The UN Declaration on the Righs of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) on recognition of Crimean Tatars as indigenous people of Crimea is a historic step, stated Vice-President of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Oliver Loode during a briefing on February 26.

“Under Article 2 of the resolution, indigenous peoples have equal rights with other nations. The recognition means that the Crimean Tatars have been recognized by most of the Western world,” said Loode.

However, he stressed that this process should be continued:

“It would be nice if the US Congress pass a similar resolution too. Two years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the annexation of Crimea. Perhaps now is the time to adopt a new resolution recognizing Crimean Tatars as indigenous people?"

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was supported by all UN member states, except Russia.

Just a reminder: February 26 became a symbolic date and may be called the Day of the Crimean resistance to Russian occupation. This day, the first massive rally against the separatist sentiment at the Crimean Parliament, and as subsequent events showed - the occupation of the peninsula - was held in Simferopol. 

Russia occupied Crimea in February-March 2014, calling the falsified referendum of March 16 as an expression of Crimeans will to join the Russian Federation. Most of the world has not recognized Crimea as part of Russia. For Ukraine, Crimea remains the temporarily occupied territory.