UNPFII Sixteenth Session

From the 24th of April until the 5th of May, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is celebrating its Sixteenth session, since its establishment that occurred on 2002 when the first meeting was held.

The UNPFII wants to raise the awareness and implement activities related to indigenous issues within the United Nations system. Reporting to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, the UNPFII provides recommendations on indigenous issues, increasing and promoting the attention on safeguarding their heritages.

Last Monday, April 24th, I have been invited to attend the conference “Eliminating Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls Through Empowerment” at the United Nations Headquarter in New York. The conference has been organized by the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Canada, Mexico, and United States of America.

Let me tell you that, that experience was awesome, not only because of the importance to attend such a conference within the sixteenth session of the UNPFII but mostly because the speakers were outstanding. The confrontation about delicate issues such as indigenous rights, gender equality, and elimination of violence, have been treated in a deep and objective way, without loosing the focus on the purpose of the conference: discuss those issues while proposing concrete actions to eliminate the violence that indigenous women are subject to, mostly from the external of their communities.

Nuvia Mayorga Delgado from the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de México, said: “Eliminating the violence against indigenous women and empowering them, it is not only our mission, it should be the mission of our entire society”.

“What we do today, it will be the swift for the tomorrow’s generations”, said Beverly Jacobs, Ph.D Candidate at the University of Calgary and indigenous woman from the Canadian Six Nations’ Reserve.

The intangible cultural heritage that the United Nations Educations, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) promotes, also talks about that: preserving the heritage of indigenous people means to protect their rights while allowing us and future generations to know ancestry traditions that, otherwise, will get lost.

I strongly each one of you to follow the Forum’s work during these days at: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/unpfii-sessions-2/sixteenth-session.html

Sara Belligoni

4“Eliminating Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls Through Empowerment” | United Nations Headquarter, 24 April 2017