Standing up for their rights and cultures, indigenous leaders from around the world have made their voices heard in Bolivia. They have gathered in the capital La Paz for a conference to further the aims of a recently approved UN declaration. Bolivian President Evo Morales said: “After thousands of years the world has recognised the rights of indigenous people and as indigenous communities we should tell the world how to save humanity.”
Morales and other speakers urged governments to incorporate the UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into their legal systems.
Nobel laureate and Mayan activist Rigoberta Menchu said: “We demand that the Western world understand us, not impose things on us, and listen to our people.”
The declaration was finally passed at the UN last month after almost two decades of debate. The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries fought against it, claiming it would clash with their own indigenous rights legislation.