The session will focus on will focus on health, education and decision-making, and more than fifty side events are scheduled.
The historic GA Hall opening will address the theme MDGs and Indigenous Peoples: redefining the Goals (press release). The "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs) 3 to 8 will be examined through indigenous approaches to cultural diversity, traditional knowledge and human rights.
The session will be opened with a special screened message from the SG, followed by statements by Ms.Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of UNPFII and José Antonio Ocampo. The Programme of Action for the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People will be launched during the opening session.
The event will be attended by top government and UN officials: Eladio Loizaga, Acting President of the General Assembly; Ali Hachani, President of the Economic and Social Council; José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum Indigenous Issues.
Celebrated indigenous performers including Native American rock musician, Robby Romero, P. Town Boyz from Red Lake Nation, U.S.A. and Descendance Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Dance Theatre from Australia will perform at the ceremony. Taíno activist and Chairperson of the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, Roberto Mukaro Borrero will call the session to order sounding the Guamo (conch shell trumpet).
A delegation of Indigenous Peoples from the Greater Caribbean will attend the session and include representatives of the United Confederation of Taíno People, Caney Quinto Mundo (Puerto Rico), Hoboshirima Arawak Community (Venezuela), Guyanese Organization of Indigenous Peoples, and the Amerindian Peoples Association (Guyana).
Borrero will also have the honor to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the opening Cultural Event and Exhibition inauguration on Tuesday 16 May, 2006. The exhibition entitled "Indigenous Peoples: Honoring the Past, Present and Future" will feature indigenous art works and photography from around the world including artist from
the Taíno and Carib communities.
A side event focusing on the Caribbean Indigenous Peoples will take place on Wednesday, 24 May entitled Caribbean First Nations and the MDGs: Towards a Special Consultative Session from 1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Opening Ceremony (15 May - 11:15am est) and Opening Cultural Event and Exhibit Inauguration (16 May – 6:15pm est) will be webcast at www.un.org/webcast .