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The participation of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations has significantly evolved over the past few decades, marking a substantial shift towards greater recognition and inclusion of their rights and voices at the international level. This journey formally started with the Study on the Problem of Discrimination against Indigenous Populations, produced by Jose R. Martínez Cobo, the Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1981-1983). A milestone in this process was the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007, a result of extensive collaboration and advocacy by Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration affirms the individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recalls that ways and means of ensuring participation of Indigenous Peoples on issues affecting them shall be established.

Indigenous Peoples continue to shape their participation in the United Nations. They engage actively with the organization through various Indigenous Peoples’ mechanisms. UN bodies and entities have also opened important spaces for their participation. A new process of enhancing their participation in the United Nations, including in the Human Rights Council, was initiated with the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014.This process is still ongoing, filled with potential for further progress.

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