The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), a subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), has a mandate to discuss indigenous issues on economic and social development, the environment, culture, education, health and human rights. The UNPFII meets for 10 working days each year, usually in May, in New York. The first session was held in 2002.
The Permanent Forum has as its objectives: (1) to provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations; (2) to raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system; and (3) to prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues.
Indigenous Peoples, States, UN bodies and agencies, as well as intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with consultative status with ECOSOC, may attend the UNPFII. Participants may present statements concerning agenda themes that interest them.
The Permanent Forum is composed of 15 members, representing the seven global socio-cultural regions : 7 are nominated by Governments and elected by the Economic and Social Council, and 8 are nominated by the President of the Council after proper consultation with the Governments, which, in turn, will have discussed the candidacies of those concerned with Indigenous Peoples' organizations. The 15 members shall serve in their personal capacity as independent experts. They are appointed for a period of three years and may be re-elected for an additional period of three years. Decisions are made by consensus among the members.
Below is the list of the current Members of the Permanent Forum whose terms will expire at the end of 2019:
- Ms. Mariam WALLET ABOUBAKRINE (Africa)
- Mr. Elifuraha LALTAIKA (Africa)
- MS. Anne NUORGAM (Arctic)
- Ms. Terri HENRY (North America)
- Mr. Phoolman CHAUDHARY (Asia)
- Mr. Dmitrii KHARAKKA-ZAITSEV (Russian Federation, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Transcaucasia)
- Ms. Lourdes TIBAN GUALA (Central, South America and the Caribbean)
- Mr. Les MALEZER (Pacific)
Experts nominated by States
- Mr. Gervais NZOA (Cameroon)
- Ms Tarcila RIVERA ZEA (Peru)
- Ms. Aisa MUKABENOVA (Russian Federation)
- Mr. Seyed Moshen EMADI (Iran)
- Mr. Jesus Guadalupe FUENTES BLANCO (Mexico)
- Mr. Jens DAHL (Denmark)
- Mr. Brian KEANE (United States of America)