Published: 13 September 2007
Author: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
The High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007, as a triumph for justice and human dignity following more than two decades of negotiations between governments and indigenous peoples’ representatives.
It was adopted with 144 votes in favour, 11 abstentions and four States against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America). Since then, a number of States have changed their position, including the four which voted against but have now endorsed the Declaration.
The Declaration is the most comprehensive instrument detailing the rights of indigenous peoples in international law and policy, containing minimum standards for the recognition, protection and promotion of these rights. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, wellbeing and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples.
The Declaration addresses both individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; rights to education, health, employment, language, and others. It outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them. It also ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own priorities in economic, social and cultural development. The Declaration explicitly encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and indigenous peoples.

Source United Nations Website