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Global Conference on Indigenous Peoples' Self-Determined, Sustainable Development and the Indigenous Peoples' Pavilion

Event Date: 
June 16, 2012 (All day) - June 22, 2012 (All day)

Indigenous peoples - one of the Major Groups under the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) - will actively engage with the Rio +20 preparatory processes and the conference proper itself. This is to ensure that their concerns and issues on sustainable development are integrated into the decisions and outcomes of Rio +20.

Indigenous peoples have engaged actively in the preparatory process and the summit proper of the 1992 Earth Summit. As a result, Agenda 21 contains Chapter 26, which is on "The role of indigenous people and their communities in sustainable development." They took part in all the CSD Sessions in New York, the Rio +5 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in 1997, and the Rio +10 processes, which culminated in Johannesburg in 2002.

This participation ensured that the Johannesburg Declaration contained a paragraph in the Preamble which affirmed "the vital role of indigenous peoples in sustainable development." It was the first time that a high level summit of the UN used the term "Indigenous Peoples" with an "s." This allowed indigenous peoples to convince UN member-states to accept the use of the term "indigenous peoples" in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007.

Indigenous Peoples and Rio +20

It is within the context of this active work in implementing sustainable development in their communities and their engagement in the global processes, that indigenous peoples will sustain their participation in Rio +20.

Indigenous peoples organized a Global Steering Committee to plan indigenous peoples' involvement in Rio +20. The Committee then held a meeting in Manaus, Brazil on 21 August 2011, where the following actions were identified.


1. Organize regional preparatory meetings in the regions to assess how Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well as the Indigenous Peoples' Plan of Implementation, have been implemented;

2. Come up with a global report containing the regional reports and thematic reports on world views of indigenous peoples on self-determined development, indigenous livelihoods and economies, the Green Economy proposals, extractive industries, among others;

3. Hold a global conference of indigenous peoples prior to the Rio +20 conference proper;

4. Organize an Indigenous Peoples' Pavilion on Sustainable, Self-determined Development to showcase indigenous peoples' experiences from different regions and communities in implementing sustainable development; and

5. Influence the outcome documents of Rio +20 through submissions to the Zero Draft and participation in the preparatory meetings and informal/informals.

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