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OAS Permanent Council Celebrates Inter-American Week for Indigenous Peoples

  August 7, 2020

OAS Permanent Council Celebrates Inter-American Week for Indigenous Peoples
Photo: OAS

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today commemorated the third Inter-American Week for Indigenous Peoples -which takes place between August 5 and 12- and the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, in a virtual meeting.

The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Nestor Mendez, said that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, "the historical inequality and exclusion of indigenous peoples has been exacerbated." "The OAS remains in the vanguard defending and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and calling upon governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other social actors to implement inclusive policies and programs," added the Assistant Secretary General.

For his part, the Chair of the Permanent Council and Ambassador of Honduras, Luis Cordero, said that “COVID-19 has changed the lives of everyone and made the gaps that existed before the pandemic more visible, causing a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples.” Likewise, Ambassador Cordero highlighted that several States in the region have taken measures to address the health and social emergency experienced by indigenous peoples, ranging from “the translation of information on COVID-19 in indigenous languages to the distribution of food in their respective localities.”

In addresses and video messages, several representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Americas told the Council about the challenges their communities are facing during the pandemic. The central theme of the week of indigenous peoples this year is “COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples‘ Resilience.”

Reference: FNE-99605