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Organization of American States

Department of International Law
Indigenous Peoples

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The purpose of this web page is to explain the current status of the negotiations underway within the Organization of American States on the proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Originally, the General Assembly, meeting in Washington D.C., in November 1989, asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the IACHR) to prepare a “legal instrument be adopted in regard to the human rights of the indigenous peoples” for adoption in 1992 (see operative paragraph 13 of resolution [AG/RES. 1022 (XIX-O/89)]). The legal instrument prepared by the IACHR was submitted to the Permanent Council on April 10, 1997, as a draft declaration, with the title [Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] (hereinafter “the Proposed American Declaration prepared by the IACHR”).

The goal of the Working Group is to adopt each provision by consensus, as established by the successive resolutions on the matter and the chosen working methodology[1].

• If no consensus is reached, the Chair of the Working Group will invite the delegations to hold informal consultations, working in drafting groups composed of representatives of the states and the indigenous peoples, to find a text acceptable to all parties.

• Should consensus still not be reached, the Chair will present an alternative proposal for consideration by the Working Group.

• If, after these efforts, no consensus has been reached, the word, phrase, or paragraph still pending will remain in square brackets.

[1] “Proposed procedure for promptly concluding the negotiations in the quest for points of consensus of the Working Group to Prepare the Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (GT/DADIN/doc.246/06 rev.7, of December 6, 2007).

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