Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, today urged the member countries of the United Nations to increase their efforts in respect of international treaties that protect indigenous peoples.
As part of the preparations for the commemoration of the International Day, which is celebrated on Friday, Pillay sent a statement where he urged nations to remember the treaties signed and ratified in favor of human rights and respect for millions of human beings belonging to indigenous peoples.
"Even if the treaties were signed or ratified more than a century ago, they remain the cornerstone of protecting the identity, land and customs of these peoples," he said.
The High Commissioner pointed out that international law documents made it possible to put an end to periods of conflict, exploitation and expropriation, for which she called on governments to honor and respect them.
"However, on too many occasions, indigenous communities are forced to go to court to force states to keep their promises," he said.
Pillay argued that today, many indigenous groups experience acts of exploitation and expropriation, situations that “highlight the need to work more to protect the rights of around 370 million indigenous people in the world”.
“The message for this International Day of Indigenous Peoples is that efforts must be redoubled to build a collaboration between States and indigenous peoples that is based on trust, mutual respect, the rule of law and the affirmation of culture and the customs of the aborigines ”, he concluded.
The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples was established by the General Assembly, on December 23, 1994, in which it decides that it be celebrated on August 9 of each year. The central theme of this year's International Day is Indigenous peoples building alliances, honoring treaties, agreements, and other constructive arrangements.
A special event will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on August 9, starting at three in the afternoon, in which the Secretary General, the president of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, a delegate from Panama will participate. , a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and an indigenous representative. The event can be seen live http://webtv.un.org/ (Available in English)
That same day, hundreds of indigenous and non-indigenous rowers will arrive at Pier 96, at 57th Street, in Manhattan, at ten in the morning, after having made a journey of thousands of kilometers together, along rivers already horse, to honor the first treaty concluded between Dutch settlers and local Indian nations, 400 years ago, in 1613. They will meet with members of the Permanent Forum in Dag Hammarskjold Square, near the United Nations, at one thirty the afternoon.
«The indigenous peoples of the world have preserved a vast historical and cultural heritage of humanity. Indigenous languages represent the majority of the world's languages and indigenous peoples have inherited and bequeathed a rich heritage of knowledge, art forms, and religious and cultural traditions. On this International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, we reaffirm our commitment to their well-being.