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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 – August 9

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International-Day-of-the-World's-Indigenous-Peoples-2020-August-9The United Nations(UN’s) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is annually observed on 9th August by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with the UN and its member states to promote the rights of the indigenous population around the world. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People also known as World Tribal Day.

The First International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was celebrated on 9th August 1995.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2020 is celebrated under the theme “COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience”.


i.In its resolution A/RES/49/214 on 23rd December 1994 The United Nations General Assembly first proclaimed the 9th of August as the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People 1995-2004.

ii.August 9th was chosen to mark the inaugural session of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous population of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Geneva on 9th August 1982.

iii.In 2004, The UNGA proclaimed the Second International Decade from 2005 to 2014 with the theme of “Decade for Action and Dignity”.

iv.In the UNGA’s resolution A/RES/71/178 adopted on 19th December 2016, it was decided to continue to observe August 9th of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples in New York, Geneva and other offices of the United Nations.


  • To promote and preserve the indigenous languages, 2019 was observed as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
  • To focus on the empowerment of the Indigenous language users, 2022 – 2032 will be observed as the Decade of Indigenous Languages.

Event 2020:

i.The Indigenous Peoples and Development Branch of the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues/ Division for Inclusive Social Development(DISD)/Department of Economic and Social Affairs(DESA) organised a virtual event on 10th August 2020 with indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society and relevant stakeholders.

ii.The virtual commemoration was aimed to highlight how the preservation and promotion of the tradition, practice and knowledge of the indigenous people can support them during the global pandemic.

iii.The event featured an interactive panel discussion on the innovative ways to showcase the resilience and strength of the indigenous people amid the global pandemic due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples’ resilience:

i.The indigenous people share their territory with around 80% of the world’s biodiversity and they can provide us the knowledge to a balanced relationship with nature and reduce the risk of pandemic in future.

ii.The indigenous people use their traditional practices and knowledge like voluntary isolation and preventive measures to combat against COVID-19 and showcased their ability to adapt.

About United Nations(UN):

Secretary General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, United States of America

About United Nations General Assembly(UNGA):

President– Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
President Elect– Volkan Bozkir (will assume office on September 15th 2020)
Headquarters– New York, United States of America