Consultation on indigenous peoples' participation in the United Nations

In operative paragraph 13 of Human Rights Council resolution 18/8 of September 2011, the Human Rights Council requested the Secretary General, in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Office of Legal Affairs and other relevant parts of the Secretariat to:

  • prepare a detailed document on the ways and means of promoting participation at the United Nations of recognized indigenous peoples’ representatives on issues affecting them, given that they are not always organized as non-governmental organizations, and on how such participation might be structured, drawing from, inter alia, the rules governing the participation in various United Nations bodies by non-governmental organizations (including Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31) and by national human rights institutions (including Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007 and Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/74 of 20 April 2005), and to present it to the Council at its twenty-first session;

Further to this request by the Human Rights Council, and to facilitate the preparation of this document, OHCHR invited indigenous peoples' organisations, States, academics and civil society more broadly to provide their views on the ideal ways and means to promote participation at the United Nations of recognised indigenous peoples’ representatives on issues affecting them and on how such participation might be structured. In particular, OHCHR welcomed views on:

  • which existing procedures to accredit non-governmental organisations might be appropriately applied to the accreditation of indigenous peoples’ representatives to meetings of United Nations organs;
  • the current practices to accredit indigenous peoples’ organisations to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and how such practices could be applied to other United Nations meetings;
  • whether it is desirable for the General Assembly to adopt a decision setting out general procedures that would apply to indigenous peoples’ representatives’ participation at United Nations meetings, or whether separate decisions should be adopted by the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council on their participation; and
  • what would be the appropriate next steps in terms of considering this issue further within the United Nations.

Submissions received