71 UNGA: Statement by Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, at the 16th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Madam Chairperson,

My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished delegation of El Salvador on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

As acknowledged in the working paper presented for this topic, some progress has been made in the implementation of the Declaration, particularly with regard to a broader understanding of this instrument at the international level, the enactment of laws aimed at providing greater social protection to Indigenous communities and the implementation of measures in some countries intended for protecting the right of indigenous communities to maintain their own institutions, cultural identity and spiritual traditions.

It is a matter of pride for Latin America that the basic document qualifies the Constitution of one of our countries, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, as one of the most complete documents on the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples, including their right to self-determination and self-government. We are also pleased that other Latin American and Caribbean countries are mentioned as examples of good practices.

However, ten years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, many indigenous communities around the world still face situations of violence, racism, marginalization, major economic and social disadvantages, extreme poverty and plunder of their lands.

Madam Chairperson,

Cuba reaffirms and supports the right of indigenous peoples to fully enjoy their traditional and millennial rights and to preserve their own institutions, cultures and spiritual traditions without discrimination.

We reiterate our support for the right of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to defend and protect coca leave chewing as a tradition of their indigenous communities.

We support actions aimed at harmonizing policies for the conservation of protected areas with respect for the ancestral values ​​of indigenous peoples.

Cuba reaffirms its strong support for the just claims of indigenous peoples and urges the international community to promote and implement policies that will allow their full implementation.

Thank you very much.