Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for International Widows’ Day, observed on 23 June:
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concluded its annual session this afternoon, approving several recommendations which reflected this year’s central theme “Peace, justice and strong institutions — the role of indigenous peoples in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16.”
Indigenous peoples — guardians of nature — must be consulted before States greenlight development projects, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues stressed today, as the body concluded a discussion on its six mandate areas — economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights.
Speakers in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today called for greater efforts to protect and revitalize native languages, as they explored actions to be taken during the International Decade of Indigenous Languages starting from 2022.
Climate change — and the megaprojects aimed at attenuating its effects — are presenting life-threatening challenges to traditional ways of life, experts told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, as participants explored ways to better include indigenous people in the sustainable development decisions affecting their survival, especially at the United Nations.
Without immediate action by States, COVID-19 will leave indigenous peoples behind in newly invigorated efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the Geneva-based human rights expert charged with promoting constructive agreements between traditional communities and Governments told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today.
States must ensure the protection of indigenous peoples affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through timely, inclusive and equitable access to quality and affordable health-care services, including vaccines, speakers told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today as the body continued its 2021 session.