Statement by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
We highlight the valuable work undertaken by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and its Secretariat, by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and by the Mechanism of Experts on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
CELAC welcomes the Human Rights Council resolution 33/25 which amended the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People in order to provide the Council with expertise and advice on the rights of indigenous peoples and assist Member States in achieving the ends of the Declaration. CELAC also welcomes the human Rights Council resolution 33/12 which extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
CELAC reaffirms its commitment with the implementation of the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. And in this regard welcomes the General Assembly Resolution 71/178 which urges Governments and the United Nations system, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples to develop and implement, appropriate measures, to realize the commitments made in the outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
Also, our countries acknowledge the adoption of the General Assembly resolution titled “Enhancing the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant United Nations bodies on issues affecting them”, in September 8th of 2017, in which we recognize the recent discussions on indigenous participation and request the Secretary-General to report on achievements, analysis and concrete recommendations on the possible further measures necessary to enable the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant United Nations bodies on issues affecting them, and encourages the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the rights of indigenous peoples to continue to address the issue of indigenous participation.
CELAC wishes to highlight that the empowerment of indigenous women was a focus area of the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women. In its agreed conclusions, the Commission recognized that indigenous women face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and barriers, including violence, and, among others, urged Member States to take measures to promote the economic empowerment of indigenous women and to address such barriers, and to promote their participation in relevant decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas.
Our countries encourages further efforts to facilitate the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in meetings of relevant United Nations bodies on issues affecting them in accordance with their respective existing rules of procedure, inter alia, through the inclusion of Indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in modalities for relevant conferences, summits and other meetings convened by the United Nations.
CELAC would also like to recognize the efforts of the United Nations system to develop of the System Wide Action Plan to ensure a coherent approach to achieving the ends of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes and reaffirms that indigenous individuals are entitled without discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that the indigenous peoples possess collective rights for their existence, well-being and integral development as peoples.
We welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2019 as the International year of Indigenous Languages, and we commit ourselves with the implementation of programs for the recovery, conservation, development, learning and dissemination of the different indigenous languages that are part of our cultures.
Also, our countries reaffirm the right of indigenous peoples to preserve, use, develop, revitalize and transmit to their future generations their own histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, systems of knowledge, writing and literature, and to designate and maintain names they choose for their Communities, places and individuals.
We recognized that traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples can support social well-being and sustainable livelihoods and we reaffirm that indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
We reaffirm our commitment to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions, in a balanced and integrated way, as agreed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cannot be attained without the inclusion of groups and people in vulnerable situations such as, indigenous peoples, and African descendants including women, elderly, persons with disabilities, migrants, children and adolescents.
Equity, social and financial inclusion and access to fair credit are central to ensure overall access to justice, participation, well-being, and living-well with a dignified life for Indigenous Peoples and for all.
We decided to strengthen, in a comprehensive manner, the productive basis, placing emphasis on traditional sustainable local and cultural practices of indigenous peoples for integrated management with a view to optimizing the use of and access to water for irrigation purposes the recovery of soil fertility and the preservation and increase of biodiversity through the recovery and production of native seeds.
We recognize the importance of strengthening mitigation and adaptation actions, in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, which includes best practices of indigenous peoples, to face the adverse effects of climate change, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
CELAC has constantly promoted the rights and dignity of women and girls, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, children, youth, older persons, migrants, persons with disabilities and all persons in vulnerable or marginalized groups, since they are often excluded from the gains of national development and still subjected to discrimination and social exclusion.
We support the empowerment and capacity-building of indigenous women and youth, including their participation in decision-making processes in matters that affect them, with their free, prior and informed consent, in particular in the areas of health, education, employment, the protection of their territories and natural resources and the transmission of traditional knowledge, languages and practices. Measures to promote awareness and understanding of their rights are also important.
CELAC countries want to remark the high-level event to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, celebrated in April of this year, in which took stock of the achievements of the preceding 10 years and assessed the remaining challenges for the rights of indigenous peoples.
I thank you,