Apr 12, 2024

Echoes of Empowerment: UNPO's Mission to Amplify Unrepresented Voices and Indigenous Perspectives

In this month's episode, of Die Kulturmittler:innen Podcast Secretary General Mercè Monje Cano of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), sheds light on the crucial importance of listening to the voices of unrepresented groups and indigenous peoples in today's global landscape. 

Founded in 1917 in Stuttgart, Germany as the Museum and Institute of German Foreign Affairs and the Promotion of German Interests Abroad, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Ifa) has evolved into a pivotal institution in international cultural relations and educational policy. Today, Ifa champions human rights and addresses the challenges of our globalized world through various initiatives, including the culturally enriching Die Kulturmittler:innen podcast.

Each episode of Die Kulturmittler:innen offers viewers diverse insights into political and cultural issues. This month, Secretary General Mercè Monje Cano of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) joined host Amira El Ahl to emphasize the importance of amplifying the voices of unrepresented groups and indigenous peoples, particularly in addressing global challenges like climate change.

UNPO, dedicated to amplifying the voices of indigenous, marginalized, and unrepresented communities globally, provides a unique platform based on solidarity and respect for fundamental rights. Representing nearly three hundred million people without true representation on domestic or international stages, UNPO addresses cross-country issues and common challenges through non-violent means.

One primary focus of UNPO revolves around the fundamental right of self-determination. This encompasses allowing unrepresented peoples to shape their own destinies, determine their political status, and influence their economic and social development. UNPO advocates for their active engagement in peaceful political processes, prioritizing the process of engaging itself over any predetermined outcomes. 

However, despite these efforts, many communities continue to face oppression, especially due to different interests in their resources or geopolitical situation. Key stakeholders, including the UN, some States, and major corporations, often marginalize their voices, particularly environmental activists targeted for their advocacy. In response, UNPO has launched a Campaign on climate justice to amplify local environmental expertise and foster collaborative efforts to address climate change on a global scale.

As historically marginalized and disadvantaged communities are now more exposed to the consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, UNPO continues to work tirelessly to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met.


Credit: Die Kulturmittler:innen Podcast illustration: Lea Dohle