Statement by the Nordic-Baltic countries. Delivered by: H.E. Ms Anna Jardfelt, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN in Geneva
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic states.
COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and has had a disproportionate negative impact on indigenous peoples, not least regarding the right to food and the protection against food insecurity due to the loss of jobs and livelihoods, lands and natural resources. Additionally, the situation for many indigenous women and girls, indigenous LGBTIQ persons and indigenous persons with disabilities is further exposed as they face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.
We are deeply concerned about reports of threats, violence and attacks on indigenous human rights defenders standing up to protect their livelihoods, lands and the natural environment, not least indigenous women human rights defenders. We all have an obligation to protect human rights defenders and to hold perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses to account.
To achieve truly successful COVID-19 responses and recovery measures it is crucial that indigenous peoples, are included and can participate in the development of those measures in a meaningful way, also taking in to account their traditional cultural practices and knowledge.
How can we make sure that the lessons learned from the panel discussion today can be included in the future responses to support and improve the realization the rights of indigenous peoples?
I thank you.