On September 13, 2007, the General Assembly of the Nations (UN) approved – with 143 votes in favor, 4 contrary and 11 abstentions – the Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which proclaims the collective and individual rights of the 370 million natives around the world, making a call to maintaining and strengthening their cultural identities, emphasizing their right to access development on the basis of their personal needs and aspirations.
The approval of the United Nations (UN) of the Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples was the result of a quarter of a century’s negotiations on the rights of the indigenous peoples to protect their lands and resources and to maintain their unique cultures and traditions.
The Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples points out in Article 36.1 that the indigenous peoples, especially those that are divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop relations, contacts and cooperation, including their spiritual, cultural, political and economic activities and social purposes, with other members of other peoples across borders. Paragraph 2 states that the States, in cooperation with the indigenous peoples, must take effective measures for facilitating the exercise of and ensuring the implementation of their rights, while Article 37.1 points out that the indigenous peoples have the right to be recognized, respected, and included in treaties, agreements and the other constructive agreements reached with the States so that their successors honor and respect the treaties, agreements and other constructive orders.
Exactly one year later, in the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, claimed, in the name of the of the indigenous peoples of the world, his approval of the Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples in that it will mean” advancing toward establishing a culture of life and not of war,” he said.
“The Declaration of the United Nations on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples is the right to self-determination, the right to live together, collectively, to live in solidarity, in reciprocity and, basically, the right to live in brotherhood,” Evo Morales remarked.
To underline the native concept of life, Evo Morales reminds us that “there are regions in communities where there is no private property, there is collective property; the indigenous people just want to live well, not better: living better is to exploit, to plunder, to steal, but to live well is to live in brotherhood.”
Further ahead, Evo Morales emphasized that the indigenous and poor peoples are “for the culture of life and not the culture of war,” and assures that this millennium must be for defending life and saving humanity.