2009-10-20 15:35:15

Holy See appeals for Indigenous People

Oct.20,2009): The Holy See is urging the United Nations to confront human rights violations in indigenous populations by teaching the people of their inherent dignity. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations in New York, affirmed this on Monday in an address before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly. He said “ For the Holy See the issue is more than an intellectual exercise, for it comes from its long-standing commitment to addressing the social, personal and spiritual needs of the world's more than 370 million indigenous people."
Archbishop Migliore underlined the need to respect the "identity and culture of indigenous populations. Understanding and respecting their cultural traditions, religious consciousness and their long-standing ability to decide and control their development programs, foster better interaction and cooperation between peoples and governments," he added. The archbishop noted, however that "human rights violations continue" among indigenous peoples. He said "We have to work harder to make indigenous peoples aware of their own human dignity and empower their communities to shape their life according to their own traditions." The prelate called for greater access to agricultural technology for these peoples, as well as special attention to health education regarding epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. He also underlined the need to "cultivate a public conscience that recognizes food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination."

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