Yachay Wasi's Collaboration with the United Nations

YACHAY WASI, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in New York City, USA, and in Cuzco, Peru, was granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations on May 4, 2001 (Roster status, reclassified to Special status in 2008). It has been associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) since March 27, 1997. Yachay Wasi was admitted in Operational Relations with UNESCO in 2007, then upgraded to Consultative Partnership in January 2012.


In November 2012, Yachay Wasi was approved for accreditation with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

In January 2012, Yachay Wasi received the news that its accreditation with UNESCO had been upgraded to Consultative Partnership.



From January thru May 2012, the 9 Major Groups of Agenda 21 (Business & Industry, Children & Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, NGOs, Scientific & Technological Community, Women, Workers & Trade Union) could register representatives to give their comments on the Text of Rio + 20 Zero Draft of Outcome Document.

Several meetings were scheduled by the United Nations at UN Hqrs in New York City from January thru May 2012. Yachay Wasi participated in these sessions.

Yachay Wasi had four comments on the text which were outlined in the Statement delivered at an Indigenous Peoples Major Group side event on 20 March 2012.


The one successful outcome of these comments was the addition of the paragraph on Sustainable Tourism in the text, called for by the G 77 countries. Outcome Document “The Future we want” (Resolution adopted by UN General Assembly A/66/288).

Yachay Wasi officers were registered to attend Rio + 20, but had to cancel their travel plans because of lack of finances.

Luis Delgado Hurtado, President of Yachay Wasi, spoke at a side event on October 25, 2010 entitled Towards a Joint Programme on Biological & Cultural Diversity during the Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10) in Nagoya, Japan. Group photo in Nagoya LuisDH

Luis was invited to participate in this panel because of presentations he has done in the past on the importance of Indigenous Sacred sites, symbolic representations of the harmony of spirituality and biodiversity, and their relevance to today’s society dilemmas such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. This theme has been expounded in local conferences organized by Yachay Wasi in Indigenous communities in Peru Andes, specifically Acopia in April 2009 and Raqchi in August 2010. Also at the International Conference on Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity in Montreal, Canada in June 2010.

International Conference on Cultural and Biological Diversity: Montreal, 8 - 10 June 2010

Organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity and by UNESCO

On 9 June 2010, Luis Delgado Hurtado, President of Yachay Wasi, had a presentation on “Sacred sites: Perspectives from the Inca Descendants”, at the funded invitation of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity


Group Photo of participants

CBD-UNESCO Joint Program and Conference Participants


Sandra Corina Ramos Delgado, Alternate Representative to the UN for Yachay Wasi, was invited to participate in CAMP Forum 2010 - a learning and knowledge sharing event titled “Mountain communities of Central Asia and Climate change – Call to action: Global challenges in local perspectives” meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan (4-6 November 2010)

Ms. Ramos Delgado, who is from Cuzco, Peru, delivered a keynote speech and presentation sharing Andean mountains Indigenous communities experiences.

Her participation was funded by the Central Asia Mountain Partnership (CAMP).

Yachay Wasi became a member of the Mountain Partnership in May 2009.

Earth Day


During the 39th annual UN Peace Bell Ceremony on Earth Day 2009, Yachay Wasi was presented with the International Earth Day Award by the Earth Society Foundation, in recognition of its “outstanding contribution as a dedicated Earth Trustee”.

Marie-Danielle Samuel, Yachay Wasi Main Representative to the United Nations, accepted the award on behalf of Luis Delgado Hurtado, President of Yachay Wasi, and spoke briefly of the environmental projects which they are implementing in the Peruvian Andes.

Yachay Wasi had joined UNEP Climate Neutral Network in 2008 and, as one of the first 100 participants, received a Commemorative Trophy in April 2009.
Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes

an ongoing project in the Peruvian Andes

CSD Partnership

The Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes was registered in 2005 as a Partnership with the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. It can now be seen in the Rio + 20 Partnership Forum.

