So why now? The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August to celebrate the cultures, knowledges and resilience of more than 476 million Indigenous peoples across the globe, as well as the ongoing issues they face concerning rights and recognition.
The pandemic required Indigenous peoples to take strong action to protect their communities, stalled political processes and exacerbated inequalities.
All levels of government now have an opportunity to help create a more equitable future for Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups by addressing trust, participation and high-level policy implementation issues and creating spaces for genuine engagement.
“The United Nations needs local government’s help.”
What can local government do? Speakers at this year's UN virtual commemoration spoke passionately about the need for high-level declarations and dialogue to have a tangible impact on the lives of real people.
Former UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés called for a “reconnection of scales” between international, national and local level decision-making.
James Anaya, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, emphasised the need for abstract documents to be translated into concrete action to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.
Globally, there have been some positive developments, Anaya said, but “legitimacy” for reform and action “depends on the participation of Indigenous peoples" and “so far there has been a lack of sufficient political will.”
What’s next? Read the full story on the LGIU website.