GA: Nordic Side Event on Indigenous persons with disabilities

Opening of the COSP15 Side-Event "Indigenous persons with disabilities – challenges and opportunities posed by environmental change", delivered by State Secretary Gry Haugsbakken, 14 June 2022.

On behalf of The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Equality and the Nordic Council of Ministers I want to welcome you all to this side event organized by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs.

And I should also give my regards from Anette Trettebergstuen who is the Minister of Culture and Equality. Unfortunately she could not be here, but her loss is my gain - I'm very happy to see you all.

This year the state party conference raises important topics on Innovation and technology advancing disability rights, Economic empowerment and entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities and Participation of persons with disabilities in climate action, disaster risk reduction and resilience against natural disasters

In this side event we have chosen to attract your attention to indigenous persons with disabilities, and challenges and opportunities posed by environmental change.

We are aware that indigenous persons with disabilities are exposed to multiple and intersectional discrimination.

A recent report ordered by the Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs, documents that a person’s disability is sometimes used as an explanation and excuse for violating the persons indigenous rights.

A specific challenge is lack of knowledge about and respect for indigenous persons spiritual connection to land and nature.

Indigenous peoples suffer disproportionately from loss of biological diversity and environmental degradation. 

When degradation is justified by the need for economic means to pay for welfare services, indigenous persons with disabilities are put in a challenging and vulnerable position.

I am honored to introduce some interesting, competent and diverse speakers on this topic.

I hope that this seminar will inspire a discussion on how to unite respect for nature and indigenous rights, and individually tailored and sustainable welfare services for persons with disabilities.