UNPFII20: Agenda 7 – Future work of the Permanent Forum, including issues considered by the Economic and Social Council and emerging issues, specifically challenges related to pandemics and responses to them

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 20th Session
April 19-30, 2021
Statement on behalf of the Asia Indigenous People’s Caucus, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Tebtebba

Presented by:  Eleanor P. Dictaan

It has been more than a year and the COVID – 19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact Indigenous Peoples due to underlying conditions of vulnerability resulting from historical discrimination. This situation is exacerbated by heightened aggression and direct attacks against Indigenous Peoples asserting their fundamental rights to land, resources, and appropriate development. 

Recovery from the pandemic extends beyond the medical aspect and strengthening health institutions to enable timely response. Recovery must be centered on the principles of human rights, and, specifically, collective rights for Indigenous Peoples. Studies have established that a lot of diseases, like SARS including COVID -19, are of zoonotic origin. Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge and resource management, use and practices have always been underpinned with the value of maintaining the balance of nature for sustained wellbeing.  

In this regard, we urge the UN Permanent Forum to further advance and accelerate mobilization of support for strengthening and institutionalization of the protection and conservation of Indigenous Peoples’ land and resources as a resilience strategy and a preventive measure from zoonotic diseases as well as disasters from the impacts of climate change. Particular attention and resources should be provided to leverage meaningful participation of Indigenous women and youth, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

On the immediate, we urge the UNPFII to strengthen engagement with the states, the private sector and donor agencies to ensure the respect and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands and territories. The aggressive intrusions into Indigenous lands and resource grabs, therefore, our right to live with dignity, in the name of economic recovery and development, negates our common vision for sustainable development. 

Contact Person:
Eleanor P. Dictaan – Bang-oa
Tebtebba/AIWN [email protected]

Click here to download full statement

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