Respecting Indigenous Youth and Elders

tayub4The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues returned to the United Nations this week.   Under the leadership of Megan Davis of Australia (Chair) the Forumunpfii_logo examined its own working methods, issued calls for more state attention to the promotion of indigenous rights, urged creation of indicators to more effectively measure social and economic progress of indigenous peoples, and discussed strategies to address disturbing statistics regarding self-harm and suicide by indigenous youth.

In addition to the extraordinary sounds and color of offered by indigenous representatives, DSG Eliasson struck a high note,  highlighting the urgent need to promote “peace with nature” in line with indigenous teaching.  There were also calls from Guatemala and other states for more education and mental health resources for indigenous youth as well as efforts to address the discrimination, poverty and environmental degradation that contribute to increases in youth suicide.

As our own small contribution to this important process, we were honored to have in our office Tayub Uddin, a Rohingya human rights activist and Vice President of the Democracy and Human Rights Party in Myanmar.  While in New York, Tayub connected with government and civil society representatives regarding recent political and human rights developments in Myanmar ahead of next November’s general elections.  He was interviewed at length in our office by documentary filmmaker Krista Hund.

For the opening remarks by the Deputy Secretary General, HE Jan Eliasson, click here.
For the concept note on Youth, Self-Harm and Suicide, click here.
For more on Rohingya rights, click here.
For an analysis of important issues affecting Indigenous Peoples by the UN Secretariat, click here.