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MADRE Partners at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII)

Today marks the start of the ninth annual session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII). Indigenous women leaders from many of MADRE's partner organizations are in New York to participate in the forum, including representatives from the International Indigenous Women's Forum (IIWF/FIMI),Chirapaq and Daughters of the Stars.

The theme of this year's session is "Development with Culture and Identity."

From the UN:

Some 2, 000 Indigenous representatives are estimated to take part in the two-week meeting, which include Member States, UN agencies and civil society groups.

During the forum, participants will focus on Articles 3 and 32 of the declaration, which guarantee Indigenous Peoples full and effective participation in development processes, including thorough consultation in the establishment of development programs and policies.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:

The loss of irreplaceable cultural practices and means of artistic expression makes us all poorer, wherever our roots may lie. 

I call on all governments, Indigenous Peoples, the UN system and all other partners to ensure that the vision behind the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a reality for all. Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of life are under constant threat from climate change, armed conflict, lack of educational opportunities and discrimination. 

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April 19, 2010