In September, we had the honour of bringing an ICEERS delegation to the United Nations, joined by UMIYAC (Union de Medicos Indigenas Yageceros de la Amazonia Colombiana) and Maloca International. We traveled to Geneva to attend the 36th session of the Human Rights Council and the 62nd session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that took place at the United Nations offices. Because it was also the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples there were also several other events taking place. It was in this context that our delegation had the opportunity to speak about ancestral medicine and medicinal plants with the different UN bodies that monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties. UMIYAC is an organization made up of representatives from five Amazonian indigenous communities: the Cofán, Siona, Coreguaje, Inga, and Kamentsá. As traditional healers and sabedoras (knowledge holders), their role is to steward ancestral knowledge, to protect their territories, and to offer physical and spiritual healing, such as the trauma left behind by the Colombian armed conflict. Maloca Internationale is an organization based in Geneva that works to promote the inclusion of traditional knowledge in the international legal system. Thanks to this initiative, and in name of all the spiritual authorities of the communities of the UMIYAC, we were able influence the international community through our written and oral declarations through the UN mechanisms.
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