United Nations Headquarters, New York
16 to 27 May 2005
Focusing particularly on Millennium Development Goal 1 (eradicate extreme poverty) and MDG 2 (primary education for all), the Forum voiced concern that, unless the particular situation and voices of indigenous peoples are taken into account, the MDG process may lead to accelerated loss of land and natural resources, and accelerated assimilation, thus prolonging and even worsening the marginalization, discrimination and further imporverishment of indigenous peoples. The Forum recommended a human rights based approach to development, and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in designing, implementing and monitoring MDG-related programmes and projects that concern them or may affect them. The Forum recommended that Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers of national goverments recognize indigenous peoples right to land, forest, marine and other natural resources.
The session was opened on 16 May 2005 by the Deputy Secretary-General, the Acting President of the General Assembly, Assistant Secretary General for the Division for the Advancement of Women, as well as an elder from an indigenous community. High level officials who participated in the Session included the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Under Secretary General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program and Chairman of the UN Development Group, the Special Advisor of the Secretary General on the MDGs, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples.
A new Bureau of the Permanent Forum was elected at the start of the Session, and members of the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues played an active role in the two week dialogue. The Session was attended by some 1200 participants, 68 member states and the Holy See, as well as 30 UN system and other intergovernmental entities, which demonstrates an increased engagement of the international system with the Permanent Forum.
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