UNESCO is chairing the United Nations Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues (IASG), for the period of 2008/2009. In this capacity, the Organization will host the annual meeting of the IASG from 15 to 17 September 2008 at its Headquarters in Paris. The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss ways and means to advance issues of concern to indigenous peoples and reinforce collaboration among UN agencies. Given the importance the Organization attaches to these questions, the meeting will be opened by the Director-General. For UNESCO, the chairmanship provides an opportunity to strengthen house-wide efforts in support of indigenous peoples.
A roundtable on the theme "Indigenous Peoples: Development with Culture and Identity" will be organized as part of the opening event on 15 September 2008 at 9.30 a.m., in Room IV. Indigenous members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, as part of their official visit to UNESCO, will participate in the roundtable alongside government representatives and UN agencies.
About twenty UN agencies are expected to participate in this annual IASG meeting, which will take place exactly a year after the historic adoption by the UN General Assembly of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The meeting will address questions, such as the following:
The IASG was established to support and promote the mandate of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues within the United Nations system and throughout the broader inter-governmental system. Since its inception in 2002, the IASG has offered an important space for international cooperation and dialogue on indigenous peoples’ issues.