UN: The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August, in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982. The International Day was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994.
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.
This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August) aims to highlight the importance of honouring agreements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples, emphasizing the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace.
“Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – over 5,000 distinct groups comprising more than 5 per cent of the world’s population,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “We must work to strengthen partnerships and ensure that policies and actions respect the views and reflect the values of indigenous peoples.”