Indigenous peoples still lag behind in access to basic services, says chair of UN Forum

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Opening of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Indigenous people around the world still don't have adequate access to basic services such as health and education.

That's what the newly elected Chairperson of this year's session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Paul Kanyinke Sena said in New York on Monday.

Mr. Sena said the session is reviewing how the recommendations it has made to improve the lives of indigenous people have been implemented on the ground.

"This is a real challenge for us as we are well aware that indigenous peoples are still lagging behind in terms of access to basic services such as health and education and indigenous people's culture is not respected by the wider society unless it's about luring the dollars. The hardest issue for our children even if they are able to attend schools is that all too often they are not receiving instructions in their own languages in the school system." (28")

Indigenous people from around the world in their colourful traditional clothes have gathered in New York for the two-week 12th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.

The Forum is an advisory body to the UN Economic and Social Council and focuses on issues related to economic, social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights of indigenous peoples.

Gerry Adams, United Nations

Duration: 1'25"

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