(RTTNews) – The European Union has reiterated its continued support for the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and urged the international community to do more in protecting their rights on the occasion of the 'International Day of the World's Indigenous People' observed on Thursday.
"Today we celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous People. On behalf of the European Union, I join them in celebrating their rich cultural heritage and contribution to the world," EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
Noting that the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an important instrument for promoting human rights, Ashton stressed that its full implementation is key to the actual enjoyment of those rights. She also pointed out that the EU has "repeatedly called on all states to make this a reality."
Ashton emphasized in the statement that the EU has a long track record of promoting the human rights of indigenous people in all aspects of its work, including maintaining contacts with indigenous representatives to political dialogues, making statements at the United Nations and giving financial support to civil society projects.
"But we can always do more: this is why, in the new EU Human Rights Strategy, we have committed to taking a new look at our policy and further developing it in the context of the U.N. Declaration and in preparation for the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples," she added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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