U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 9, 2023
Thank you, Chair. And thank you, Mr. Special Rapporteur, for your reporting.
The United States appreciates your recent statement on the importance of involving Indigenous youth when safeguarding ecosystems, combating climate change, and ensuring environmental justice and equity.
Indigenous youth have unique insights into the climate crisis and its impacts on land, water, wildlife, and Indigenous traditions and cultures. Indigenous youth, especially Indigenous women and girls in all their diversity, possess crucial knowledge, skills, and leadership to address the climate crisis.
But we must provide them with the platform and the tools they need to succeed. This is one of the reasons the United States firmly supports enhancing the participation of Indigenous peoples at the United Nations.
In addition, last month, the United States committed $15 million to the U.S. Indian Youth Service Corps and other programs. These initiatives provide American Indigenous youth with meaningful, Tribally led public service opportunities to conserve and protect natural and cultural resources. Their efforts directly benefit members of federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native corporations.
The United States is also working to increase meaningful participation and active climate leadership of Indigenous Peoples and youth, among other groups, in at least 40 partner countries.
As we discuss the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the UN, we must elevate the voices and experiences of Indigenous youth. We must listen to them with humility. And we must act with courage. Because it is them whose futures are impacted by this work and by these decisions.
Our question for the Special Rapporteur is, what are effective practices for elevating Indigenous youth leadership to address the climate crisis, especially young Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQI+ and Two-Spirit Indigenous youth, and Indigenous youth with disabilities?
I thank you.