United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII or PFII) is the UN's central coordinating body for matters relating to the concerns and rights of the world's indigenous peoples. "Indigenous person" means native, original, first people and aboriginal. There are more than 370 million indigenous people in some 70 countries worldwide. The forum is an advisory body within the framework of the United Nations System that reports to the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The first indigenous to be elected to office at a United Nations meeting was Chief Ted Moses of the Grand Council of the Crees in Canada, in 1989.
|Formation||28 July 2000|
|Type||Intergovernmental organization, Regulatory body, Advisory board|
|Headquarters||New York, USA|
|Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues |
|United Nations Economic and Social Council|
|Website||PFII on www.un.org|
|Part of a series on|
|NGOs and political groups|
The creation of the permanent forum was discussed at the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action recommended that such a forum should be established within the first United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
A working group was formed and various other meetings took place that led to the establishment of the permanent forum by Economic and Social Council Resolution 2000/22 on 28 July 2000.
It submits recommendations to the Council on issues related to indigenous peoples. It holds a two-week session each year which takes place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City but it could also take place in Geneva or any other place as decided by the forum.
The mandate of the Forum is to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. The forum is to:
- Provide expert advice and recommendations to the Economic and Social Council and to the various programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations System through the Council;
- Raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system;
- Prepare and disseminate information on these issues.
The forum is composed of 16 independent experts, functioning in their personal capacity, who are appointed to three-year terms. At the end of their term, they can be re-elected or re-appointed for one additional term.
Of these 16 members, eight are nominated by the member governments and eight directly nominated by indigenous organizations. Those nominated by the governments are then elected to office by the Economic and Social Council based on the five regional groupings of the United Nations. Whereas those nominated by indigenous organisations are appointed by the President of the Economic and Social Council and represent the seven socio-cultural regions for broad representation of the world's indigenous peoples.
Members of the Permanent Forum, January 2017 to December 2019
|Country of Origin||Member||Region||Nominated By||Notes|
|Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine||Africa||Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations|
|Anne Nuorgam||Arctic||Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations||Chair of the Permanent Forum|
|Zhang Xiaoan||Asia-Pacific States||Governments||Vice-Chair of the Permanent Forum|
|Dmitrii Kharakka-Zaitsev||Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia||Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations||Vice-Chair of the Permanent Forum|
|Tarcila Rivera Zea||Latin American and Caribbean States||Governments||Vice-Chair of the Permanent Forum|
|Brian Keane||Western Europe and Other States||Governments||Rapporteur of the Permanent Forum|
|Aisa Mukabenova||Eastern Europe States||Governments|
|Jens Dahl||Western Europe and Other States||Governments|
|Elifuraha Laltaika||Africa||Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations|
|Gervais Nzoa||African States||Governments|
|Les Malezer||Pacific||Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations|
|Lourdes Tibán Guala||Central and South America and the Caribbean||Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations|
|Phoolman Chaudhary||Asia||Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations|
|Jesus Guadalupe Fuentes Blanco||Latin America and Caribbean States||Governments|
|Terri Henry||North America||Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations|
|Seyed Moshen Emadi||Asia-Pacific States||Governments|
The Secretariat of the PFII was established by the General Assembly in 2002 with Resolution 57/191. It is based in the New York within the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The Secretariat, among other things, prepares the annual sessions of the Forum, provides support and assistance to the Forum's members, promotes awareness of indigenous issues within the UN system, governments and the public, and serves as a source of information and a coordination point for indigenous-related efforts.
International Decade of the World's Indigenous People
The first International Decade of the World's Indigenous People "Indigenous People: Partnership in Action" (1995–2004)" was proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 48/163 with the main objective of strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as human rights, environment, development, health and education.
The Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People "Partnership for Action and Dignity" (2005–2015) was proclaimed by the General Assembly at its 59th session, and the programme of action was adopted at the 60th session.
Its objectives are:
- Promoting non-discrimination and inclusion
- Full and effective participation in decision-making
- Re-define development policy from a vision of social equality
- Adopt targeted policies with emphasis on special groups (women, children and youth)
- Develop strong monitoring mechanisms and enhance accountability at all levels to protect the rights of indigenous peoples.
- The United Nations Regional Groups are used for the eight members nominated by governments and elected by the Economic and Social Council:
- African Group
- Asia-Pacific Group
- Eastern Europe Group
- Latin America and the Caribbean Group
- Western Europe and Other States Group
- The seven socio-cultural regions are used for the eight nominated by indigenous organisations and appointed by the President of the Economic and Social Council:
- Central and South America and the Caribbean
- The Arctic
- Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia
- North America
- The Pacific
- Note: Of the eight members nominated by indigenous organizations one must come from each of the seven regions, with one additional rotating seat among the first three first listed above.
- Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action A/CONF.157/23 12 July 1993. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- United Nations Economic and Social Council Resolution 22. Establishment of a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues E/RES/2000/22 28 July 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- "Permanent Forum". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- "Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- "Sessions". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Members of the Permanent Forum". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 57 Resolution 191. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues A/RES/57/191 18 December 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- "Contact Us". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 48 Resolution 163. International Decade of the World's Indigenous People A/RES/48/163 21 December 1993. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 59 Resolution 174. Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People A/RES/59/174 20 December 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Partnering with Indigenous Peoples: Experiences and Practices
- Statements during the 2006 Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
- History of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2006)
- State of The World's Indigenous Peoples - UN report, First Issue, 2009
- Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues (IASG) (2006)
- Awareness raising film by Rebecca Sommer for the Secretariat of the UNPFII, 2006