As part of the commemoration, the Indigenous Peoples and Development Branch – Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues / DISD / DESA, organizes an event that brings together indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society and relevant stakeholders.
This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages and will focus on the current situation of indigenous languages around the world within the framework of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. The aim is to highlight the critical need to revitalize, preserve, and promote indigenous languages and share good practices through expert / interactive panels and presentation of innovative initiatives on indigenous languages. The event will also showcase creative initiatives and videos on indigenous languages at the United Nations visitor’s lobby.
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: History
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995–2004). In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005–2015, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity”. People from different nations are encouraged to participate in observing the day to spread the UN’s message on indigenous peoples. Activities may include educational forums and classroom activities to gain an appreciation and a better understanding of indigenous peoples.
By resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994, the United Nations 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. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated as an all nations community celebration with artists, speakers, poets, performers, and a wide range of vendors and community service booths.