“Power structures create obstacle’s to indigenous people’s right to self-determination” Ban Ki-moon on #IndiegenousDays

News / 09.8.14

In the occasion of the 2014 International Day of Indigenous People, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a Message on how “Indigenous peoples have a central interest in the objectives of sustainable development and in preparing the groundwork for the adoption of a new legal climate agreement in 2015, where they can surely act as powerful agents of progress”. “In order for them to contribute to our common future” he said “we must secure their rights” and respect the minimum standards for their survival, dignity, well-being and rights set by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP)s.

UN Secretary General stressed that, at present, a number of countries have constitutional and legislative frameworks that recognize indigenous peoples, while “many others do not, leaving their lives and lands exposed to threats”. He acknowledged that « historical injustices have, too often, resulted in exclusion and poverty, thanks to the power structures which continue to create obstacles to indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination” and that “The negative effects reverberate beyond indigenous communities, affecting societies as a whole”.

Ban Ki-moon , at last, urged the international community to recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous peoples around the world, saying how important it is to work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations.

The EU at the UN spokesperson also released a statement backing indigenous peoples’ rights and enforcement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: “A huge gap still remains between those ideals [referring to the UNDRIP] and the circumstances facing most of the world’s indigenous peoples. For this reason the EU will continue its engagement in the discussions and will support the participation of indigenous peoples’ delegates [at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September 2014] aiming to translate the UNDRIP into concrete action and changes on the ground » by continuing financial support to civil society projects, to indigenous peoples’ delegates at UN bodies and relevant activities of the International Labour Organisation with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).