UCTP Taino News - DINA SHOMAN (Belize), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that the Second International Decade of Indigenous People had brought the situation of indigenous people onto the international agenda and had resulted in growing awareness of the obstacles they faced in preserving their cultures, livelihoods, and communities. One of the greatest achievements of the Decade had been the establishment of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which was a valuable meeting point between States, indigenous organizations and the United Nations system and other inter-governmental bodies. The Forum could play an important role in facilitating development initiatives for indigenous people of the Caribbean region, including through advocacy for greater coordination of efforts of United Nations agencies and by encouraging those agencies to help collect reliable data on indigenous people of the region so that their problems could be more precisely addressed.

Acknowledging important advances made during the first Decade, she also recalled the High Commissioner’s report pointing out that indigenous peoples in many countries continued to be among the poorest and most marginalized. Much remained to be done to protect them from human rights violations, to alleviate the poverty they faced, and to safeguard against discrimination.

CARICOM noted that after almost two decades of debate, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples had been adopted by the Human Rights Council with a view to being adopted by the General Assembly during this sixty-first session.
UCTPTN 10.18.2006

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