The Partnership Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes is mentioned in the UN Secretary General 2007 report to the 62nd Session of the General Assembly: Sustainable Mountain Development. (see Peru, page 7)

Partnership is also described in UN Document (pg 7 & 8) submitted by the UN Dept of Economic and Social Affairs to the 7th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (21 April - 2 May 2008)

"Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes" was featured in the Partnership Fair of the 16th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Lead Partner Yachay Wasi gave a Presentation and manned an Information Desk on 12 May 2008 at UN Hqrs in New York City. CSD-16presentation CSD-16infodesk CSD-16infodesk2

Yachay Wasi's Project in the Peruvian Andes is ONE of the BEST PRACTICES IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by ECOSOC NGOs which were displayed in the ECOSOC Innovation Fair at United Nations Hqrs, NYC - 30 June thru 3 July 2008.

Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes was introduced as Best Practice during the 4 April 2008 ECOSOC NGO Forum

Mrs. Laura Bush and Luis

As a result of Yachay Wasi's collaboration with the United Nations, its President Luis Delgado Hurtado, Cuzco, Peru, was invited to attend the

White House Conference on the Americas (July 9, 2007)

Luis is shown with Mrs. Laura Bush in picture on left Photo by US Embassy, Lima

The White House Conference on the Americas was hosted by President and Mrs. Bush. The Conference brought together a total of 250 voluntary organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and foundations to discuss and highlight the vast array of societal interaction between the United States and its neighbors to better the lives of the region’s citizens.

On 6 July 2007, Luis and other representatives from NGOs in Peru, met with the US Ambassador in Lima.

Photo by US Embassy, Lima, Peru on right

The subject of Indigenous Sacred Sites was featured again on 19 May 2006 in a PFII side event organized by Yachay Wasi and hosted by the United Nations Environment Program at UN Hqrs, NYC, entitled: "Sacred Sites and the Environment from an Indigenous perspective".

First commemoration of the


21 May 2003 at UN Hqrs - Sponsored by UNESCO in collaboration with Yachay Wasi

At the funded invitation of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Yachay Wasi president Luis Delgado Hurtado attended in November 2001 the World Heritage Peoples Council of Experts (WHIPCOE) Workshop in Winnipeg, Canada.

Subsequently, Yachay Wasi organized "Cultural Heritage and Sacred Sites: World Heritage from an Indigenous Perspective", a Panel discussion, which took place on May 15, 2002 at New York University as a parallel event of the First Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The report which contains speeches and 33 sacred sites studies from world Indigenous communities was compiled by Marie-Danielle Samuel, Yachay Wasi, main organizer for this event. Report was mailed to members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and to all involved in the event.


1 - NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples:

In October 1991 at the United Nations, Eliane Lacroix-Hopson, then representing the International Romani Union-NGO/ECOSOC, co-sponsored a NGO Committee toward the 1993 UN International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples. The Year's theme was "Indigenous Peoples: A New Partnership". From the start, Marie-Danielle Samuel, Mono Adventures (partnership with Luis Delgado Hurtado), was invited to join the NGO Committee.

After the UN General Assembly voted in 1994 to continue the work of the International Year during a Decade, the Committee enlarged its mandate to become the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Luis Delgado Hurtado and Marie-Danielle Samuel decided to participate fully in the work of the United Nations as the non-profit Yachay Wasi, which was incorporated in June 1993. On the NGO Committee, Marie-Danielle Samuel was Treasurer (1997-2000) and subsequently Vice Chair (2001-2002) until her resignation from the NGO Committee on May 28, 2002.

The UN International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples' theme is: "Indigenous Peoples: Partnership in Action". During the years 1995 - 2004, it had two outstanding goals among many others:

  • The approval by the General Assembly of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The text of this document was approved by a consensus of Indigenous Peoples representing 98% of the world's Indigenous Peoples in 1994. The final UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007.
  • .

