World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN forum on indigenous issues opens

UN forum on indigenous issues opens with Ban calling for respect for values

19 April 2010 – The annual United Nations forum on indigenous issues opened today with a call from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Member States to promote development while respecting the values and traditions of indigenous peoples.

“The loss of irreplaceable cultural practices and means of artistic expression makes us all poorer, wherever our roots may lie,” Mr. Ban told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. This year’s theme at the forum is “Development with Culture and Identity.”

“I call on all governments, indigenous peoples, the UN system and all other partners to ensure that the vision behind the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a reality for all,” the Secretary-General added.

Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of life are under constant threat from climate change, armed conflict, lack of educational opportunities and discrimination

Mr. Ban’s call comes as New Zealand announced today that it will reverse its decision and support the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. New Zealand was one of four countries – the others being Australia, Canada and the United States – that voted against the Declaration in 2007. Australia reversed its decision last year.

The landmark document outlines the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlaws discrimination against them.

A non-binding text, the declaration sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.

Some 2,000 indigenous representatives are estimated to take part in the two-week meeting, which include Member States, UN agencies and civil society groups.

During the forum, participants will focus on Articles 3 and 32 of the declaration, which guarantee indigenous peoples full and effective participation in development processes, including thorough consultation in the establishment of development programs and policies.

The agenda also includes topics related to indigenous peoples of North America and the relationship between indigenous peoples and forests.

The side events during the forum include a special screening of the film Avatar and an exhibit in the UN Headquarters lobby entitled “Indigenous Peoples and Self-Determination.”

“Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of life are under constant threat from climate change, armed conflict, lack of educational opportunities and discrimination,” the Secretary-General highlighted in today’s speech.

“Elsewhere, your cultures are being distorted, commodified, and used to generate profits which do not benefit indigenous people, and can even lead to harm.”

Indigenous peoples make up five per cent of the world’s population, but some 33 per cent of the world’s poor, according to State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, released in January and the first UN report of its kind.

Of the some 7,000 languages being spoken today, more than 4,000 are spoken by indigenous peoples. Language specialists predict that up to 90 per cent of the world’s languages are likely to become extinct or threatened with extinction by the end of the century, eroding “an essential component of a group’s identity,” the Secretary-General said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>