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Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, observed on 9 August:

On this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we are highlighting the role of indigenous women in preserving and passing on traditional knowledge.

Indigenous women are knowledge keepers of traditional food systems and medicines.  They are champions of indigenous languages and cultures.  They defend the environment and indigenous peoples’ human rights.  To build and equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind, we must amplify the voices of indigenous women.

Indigenous traditional knowledge can offer solutions to many of our common challenges.  On my recent visit to Suriname, I learned first hand how indigenous peoples are protecting their rainforest and its rich biodiversity.

On this International Day, I call on Member States to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to promote indigenous traditional knowledge for the benefit of all.

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