UN Indigenous Peoples’ Forum Welcomes First Guest Speaker in its 10-Year History

07 May 2012 | English

Slow Food President Carlo Petrini will speak at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) on May 14 on the right to food and food sovereignty. His invitation to join the New York meeting at UN headquarters, as a valued “friend and supporter of Indigenous Peoples”, marks the first time in the ten year history of the Forum, that an external guest has been invited to take the floor.

Petrini will be joined in the discussion dedicated to the rights of indigenous peoples to food and food sovereignty by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, and representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization and indigenous and governmental groups. Previously the Forum was only open to indigenous, governmental or UN representatives.

«The economic, environmental and financial crises and the health and obesity problems afflicting modern society, are calling us to return to our roots and sustainable food systems that support the earth’s vitality», says Petrini. «Indigenous peoples are the stewards of these practices and traditions that have evolved over the centuries. They have never abandoned mother earth and it is to them that we must turn to in order to build new paradigms for our future».

Slow Food has been working with indigenous communities for many years through its Foundation for Biodiversity projects and Terra Madre network, which brings together farmers, fishers, breeders, artisans, students, cooks and experts from all around the world. In 2011 Slow Food organized the first Indigenous Terra Madre meeting in Jokkmokk, Sweden. A second edition is planned for India in 2014.

Carlo Petrini will be speaking at UNPFII by invite from the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, of which Slow Food is one of the partners.  The Partnership, founded in 2010 and lead by Mr. Phrang Roy, is a network of indigenous communities and organisations committed to defining their own food and agricultural practices that sustain agrobiodiversity, assisted by scientists and policy researchers who value participatory agricultural research approaches.

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. It counts 100,000 members world wide, hundreds of convivia (local chapters) and Terra Madre communities in over 150 countries.

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