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17.12.2019 - Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors

Yalitza Aparicio participates in the Closing of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages at the UN Headquarters

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On 17 December 2019, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Indigenous Peoples Yalitza Aparicio, the famous young Mexican actress, attended the Closing of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages at the UN Headquarters in New York.

H.E. Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the General Assembly, convened this High Level Event, organized in collaboration with UNESCO and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The objective of that event was to take stock of the current situation of indigenous languages worldwide, to conclude the 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous people Yalitza Aparicio, was present among the distinguished guests including indigenous peoples, UN-System organizations, Observers of the General Assembly and other relevant stakeholders.

In her address, she recalled her parents’ belief that speaking the most perfect Spanish would open the doors for them, “even if we were closing the door to our roots.” She continued, “We need to find a way to include these languages in education. And get to know the indigenous communities around us. “Because ignorance always leads to discrimination. We judge what we do not know.”

This advocacy speech was in line with her mandate as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Indigenous Peoples, supporting the promotion of indigenous languages, culture and living heritage; the right of indigenous people to inclusive and quality education; and gender equality. Her role as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador is to extend the message of UNESCO, which is the lead UN agency for engaging stakeholders and strengthening engagement and partnerships in promoting the rights of indigenous people.

Continuing her commitment in this framework, she visited UNESCO’s Mexico Field Office team on 27 January to discuss the Ambassador's participation at the Closure of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages in Mexico City (26th and 27th of February). Read more about the visit here.




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