  • The establishment of a Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples within the United Nations. This Forum now called UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was approved by ECOSOC on July 28, 2000 and adopted by the General Assembly on October 26, 2000. The 8 Indigenous members, nominated by Indigenous organizations from around the world, were selected by the President of ECOSOC on 21 December 2001. On that day, the 8 Government members were also elected. The First historic session took place from May 14 thru May 23, 2002 at UN Hqrs in New York City. The report of the First Session was reviewed by ECOSOC on July 24, 2002. One of the demands of the report was the establishment of a Secretariat for the Permanent Forum within ECOSOC Secretariat (DESA) in New York. Yachay Wasi was among the ECOSOC NGOs which made a special recommendation supporting this demand to the ECOSOC/CONGO NGO Forum which took place on June 14, 2002.

The NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples participated in the Earth Summit + 5 Special Session in June 97 at UN Hqrs, where Yachay Wasi manned an information table at the week long parallel Global Forum.

2 - Until May 2002, Yachay Wasi was also a member of the Working Group on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Marie-Danielle Samuel was in charge of media and public relations.

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is commemorated yearly on August 9, anniversary of the establishment in 1982 of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, following a 1994 General Assembly decision. The first celebration took place at UN Hqrs in 1995 and has been held there since. It started with a Sacred Pipe Ceremony for World Peace and continued with a panel discussion on Indigenous issues. Yearly subsequent panels include world Indigenous representatives and UN agencies officers. The public is invited but requires special passes to enter UN conference rooms.

Luis Delgado Hurtado, President of Yachay Wasi, performed an Inka blessing at the 2001 commemoration.

3 - 1998 was the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many activities were planned during this year. It was launched on December 10, 1997 at UN Hqrs, NYC with a meeting in the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) chamber with featured speakers including First Lady Hillary Clinton and Dr. Purificacion Quisumbing, Representative of Mrs. Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights (Coordinator of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples).

The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) published a section on Indigenous Rights which was part of the Year official press kit. DPI has also available translations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Indigenous languages, including Quechua of Qosqo (Cuzco). In 1999, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was awarded the Guiness World Record for having translated and disseminated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 300 languages and dialects. The World Conference against Racism took place in Durban, South Africa in September 2001.

4 - Yachay Wasi is also involved in environmental issues thru participation in meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), created as a result of 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Yachay Wasi was accredited with the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.
5 Yachay Wasi 'Simin' (The Voice of Yachay Wasi) newsletter has been reviewed and approved by the Dag Hammarsjköld Library at the United Nations in NYC and could be viewed in its premises for many years.
6 - The main focus of Yachay Wasi is the culture of the Indigenous peoples of Peru and their ancestors...Inka...Chimu...Nazca... Consequently, the officers of Yachay Wasi are interested with the work of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization agency based in Paris, France.

The officers of Yachay Wasi visited the Paris Hqrs in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008 and have sent their newsletter regularly to some of UNESCO officers.

There was a small collaboration in 1998 with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre for Yachay Wasi's Photographic Exhibit "Inka Legacy: Cultural Heritage and the New Generations" July 16 - August 16, 1998 at Edison Community College in Fort Myers, Florida Machu Picchu and Cuzco, which are among the selected sites, were featured in the exhibit of 56 photographs of the people and places of the Peruvian Andes by Luis Delgado Hurtado was one of Yachay Wasi's artistic contributions to the United Nations 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with special mention of the Draft Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

In May 1996, UNESCO was informed of Yachay Wasi's campaign "Inka Challenge" protesting the display in the USA of the 500 years old frozen remains of an Inka girl. Yachay Wasi voiced its appreciation of the memorable adoption (November 11, 1997) of the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, the first international text on the ethics of genetic research, by the UNESCO General Conference. This Declaration had won the support of Indigenous Peoples and our own NGO Committee and is part of the issues of Biological Diversity.

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