ESTABLISHING THE FUND FOR THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
The High Contracting Parties:
Meeting in the City of Madrid, Spain, on the occasion of the
Second Summit of the Ibero-American States on July 24, 1992;
Recalling the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the International Agreement on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and the International Agreement on Civil and
Considering the international rules set forth in the
International Labour Organization's Convention on Indigenous and
Tribal Peoples, adopted by the International Labour Organization
Hereby adopt, in the presence of representatives of indigenous
peoples of the region, the following Agreement establishing the
fund for the development of the indigenous peoples of Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Purpose and functions
1.1 Purpose. The purpose of the Fund for the Development of
the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean,
hereinafter the "Indigenous Fund", is to establish a mechanism
designed to support the self-development processes of the
indigenous peoples, communities and organizations of Latin America
and the Caribbean, hereinafter referred to as "Indigenous
The term "Indigenous Peoples" shall be understood to mean
those indigenous peoples who descend from populations that
inhabited the country, or the geographic region to which the
country belongs, during the period of the conquest or colonization
of the region, or of the establishment of the present state
frontiers, and who, whatever their legal situation, retain all
their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions,
or part thereof. In addition, awareness of their indigenous
identity shall be considered a fundamental criterion for
determining the groups to whom the provisions of this Agreement
The use of the term "Peoples" in this Agreement shall not be
interpreted as having any implications whatsoever in regard to
rights which may be inferred from this term under International
1.2 Functions. In order to attain the objective set forth in
paragraph 1.1 of this article, the Indigenous Fund shall have the
following basic functions:
a) To provide a forum for dialogue for the achievement of the
concerted formulation of development policies, technical
assistance operations, and programs and projects of interest for
the Indigenous Peoples, with the participation of the Governments
of the States of the region, Governments of other States,
financing institutions and the Indigenous Peoples themselves.
b) To channel financial and technical resources for the
priority projects and programs agreed upon with the Indigenous
Peoples, ensuring that they will contribute to create conditions
conducive to the self-development of these Peoples.
c) To provide training and technical assistance resources to
support institutional strengthening, development of management
capacity, human resource formation, and information and research
capabilities for Indigenous Peoples and their organizations.
Members and resources
2.1 Members. Members of the Indigenous Fund shall be such
States as deposit the ratification instrument with the General
Secretariat of the United Nations Organization, in accordance with
their internal constitutional requirements and with the provisions
of Article 14.1 of this Agreement.
2.2 Resources. The resources of the Indigenous Fund shall
consist of the Contributions of the Member States, donations and
other assistance from other States, multilateral, bilateral and
national agencies of a public or private nature and from
institutional donors, and the net income generated by the
activities and investments of the Indigenous Fund.
2.3 Contribution Instruments. The Contribution Instruments
shall be protocols signed by each Member State to establish its
respective commitments to contribute resources to form the capital
of the Indigenous Fund, in accordance with paragraph 2.4 below.
Other donations or assistance shall be governed by the provisions
of Article 5 of this Agreement.
2.4 Nature of the Contributions. Contributions to the
Indigenous Fund may be made in foreign exchange, local currency,
technical assistance and in kind, in accordance with the rules
established by the General Assembly. Contributions in local
currency shall be subject to value maintenance and exchange rate
3.1 Organs of the Indigenous Fund. The organs of the
Indigenous Fund are the General Assembly and the Board of
3.2 General Assembly.
a) Composition. The General Assembly shall be composed of:
i) one delegate from each of the Member State, duly
accredited by the respective Government; and
ii) one delegate of the Indigenous Peoples of each State
of the region that is a Member of the Indigenous Fund, duly
accredited by his respective Government, after consultations
carried out with the Indigenous Peoples' organizations of that
i) Decisions shall be adopted by the unanimous affirmative
vote of the delegates of the States of the region that are
Members of the Indigenous Fund, together with a majority of
affirmative votes of the representatives of the other Member
States and a majority of affirmative votes of the delegates of
the Indigenous Peoples.
ii) In matters that affect the Indigenous Peoples of one
or more countries, the affirmative vote of their delegates
shall also be required.
c) Regulations. The General Assembly shall issue its By-laws
and such other regulations as it deems necessary for the
functioning of the Indigenous Fund.
d) Functions. The functions of the General Assembly shall
include, without being limited to:
i) the formulation of the general policy of the Indigenous
Fund and the adoption of such measures as are necessary for
the accomplishment of its objectives;
ii) the approval of the basic criteria for preparation of
the plans, projects and programs to be supported by the
iii) the approval of membership status in accordance with
the stipulations of this Agreement and with the rules
established by the General Assembly;
iv) the approval of the annual program and budget, and of
the periodic statements of account, of the resources of the
v) the election of the members of the Board of Directors
to which reference is made in paragraph 3.3, and the
delegation to said Board of the faculties necessary for the
functioning of the Indigenous Fund;
vi) the approval of the technical and administrative
structure of the Indigenous Fund and the appointment of its
vii) the approval of special agreements to enable
countries that are not Members, as well as those public and
private organizations that wish to do so, to cooperate with,
or participate in, the Indigenous Fund;
viii) the approval of any amendments to the Agreement
Establishing the Indigenous Fund, and their submission to the
Members for ratification, when applicable; and
ix) the termination of the operations of the Indigenous
Fund and the appointment of liquidators.
