The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opened its two-week session today in New York, where more than 1,000 indigenous representatives will take on issues related to lands, territories and natural resources.

These matters are widely viewed as central to indigenous peoples’ efforts to gain recognition for their rights. “With the increasing desire of States for more economic growth, senseless exploitation of indigenous peoples’ territories and resources continues unabated,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum, which will meet from 14 to 25 May.

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