The Vatican’s nuncio to the United Nations called it welcome news that several nations around the world “have taken active steps to recognise the right to autonomy or self-government of indigenous peoples.”
Such “concrete actions provide a mutually beneficial framework for the engagement between the state government and the indigenous people,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, in remarks on 11th October.
“They also contribute to the recognition and realisation of the rights of indigenous peoples, their extraordinary cultural and spiritual patrimony, and their valuable contribution to broader society and the common good,” he added.
His statement was issued in reaction to a recent report from the “special rapporteur” on the rights of indigenous peoples. His remarks were addressed to the Third Committee of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly for its agenda item on the “Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” They were delivered by Mgr Fredrik Hansen, first secretary at the Vatican’s UN permanent observer mission.
Quoting Pope Francis, the archbishop said: “It is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed.”
Picture: Augusto Miranha, a leader of the “Indigenous Nations” neighbourhood in Manaus, Brazil, is pictured in a 30th March 2019, photo. In remarks made on 11th October, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, called it welcome news that several nations around the world “have taken active steps to recognise the right to autonomy or self-government of indigenous peoples.” (CNS Photo/Paul Jeffrey).