Binalakshmi makes strong call on protection of world’s indigenous people at UN
NEW DELHI | Jul 30 : Governments of the world including India met at a historic meeting held from July 9 to July 18 at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
A release from Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI) stated that the governments unanimously pledged to end poverty and hunger everywhere, to combat inequalities within and among countries, to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies, to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
The global efforts are known as High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2018 high-level political forum on sustainable development is the largest global forum for reviewing successes, challenges and lessons learned on reducing global poverty by 2030, it added.
Founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivor’s Network and CAFI, Binalakshmi Nepram addressed the United Nations at the august gathering on July 11. Her speech was focused on the urgent need to include world’s indigenous peoples in the important global process. In her address to the UN, she stated that “Indigenous people make up 15 percent of the world’s poorest and an estimate of 370 million indigenous people live in landlocked and in the least developing countries and lag behind in socio, political and economic indicators”, said the release.
“The majority of Indigenous peoples are not legally recognized by many nations and hence, many of them face or experience the worst forms of racism, marginalization, discrimination, exploitation and even extermination” and further added that “many of the indigenous lands, and resources are militarized, given to corporation, security sectors and even to other nations without Indigenous Peoples meaningful participation and consent”, said Binalakshmi.
She also gave a clarion call to reform discriminatory laws and policies against indigenous peoples and provide measures to protect their histories, cultures, cultural sites, indigenous arts and crafts, weaving, language, food, identities, spirituality and other heritage, it added.
Urging everyone present at the United Nations headquarters, Binalakshmi called for urgent action where governments must formally recognise the indigenous peoples as distinct groups with collective rights.
She also insisted that the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories, resources must be recognised and also further be protected and promoted. Lastly, she demanded for provision of special measures to address specific conditions of all indigenous peoples all across the world, said the release.
This high-level political meeting was attended by more than 80 ministers, vice-ministers and 2,500 non-state actors consisting of governments from around the world, global businesses, women’s rights activists, indigenous peoples, farmers and other civil society stake holders, it added.
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