|Special Rapporteur calls upon UNESCO to take decided action towards adoption of policy on indigenous peoples|
|10 November 2011|
At its headquarters in Paris, UNESCO launched its work developing a policy on indigenous peoples. At the launching event, entitled Knowledge Systems, Knowledge Diversity, Knowledge Societies: Towards a UNESCO Policy on Engaging with Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapporteur welcomed UNESCO's efforts to develop a policy on engaging with indigenous peoples. He further emphasized that the future policy should guide UNESCO's programming so that it does not just avoid harm to indigenous peoples, but rather actively promotes indigenous peoples' rights.
The Special Rapporteur participated in the event together with the Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Myrna Cunningham, and the Chair of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Vital Bambanze. During his two days at UNESCO's headquarters, the Special Rapporteur also met with the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, as well as with representatives of UNESCO programmes relevant to indigenous peoples, including UNESCO's Assistant Director Generals of Natural Sciences, Communications and Information, and Culture; and representatives of the World Heritage Centre and of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section Division for Cultural Expressions and Heritage.
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