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OAS and Amazon Agree to Empower Indigenous Youth in the Inter-American System

  July 3, 2019

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) will collaborate to train indigenous youth in the Inter-American System.

The purpose of the agreement signed between the two institutions is to train young people from the indigenous communities of the Americas to have a better understanding of the functioning of the OAS, the Inter-American instruments, and fundamentally, the rights of indigenous peoples. The initiative will begin with young indigenous people from Colombia, Suriname, and Brazil, but it can be extended to indigenous communities in other countries.

The initiative will be implemented through the Department of Social Inclusion of the OAS, whose Director, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, explained that the inequalities faced by indigenous youth can be reversed with actions aimed at generating opportunities and empowering them to fully exercise their rights. "We hope that with this partnership, more young indigenous people can connect with the Inter-American System and with the General Secretariat of the OAS, and that with their vision they can also enrich the results we deliver from the Organization," said Muñoz-Pogossian.

The agreement establishes that young indigenous leaders would participate in the OAS internship program to strengthen their advocacy skills in the Inter-American system.

For its part, ACT specifically focuses on strengthening indigenous and local communities, understanding the link between traditional knowledge and Western technology as useful: in order to work together to strengthen communities. ACT's collaboration with the OAS is part of its Leadership Program for Indigenous Peoples, which is being implemented at the regional level.

The agreement is made within the framework of the implementation of the 2017-2022 Action Plan for the implementation of the American Declaration on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration, which was negotiated for 17 years within the OAS, was approved by the General Assembly of the body in 2016..

Reference: E-050/19