Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil

23 October 2015

Secretary-General's message for the opening ceremony of the First World Indigenous Games

I am pleased to convey my greetings to all those gathered for the opening ceremony of the First World Indigenous Games. This event is an outstanding example of how sport can unite people and promote peace, respect for human rights and the rich indigenous cultures and wisdom from around the world.

The United Nations supports efforts everywhere to promote a human rights-based approach to development that takes into account issues of equality and sustainability, and endorses the fundamental concept of development with culture and identity.

I take this opportunity to call on all governments and civil society to urgently advance the work of integrating the rights of indigenous peoples into international and national human rights and development agendas, as well as policies and programmes at all levels.  This will help ensure that the vision of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a reality.

I congratulate the Brazilian Government and the Inter-Tribal Committee for giving a voice to indigenous peoples and promoting sports as a tool for human development. Thank you for your trust in the partnership with the United Nations, and please accept my best wishes for a successful event.