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Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani Pirkoohi on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani Pirkoohi

Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran

under agenda item 69: Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly

(New York, 12 October 2017)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to recognize the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is an occasion to remember the persistent need for addressing the grievances of indigenous peoples; the peoples whose inherent rights have historically been violated and even in some affluent parts of the world are still living in marginalized and underprivileged conditions.

One decade after the adoption of the UN Declaration, limited progress has been recorded. Indigenous peoples continue to be amongst the most disadvantaged communities and the poorest of the poor in their respective societies. They continue to be exposed to different vulnerabilities and as such deserve to receive international support and attention. To put it in the term of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, indigenous people are among those farthest behind, so, should be reached first.

Adoption and implementation of necessary policies including implementation of the accepted recommendations under the UPR mechanism and strengthened monitoring mechanisms at the local and national levels are required for better realization of the UNDRIP objectives.

Mr. Chairman,

Colonialism as the common denominator of indigenous peoples' cause cannot be overemphasized. A history of disposition and occupation defines this cause and as such is integral to it. The inhumane treatment of indigenous peoples by colonizing powers forms a dark chapter of our human history. Reckless suppression of their cultures and languages, forced assimilation including through residential schools, widespread marginalization, disappearance and occupation of their ancestral lands and resources shall be remembered as parts of this sad chapter. False creeds and doctrines have been systematically utilized to savagely violate indigenous peoples' rights for so many decades. Even today, negative social and cultural stereotypes continue to deprive them of their self-esteem, identity, cultural heritage and language.   

As it comes to the United Nations and its development agencies, this is a valid expectation that such bodies play their respective roles in response to the needs of indigenous peoples. The system-wide action plan to implement the outcome document of 2014 Conference is an important step in this regard. It is however, a matter of concern that in the absence of the UN development offices in the countries of the northern hemisphere, that are home to many disadvantaged indigenous communities, their special development needs will credibly remain unmet.

I would like to conclude with noting that legitimate interests of indigenous peoples will be best served should such title be reserved for the people who have historically and globally being recognized as such.   

Thank you very much.

00:30 - 13/10/2017    /    Number : 479372    /    Show Count : 607


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