Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The 14th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues of the United Nations (April 20 – May 1, 2015) in New York, brought together indigenous leaders around a table of intergenerational dialogue to exchange views and proposals regarding the priorities and the participation of indigenous people in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, highlighting challenges and creating strategies for strengthening the articulation in the consultation process of indigenous people on a development agenda whose innovative process focuses on the inclusion of everyone.

15 years ago, with the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 189 heads of state pledged to eradicate extreme poverty and multiple deprivations that threaten the well-being of people. Despite the enormous progress towards achieving this ambitious project, the indignity of poverty still violates human rights of a lot of people on a daily basis. Thus, the inclusion and participation of excluded and marginalized people in developing the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a duty and a debt of the international community.

The MDGs did not reflect the needs and concerns of indigenous peoples on self-determination over their territories, natural resources, cultures, identities and languages. A few months after the expiration of the agreed deadline for achieving the MDGs, indigenous people are taking advantage of a historic opportunity to influence the future Development Agenda after 2015.

The major issues that indigenous leaders treated are: participation of indigenous in consultation processes and their role in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge, and the leadership of indigenous women.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children“, invokes an ancient proverb that sums up the essence of the concept of sustainability that aims to not endanger future generations.

The indigenous population worldwide is estimated at 370 million people (DESA). According to ECLAC, “in Latin America (…) there are over 800 indigenous peoples, with close to 45 million people, who are characterized by their broad demographic, social, territorial and political diversity, from peoples in voluntary isolation until his presence in large urban settlements “

Patricia Garcia Rodriguez

Policy Analyst for Centro Regional de Apoyo a America Latina y el Caribe del Pacto Global de las Naciones Unidas.

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