FAO Liaison Office in New York

04/17/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/18/2024 09:26

High-Level Event to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

High-Level Event to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

Yon Fernandez- de-Larrinoa, Head, Indigenous Peoples Unit, FAO


Honorable Elders, Experts, Indigenous leaders and delegates, Indigenous Youth,

Since the year 2000, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples Issues has issued 54 recommendations to FAO.

In collaboration with the UNPFII, FAO has been addressing 25 of them, whilst 26 are being completed. The remaining were reviewed and considered not implementable.

To comply with UNDRIP, in 2010 FAO and a caucus of Indigenous Leaders jointly drafted the FAO Policy on Indigenous Peoples.

In 2014, FAO started a dedicated team working with Indigenous Peoples.

A joint workplan comprising 7 pillars of work and Indigenous Youth and Indigenous Women as key priorities was drafted together with Indigenous Peoples.

In 2015, FAO made Free Prior and Informed Consent compulsory for any FAO project affecting Indigenous Peoples, even those living outside the project area but affected by project activities.

Following collaboration with the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus since 2016, in 2021 FAO implemented one of the recommendations from UNDESA/UNPFII to organize a UN Forum for Indigenous Youth.

The Second session of the UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum took place in October 2023. Thanks to the support from Norway, the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, the Association of World Reindeer Herders, 186 Indigenous Youth, representing 54 countries, 98 Indigenous Peoples' groups speaking 93 languages gathered in Rome to voice their concerns on the future of their food and knowledge systems in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The resulting 2023 "Rome Declaration on Safeguarding Future Generations in Times of Food, Social, and Ecological Crisis" makes recommendations for UN Agencies, Member States and Indigenous Peoples that are aligned with the UNSWAP and UNDRIP.

Today, three relevant initiatives at Rome level strengthen the collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and FAO.

The Rome Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples, started by FAO and Canada in 2019, brings together 43 Member States to advance the recognition of the game-changing nature of Indigenous Peoples' food and knowledge systems.

Endorsed by Member states during the 2020 FAO technical Committee on Agriculture (COAG), the Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems is a space of co-creation of knowledge that bring together 31 Indigenous organizations, universities and research centers.

In 2021, UNPFII, FAO, and 7 countries created the Coalition on Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems as a space of policy dialogue on Indigenous Peoples' food systems between countries, Indigenous Peoples and UN organizations.

The Coalition has been fundamental in the success of the UN Global Indigenous Youth Forum, particularly in leading discussions on Indigenous Peoples' biocentric restoration and Indigenous Peoples' food and knowledge systems.

In this tenth anniversary of the historical World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, FAO remains committed to advance the work with Indigenous Peoples on their food and knowledge systems, ensuring respect of their rights, and safeguarding of their land, territories and natural resources.