Program Master of Ceremonies Roberto Borrero (Taino) and UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro at the 2009 Observance of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. (UN Photo)
United Nations (UCTP Taíno News) – An official observance commemorating the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was held at UN headquarters in New York on Monday. The event was organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in cooperation with the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples and the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The theme of the observance at UN Headquarters was "Indigenous Peoples and HIV/AIDS".
The event included messages from the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly, the Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, and the Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. There were also performances by indigenous artists, and a panel discussion on "Indigenous Peoples and HIV/AIDS".
In his message to mark the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the vulnerability of indigenous peoples to HIV/ AIDS. “It is essential that indigenous peoples have access to the information and infrastructure necessary for detection, treatment and protection,” he noted.
Other observances for the UN Indigenous Day were held around the world with events celebrated in Suriname, Brazil, Northeast India, Nepal, and Geneva among others.