Iran highlights US and Canada’s shameful record of harassing indigenous peoples
Iran’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi delivered a speech at the 21st Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on Thursday.
“Indigenous peoples around the world continue to suffer gravely from the consequences of the historical legacy of colonization on their territories. They face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life and are disproportionately affected by poverty and marginalization. The greatest threat to human rights comes from hypocrisy, politicization and double standards. It is very ironic that those with crumbling human rights records have yet to lose face and cover up the crimes of others. Canada and the United States are the usual suspects whenever reports circulate in the media about human rights violations, especially the rights of indigenous peoples and people of African descent,” she said. declared.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran expresses its concern over the history of discrimination by Canadian authorities against Indigenous peoples in Canada where they have been killed and secretly buried, stripped of their lands and eradicated of their culture. These facts were well documented in the study of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples presented to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council last September,” the Iranian envoy added.
“The international community as a whole has expressed utter shock at the revealing discovery of hundreds of bodies of Indigenous people, including children, at the sites of several former residential schools in Canada, which clearly and explicitly reflects the past role of the Canada in the attempted cultural genocide of its Indigenous peoples. Furthermore, just recently, according to the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on violence against Indigenous children, poverty among Indigenous children in Canada stands at 69% compared to 13% for children in general” , she lamented.
“It is unfortunate that the world we live in today is being disrupted by rogue actors who exert maximum pressure not only on sovereign governments by involving unilateral coercive measures, but also on their OWN Native American and African American citizens by depriving them of their inalienable rights. Structural racism in law enforcement and the justice system in the United States has left the world community concerned about the fate of Indigenous communities. In this country, Indigenous children have been forced to relocate to boarding schools away from their families where they were made to feel that their way of life was ‘primitive’ or ‘sinful’,” Ershadi added.
“In conclusion, the Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms that the rights of indigenous peoples must be respected in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterates that such atrocities concerning indigenous peoples and the responsibility of their perpetrators must never be forgotten, nor the achievement of justice ignored,” she concluded.