaration comes from governments' fear that it will challenge their control over the land and resources of Indigenous Peoples.

For more analysis from MADRE on Indigenous Peoples' rights and resources, click here:

Available for interviews:

Yifat Susskind, MADRE’s Communications Director, worked for several years as part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian human rights organization in Jerusalem before joining MADRE. She has written extensively on US foreign policy and women’s human rights; her critical analysis has appeared in online and print publications such as, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women, published by the Feminist Press in 2004. Ms. Susskind has been featured as a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio. She is the coordinator of MADRE’s upcoming Food for Life Campaign.

Victoria Tauli Corpuz is Executive Director of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research & Education), which has United Nations consultative status and is based in Baguio City, Philippines. Ms. Tauli Corpuz was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations from 1996 to 2003; serves as the Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples (UNPFII); and is a member of the Asia Indigenous Women’s Network. She has a Nursing degree; is an Indigenous activist who is committed to the recognition, protection, and promotion of Indigenous Peoples’ rights worldwide; and has been defending the rights and cultures of Indigenous Peoples for more than 30 years.

« Back to "Press Room" Next Article »

Article Tools
Increase Font Decrease Font Reset Font Print Page Email Page


"Press Room" Home November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001


Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444

To sign up to receive MADRE media alerts, click here.

Bring MADRE to You

MADRE & Our Partners Make News