HRC 52nd Session
Item 3: General debate. Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Geneva, March 17th 2023
STATEMENT OF A GROUP OF COUNTRIES
I deliver this statement on behalf of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay and my own country, Bolivia.
Our countries would like to bring to the attention of the Council today the importance of respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular their right to health, with special attention to Indigenous women and children.
Indigenous persons have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including the right to access, without discrimination, to all social and health services.
To achieve the full realization of this right, experiences and good practices should be exchanged among countries. International cooperation is also necessary in our interaction with Indigenous Peoples who live on different sides of national borders.
It is of utmost importance to have frank dialogue and work together with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives, to address their needs and consequently improve health policies.
Indigenous Peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, as well as to be actively involved in developing and determining health programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer them through their own institutions.
We recognize the important contribution of Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge to health and in this regard, we remember the valuable Report on Indigenous women and the development, application, preservation and transmission of scientific and technical knowledge, presented by the Special Rapporteur at the 51st Session of the Council.
Our countries are committed to adopting continued and effective long-term health policies that protect Indigenous Peoples communities and individuals’ rights.
We also take this opportunity to state our support for the work of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and we look forward to the 16th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in July.
I thank you.