Panel on the protection of the identity of indigenous people

On September 20th 2011, a panel discussion on indigenous peoples held at Geneva Palais des Nations concentrated on the report of Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, Mr. JAMES ANAYA, which highlighted the impact of extractive industries on the indigenous population and the need for the States to establish appropriate procedures.
 He defined the participation of indigenous peoples in debates and decisions, as fundamental and overdue. While giving examples of good practices carried out in Costa Rica, he invited the Member States to engage in dialogue with indigenous peoples. 
Moreover, special attention was drawn to the role of languages and culture in the protection of the well-being and identity of indigenous peoples. As KYUNG-WHA KANG, Deputy High Commissioner testified, 43% of the world’s spoken languages are endangered.
Language and culture are closely linked and when a language dies out it takes with it a long tradition of  culture. For this reason, Governments have to make their utmost to equally conserve the worth of the language, cultures and the respect of traditions. In conclusion, Panellists, States and NGOs taking part in the interactive dialogue reached a high consensus that more emphasis has to be placed on the issue through the cooperation of all the actors involved: indigenous people, UN experts, governments and the international community as a whole.