Supporting indigenous people's right to health care access

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at ECOSOC: “Commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples”. UN Photo/Rick Bajorna

Indigenous people must not be left behind in global efforts to achieve a sustainable future, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

Mr Ban was speaking at an event at UN Headquarters commemorating the International Day of Indigenous People.

Access to health care is the focus of this year's observation, which the UN chief stated is a challenge for the world's indigenous citizens.

Dianne Penn reports.

Indigenous people's history, traditions, language and knowledge are part of what the Secretary-General called "the very bedrock of human heritage."

Yet, Mr Ban pointed out that this population is among the world's most vulnerable and marginalized people.

He said indigenous people face numerous challenges to their health and well-being, many of which are preventable.

"Too many indigenous groups endure high rates of diabetes, drug and alcohol abuse, youth suicide and infant mortality.  They are often among the poorest peoples in their countries and, in many nations, the poverty gap between indigenous and non-indigenous groups is increasing."

The Secretary-General called for more commitment to enable indigenous communities to thrive.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 55″


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