e) The General Assembly shall meet in regular session once per
year, and in extraordinary session as often as may be necessary,
on its own initiative or at the request of the Board of Directors,
in accordance with the procedures established by the General
3.3 Board of Directors
a) Composition. The Board of Directors shall be composed of
nine members elected by the General Assembly, who shall represent,
in equal parts, the Governments of the States of the region that
are Members of the Indigenous Fund, the Indigenous Peoples of
those same Member States and the Governments of the other Member
States. The term of office of the members of the Board of
Directors shall be two years, with appropriate arrangements for
i) Decisions shall be adopted by the unanimous affirmative
vote in favor of the delegates of the States of the Region
that are Members of the Indigenous Fund, together with a
majority of affirmative votes of the representatives of the
other Member States and a majority of affirmative votes of the
delegates of the Indigenous Peoples.
ii) Decisions of the Board of Directors that affect a
particular country shall also require, for their validity, the
approval of the Government of the State concerned and of the
beneficiary Indigenous People, through the most appropriate
c) Functions. In accordance with the rules, regulations and
guidelines approved by the General Assembly, the Board of
Directors shall perform the following functions:
i) propose to the General Assembly such complementary
rules and regulations as are required for the fulfillment of
the objectives of the Indigenous Fund, including the By-laws
of the Board;
ii) appoint one of its members as Chairman, by means of
the voting mechanism set forth in paragraph 3.3 (b) above;
iii) adopt the necessary measures for the implementation
of this Agreement and of the decisions of the General
iv) evaluate the technical and administrative needs of the
Indigenous Fund and propose the corresponding measures to the
v) administer the resources of the Indigenous Fund and
authorize the contracting of loans;
vi) submit to the consideration of General Assembly for
the proposed annual program and budget, and the periodic
statements of account of the resources of the Indigenous Fund;
vii) consider and approve programs and projects that are
eligible to receive assistance from the Indigenous Fund, in
accordance with its objectives and rules;
viii) arrange and provide technical assistance and the
necessary support for the preparation of the projects and
ix) promote and establish mechanisms for concerted action
by Members of the Indigenous Fund, cooperating entities and
x) propose to the General Assembly the appointment or the
Technical Secretary of the Indigenous Fund;
xi) temporarily suspend the operations of the Indigenous
Fund until the General Assembly has an opportunity to examine
the situation and take appropriate measures;
xii) exercise such other faculties as this Agreement
confers upon it and perform the functions assigned to it by
the General Assembly.
d) Meetings. The Board of Directors shall meet at least three
times per year, in April, August and December, and in
extraordinary session whenever it deems necessary.
4.1 Technical and Administrative Structure.
a) The General Assembly and the Board of Directors shall
determine and establish the technical and administrative structure
of the Indigenous Fund, in accordance with Articles 3.2 (d) (vi)
and 3.3 (c) (iv) and (x). This structure, hereinafter referred to
as the Technical Secretariat, shall consist of highly qualified
staff in terms of professional training and experience whose
number shall not exceed ten: six professional and four
administrative staff. Additional personnel needs for projects may
be met through the hiring of temporary personnel.
b) The General Assembly, if it considers necessary, may expand
or adjust the composition of the Technical Secretariat.
c) The Technical Secretariat shall function under the
direction of a Technical Secretary appointed in accordance with
the provisions referred to in subparagraph (a) above.
4.2 Administration Contracts. The General Assembly may
authorize the signature of administration contracts with entities
possessing the resources and experience required to perform the
technical, financial and administrative management of the
resources and activities of the Indigenous Fund.
5.1 Cooperation with Entities that are not Members of the
The Indigenous Fund may sign special agreements, approved by
the General Assembly, to enable States that are not Members, as
well as public and private, local, national and international
organizations, to contribute to the capital of the Indigenous
Fund, to participate in its activities, or both.
Operations and activities
6.1 Organization of Operations. The Indigenous Fund shall
organize its operations on the basis of a classification of
programs and projects by areas, in order to facilitate the
concentration of administrative and financial efforts and
programming by means of periodic resource allocations, to
viabilize the accomplishment of the concrete objectives of the
6.2 Beneficiaries. The programs and projects supported by the
Indigenous Fund shall benefit directly and exclusively the
Indigenous Peoples of the Latin American and Caribbean States that
are Members of the Indigenous Fund or have signed special
agreements with said Fund to enable the Indigenous Peoples of
their countries to participate in the activities of the Fund, in
accordance with article 5.
6.3 Eligibility Criteria and Priority. The General Assembly
shall adopt specific criteria that will make it possible, in an
interdependent manner and taking into account the diversity of the
beneficiaries, to determine the eligibility of the prospective
beneficiaries of the operations of the Indigenous Fund and to
establish the priority of programs and projects.
