The UNPFII is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights.
According to its mandate, the Permanent Forum will:
- Provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations, 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 indigenous issues
The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002, and yearly sessions take place in New York.
The Permanent Forum is one of three UN bodies that is mandated to deal specifically with Indigenous Peoples’ issues. The others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Permanent Forum holds annual two-week sessions. For 2018, Forum members have made changes to the structure of the UNPFII.
The Permanent Forum is not a complaint mechanism. The human rights situation in a specific country can be invoked during one issue of the agenda, but your speech must include one or more recommendations.
Members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2017-2019
- The Permanent Forum is comprised of sixteen independent experts, functioning in their personal capacity, who serve for a term of three years as Members and may be re-elected or re-appointed for one additional term.
- Eight of the Members are nominated by governments and eight are nominated directly by indigenous organisations in their regions.
- The Members nominated by indigenous organisations are appointed by the President of ECOSOC and represent the seven socio-cultural regions determined to give broad representation to the world’s Indigenous Peoples.
The regions are: Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Arctic; Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific—with one additional rotating seat among the three first listed above.
Indigenous members nominated and appointed by President of ECOSOC (8):
- 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)
State-nominated and elected by ECOSOC (8)
- 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. Brian KEANE (United States of America)
If you wish to get in touch with them, contact the UNPFII Secretariat at: indigenous_un(at)un.org