United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Inter-Agency Support Group

The Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG) on Indigenous Issues was established to support and promote the mandate of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues within the United Nations system.

The main objectives of the UN Inter-agency support group are: (i) to provide an opportunity for the exchange of information in regards to their work on indigenous issues; (ii) strengthen inter-agency cooperation to promote the human rights and well-being of indigenous peoples including the dissemination and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; (iii) analyze, disseminated and contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of the Forum; (iv) interact with the Forum and its members to provide and seek information, advice and substantive inputs; (v) advise in the mainstreaming of indigenous peoples issues within the UN system, and strengthen mutual collaboration.

The IASG Chairmanship rotates annually and has been held by the ILO, the World Bank, WIPO, UNDP, UNICEF, IFAD, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), UNESCO, UNEP and UN-HABITAT, WHO,UNFPA and UNICEF.

IASG Statement on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

At its Annual Meeting in September 2007, the Inter-Agency Sipport Group on Indigenous Issues adopted the following statement on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

The Inter Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues hails the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007.  The Declaration sends out a clear message to the entire international community, reaffirming the human rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.  This landmark action of the United Nations bears political, legal, symbolic and moral significance, as well as constituting a crucial opportunity for the UN System and other inter-governmental organizations to critically reflect upon their engagement with indigenous peoples’ issues and, according to Article 42 of the Declaration, to promote respect for and full application of its provisions and follow-up its effectiveness.  The IASG pledges to advance the spirit and letter of the Declaration within our agencies’ mandates and to ensure that the Declaration becomes a living document throughout our work.

The IASG has held an extraordinary meeting before the seventh session of the UNPFII to discuss the impact of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the work of the agencies and has invited OHCHR and ILO to organize such meeting.  In preparation for that meeting, each agency was invited to prepare a paper with reflections on the implications of the adoption of the Declaration for its work.

Major areas for agency work already identified by the IASG include dissemination, capacity-building, programming, translation into indigenous languages and popularization of the Declaration