6.4 Financing Conditions.
a) Taking into account the diverse and particular
characteristics of the eventual beneficiaries of the programs and
projects, the General Assembly shall establish flexible guidelines
to be used by the Board of Directors to determine the financing
terms and establish the conditions for execution of each program
and project, in consultation with those concerned.
b) In accordance with the above-mentioned criteria, the
Indigenous Fund shall grant nonreimbursable resources, loans,
guarantees and utilize other appropriate financing mechanisms,
individually or in combinations.
Evaluation and monitoring
7.1 Evaluation of the Indigenous Fund. The General Assembly
shall periodically evaluate the functioning of the Indigenous Fund
as a whole, on the basis of such criteria and using such means as
it considers appropriate.
7.2 Evaluation of Programs and Projects. The progress of the
programs and projects shall be evaluated by the Board of
Directors. Special consideration shall be given to the requests
submitted in this regard by the beneficiaries of such programs and
Withdrawal of members
8.1 Right to Withdraw. Any Member State may withdraw from the
Indigenous Fund by giving written notification of its intention to
the Chairman of the Board of Directors, who shall notify the
General Secretariat of the United Nations Organization. The
withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of
8.2 Settlement or Accounts.
a) In the event of the withdrawal of a Member State, the
Contributions made by such Member State to the Indigenous Fund
shall not be returnable.
b) A Member State that withdraws from the Indigenous Fund
shall remain liable in respect of sums owed to the Indigenous Fund
and obligations assumed vis-a-vis the Fund prior to the date of
termination of its membership.
Termination of operations
9.1 Termination of Operations. The Indigenous Fund may
terminate its operations by decision to that effect by the General
Assembly, which shall appoint liquidators, determine the payment
of debts and arrange the distribution of assets on a proportional
basis among its Members.
10.1 Legal Status.
a) The Indigenous Fund shall have juridical personality and
full capacity to:
i) enter into contracts;
ii) purchase and dispose of personal and real property;
iii) accept and grant loans and grants, give guarantees,
purchase and sell securities, invest such funds as are not
committed for its operations and perform all financial
transactions necessary for the accomplishment of its purpose
iv) institute judicial or administrative proceedings and
appear in court;
v) perform all other actions required for the performance
of its functions and the accomplishment of the objectives of
b) The Indigenous Fund shall exercise these faculties in
accordance with the legal requirements of the Member State in
whose territory it is carrying out any operations and activities.
Immunities, exemptions and privileges
11.1 Grant of Immunities. The Member States shall adopt, in
accordance with their own legal systems, such measures as are
necessary to confer upon the Indigenous Fund the immunities,
exemptions and privileges required for the accomplishment of its
objectives and the performance of its functions.
12.1 Amendment of the Agreement. This Agreement may only be
amended with the unanimous consent of the General Assembly,
subject, when required, to ratification by the Member States.
13.1 Headquarters of the Fund. The Indigenous Fund shall have
its headquarters in the city of La Paz, Bolivia.
13.2 Depositaries. Each Member State shall designate its
Central Bank as depositary so that the Indigenous Fund may keep
its available resources in the currency of that Member State and
other assets of the institution. In the event that a Member State
does not have a Central Bank, it shall designate, in agreement
with the Indigenous Fund, some other institution far this purpose.
14.1 Signature and Acceptance. This Agreement shall be
deposited with the General Secretariat of the United Nations
Organization, where it shall remain open to receive the signatures
of the representatives of the Governments of the States of the
region and of other States which wish to become Members of the
14.2 Entry into Force. This Agreement shall enter into force
when the ratification instrument has been deposited by at least
three States of the region, in accordance with paragraph 14.1 of
14.3 Denunciation. Any Member that has ratified this Agreement
may denounce it by giving written notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization. Such
denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date
of its registration.
14.4 Commencement of Operations.
a) The Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization
shall convene the first session of the General Assembly of the
Indigenous Fund as soon as this Agreement has entered into force
pursuant to paragraph 14.2 of this article.
b) In its first session, the General Assembly shall take the
necessary actions to appoint the members of the Board of
Directors, pursuant to paragraph 3.3 (a) of article 3 of this
Agreement, and to determine the date on which the Indigenous Fund
shall commence its operations.
15.1 Interim Committee. Once this Agreement has been signed by
five States of the region, and without any obligations being
generated for the States that have not ratified it, an Interim
Committee with composition and functions similar to those
described for the Board of Directors in paragraph 3.3 of article 3
of this Agreement shall be established.
15.2 Under the direction of the Interim Committee, there shall
be established a Technical Secretariat, having the characteristics
set forth in paragraph 4.1 of article 4 of this Agreement.
15.3 The activities of the Interim Committee and of the
Technical Secretariat shall be financed with voluntary
contributions from the States that have signed this Agreement,
together with contributions from other States and entities, by
means of technical cooperation and such other forms of assistance
that the States or other entities can arrange with international
Done in the City of Madrid, Spain, in one single original
dated the 24th day of July, 1992, in Spanish, Portuguese and
English texts of equally validity.