Inclusion, participation of indigenous peoples must be ensured in response to Covid-19: UN
UNB, Dhaka :
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underscored that inclusion and participation of the world's 476 million indigenous peoples must be ensured in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and on the road ahead towards recovery.
Marking the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, Guterres drew attention to the "devastating" impact of the pandemic on indigenous peoples around the world.
The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982, according to UN News.
This year, the Day's theme focuses the spotlight on COVID-19 and indigenous peoples' resilience, and several events - mostly virtual - will be organized, bringing together indigenous peoples' organizations, UN agencies, UN Member States, civil society and other key stakeholders.
"Throughout history, indigenous peoples have been decimated by diseases brought from elsewhere, to which they had no immunity," said the Secretary-General.
While indigenous peoples already faced deep-rooted inequalities, stigmatization and discrimination prior to the current pandemic, inadequate access to healthcare, clean water and sanitation increases their vulnerability, he added.
That said, indigenous peoples' traditional practices and knowledge also offer solutions that can be replicated elsewhere.