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Statement by IFAD on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2019

Location: Rome, Italy

09 August 2019

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples bring forth the opportunity to celebrate indigenous peoples as inheritors of unique cultures and ways of living based on the close interdependence between people and the environment.

This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages. Languages are much more than means for communications, they represent complex systems of knowledge. By ensuring an intercultural dialogue, languages play a pivotal role in human rights protection, peace building and sustainable development.

In line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and particularly its pledge to “leave no one behind”, IFAD supports indigenous peoples’ self-driven development through projects that strengthen their culture, identity, knowledge, natural resources, intellectual property and human rights. 

Recalling what stated in the Synthesis of Deliberations from the fourth global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples' Forum held at IFAD last February - indigenous peoples have implemented self-governed, culturally appropriate development models or life plans which ensure the protection and sustainable management of their lands, territories and resources. This is why they continue to host and protect 80 per cent of the world's biological diversity and to maintain the majority of diverse cultures and languages.

IFAD Strategic Framework 2016-2025 reaffirms IFAD's commitment to Indigenous Peoples’ self-driven development and to engage with indigenous peoples and their organizations in developing their skills and assets to benefit from emerging economic opportunities, while respecting and enhancing their traditional livelihoods and knowledge.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, IFAD takes the opportunity to highlight its commitment to continue to support and engage with, in partnership with Member States, indigenous peoples’ organizations and other relevant partners to accelerate action in preserving, revitalizing and promoting indigenous peoples rights and self-driven development.

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