Thank you madam administrator for your kind remarks, thank you everyone for coming.
There are many important items on the agenda for the upcoming Meeting on Indigenous Issues. The implementation of education, healthcare and culture reform is imperative and of the utmost importance to my administration. My hope is that this will continue to produce cooperation and understanding between the government and the indigenous people, the forum’s important role addressing a number of issues related to social and economic development. If we look at health, the statistics are very, very high against us and it has been agreed to those indigenous peoples are the most marginalized in this country and the most vulnerable. Whether suffering from malnutrition or poverty, the list goes on and on, these statistics basically are the same in developing and developed parts of the country.
Education, the statistics are the same. The government needs to provide situations where education as a human right, is available to indigenous peoples. Education is important but including our life ways and our languages must be attached to that as well.
The vital role of culture and is needed for it to be part of the domestic policies of the government. When I think of culture I think of being in a room with 2,000 indigenous peoples all speaking different languages. But when we are together, in our meetings, we are speaking one language. Our relationship to mother Earth and to Paraguay is identical throughout indigenous communities.
When we discussed the development agenda beyond 20XX and some of the most important priorities, I emphasized the issue of poverty. Poverty is the overarching theme if you will, that affects indigenous peoples when it comes to health, education, our youth, our women. It affects everything across the board.There is a need for an inclusive process, ensuring indigenous peoples participation.
Development in indigenous communities must be applied with the right intention in mind, the development, poverty and its effect on all indigenous peoples within different regions. It must be applied, seriously, not only on a local, national, but international level. Playing a crucial part in world matters is today’s youth. we have seen indigenous youth take on a very strong role and make very strong statement. This world is going to be left to them, they are our future leaders, so our responsibility is to mentor those future leaders, and to bring them into the discussions. And that’s not just for indigenous youth, that’s for all youth throughout the country. As we say from the community that I’m from, when our leaders sit in deliberation, when they are in counsel, their decisions are going to be made with the 6th generation in mind. So that we don’t stick with a quick fix, or something that will only last for 5 years. No it must be until that sixth generation has arrived. The country needs to be intact for them when they arrive and are here to take on the challenges of this world.
Thank you! And God Bless Us All!
- Vice President Melosa Navar