Tag Archives: culture

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
9 August 2016

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders last year, is predicated on the principle of leaving no one behind in the journey to a world of peace and dignity, opportunity and prosperity. Among those most vulnerable to being left behind are indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples face a wide range of challenges including systematic discrimination, denial of their land and territorial rights and inadequate access to essential services. Indigenous peoples regularly face stigmatization of their cultural identity and lack of respect and recognition for their heritage and values, including in textbooks and other educational materials. Their marginalization is often compounded by language barriers. Instruction is mainly in the national language, with little or no instruction in, or recognition of, indigenous languages.

This has grave consequences. Around the globe, indigenous youth are graduating from high school at rates well below the national average. In some countries, less than 40 per cent of indigenous children attend school full-time. In many others, few indigenous children complete a full high school education. This is unacceptable. We will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if we fail to address the educational needs of indigenous peoples.

In recent decades, the world has progressed considerably in advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples. The United Nations now has three specific mechanisms to advance their cause: the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We also have the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Adopted by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007, the Declaration is the definitive benchmark for the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.

In September 2014, the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples adopted an action oriented outcome document to achieve the ends of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As a direct result we now have a UN System Wide Action Plan to promote awareness and action to support the implementation of the UN Declaration, particularly at the country level.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, I call on Governments everywhere to draw on the guidance of this international framework to improve access to education for indigenous people and to reflect their experiences and culture in places of learning. Let us commit to ensuring indigenous peoples are not left behind as we pursue the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Culture Ministers of Pacific Island Countries and Territories call for ratification of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention

The Declaration of the Third Meeting of the Pacific Ministers of Culture held on 25 May in Hagatna, Guam, calls for strengthening creative industries through the ratification of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This is a major development following Samoa’s ratification of the Convention in 2015, making it the first Pacific Island to have ratified the Convention to date. Continue reading

UNESCO: Islands of the Future – Building resilience in a changing world

The ‘Islands of the Future – Building resilience in a changing world’ booklet highlights UNESCO activities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), covering the period from 2006-2013.

Contributing towards a new vision and commitment for small islands, UNESCO action in support of its 47 Member States and Associate Members is anchored in its mandated fields of education, basic and natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information.  Continue reading

At General Assembly debate, UN officials stress vital role of culture in development

General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic addresses high-level thematic debate on the role and impact of culture on development. UN Photo/Mark GartenUnited Nations officials today highlighted the need to recognize the vital role of culture in poverty reduction and sustainable growth, and to ensure that it is integrated into the post-2015 development agenda. As Member States plot the course for the global development agenda after 2015, the target date for achieving the Continue reading