08.08.2019 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2019

Since 1982, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples has provided us with  a  unique  opportunity  to  raise  global  awareness  of  the  contributions  made  by indigenous peoples towards building peace and developing sustainable and resilient societies.

On  this  Day,  we  take  steps  to  recognize  and  acknowledge indigenous  peoples  as knowledge-holders who have contributed to the conservation and sustainable use of the  world’s  biodiversity  and  ecosystems. This was recently  highlighted  in  the landmark  Global Assessment    Report    on    Biodiversity,    produced    by    the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and launched at UNESCO Headquarters in May of this year.

Indigenous persons account for 5% of the world’s population, but make up 15% of the  world’s poorest. Worldwide, they  face  a  number  of  considerable  challenges, including   growing migration,   educational   disadvantage,   pressure   to   culturally assimilate,   enforced relocation,   gender-based   violence   and   other   forms   of discrimination,  poverty,  as  well as  limited  access  to  health  services,  employment, information services and broadband connectivity.

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