Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports activity of the UN indigenous peoples organizations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided by way of a voluntary donation of 500,000 kroons (€32,000) to support the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, the Voluntary Fund for the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. A directive signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet provides for the amount to be allocated from funds earmarked in the Foreign Ministry budget for development and humanitarian assistance.
Estonia has supported the activity of the UN indigenous peoples fund and the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People fund since 1996. The objective of the indigenous peoples fund is to support participation of organizations and communities of indigenous peoples in the work of workgroups addressing the situation of various indigenous peoples. The objective of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People is to fund projects carried out to protect the rights of the world\s indigenous people. The topics of the indigenous peoples forum covers the economic and social development of indigenous peoples, their rights in the field of culture, education and health, and human rights. The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the UN Economic and Social Council.
The activity of these bodies and the forum contributes to the formation of networks between indigenous peoples' organizations, supporting the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples and the preservation of the language, culture and identity of indigenous peoples. The Foreign Ministry budget for development and humanitarian assistance is 15 million kroons in 2006. For more information on development cooperation, please visit: http://www.vm.ee/est/kat_425/