|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 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. There are more than 370 million indigenous people (also known as native, original, aboriginal and first peoples) in some 70 countries worldwide.
The forum was created in 2000 as an outcome of the UN's International Year for the World's Indigenous People in 1993, within the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995–2004). It is an advisory body within the framework of the United Nations System that reports to the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Resolution 45/164 of the United Nations General Assembly was adopted on 18 December 1990, proclaiming that 1993 would be the International Year for the World's Indigenous People, "with a view to strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous communities in areas such as human rights, the environment, development, education and health". The year was launched in Australia by Prime Minister Paul Keating's memorable Redfern speech on 10 December 1992, in which he addressed Indigenous Australians' disadvantage.
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.
Functions and operation
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.
- 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 2020 to December 2022
|Country of Origin||Member||Region||Nominated by||Notes|
|Finland||Anne Nuorgam||Arctic||Indigenous Peoples' Organisations||Chair of the Permanent Forum|
|Nepal||Phoolman Chaudhary||Asia||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|Chad||Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim||Africa||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|Australia||Hannah McGlade||Pacific||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|Colombia||Darío José Mejía Montalvo||Latin America and Caribbean States||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|Bolivia||Simón Freddy Condo Riveros||Latin America and Caribbean States||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|United States||Geoffrey Roth||North America||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|Russia||Aleksei Tsykarev||Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia||Indigenous Peoples' Organizations|
|China||Zhang Xiaoan||Asia-Pacific States||Governments|
|Ecuador||Lourdes Tibán Guala||Latin America and the Caribbean||Governments|
|Denmark||Tove Søvndahl Gant||Western Europe and Other States||Governments|
|Russia||Grigory Evguenievich Lukiyantsev||Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia||Governments|
|Mexico||Irma Pineda Santiago||Latin America and the Caribbean||Governments|
|Namibia||Bornface Museke Mate||Africa||Governments|
|Estonia||Sven-Erik Soosaar||Western Europe and Other States||Governments|
To date, eighteen sessions have been held, all at UN Headquarters, New York:
|First Session||12 – 24 May 2002|
|Second Session||11 – 23 May 2003||"Indigenous Children and Youth"|
|Third Session||10 – 21 May 2004||"Indigenous Women"|
|Fourth Session||16 – 27 May 2005||"Millennium Development Goals and Indigenous Peoples with a focus on Goal 1 to Eradicate Poverty and Extreme Hunger, and Goal 2 to achieve universal primary education"|
|Fifth Session||15 – 26 May 2006||"The Millennium Development Goals and indigenous peoples: Re-defining the Millennium Development Goals"|
|Sixth Session||14 – 25 May 2007||"Territories, Lands and Natural Resources"|
|Seventh Session||21 April – 2 May 2008||"Climate change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges"|
|Eight Session||18 – 29 May 2009|
|Ninth Session||19 – 30 April 2010||"Indigenous peoples: development with culture and identity articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"|
|Tenth Session||16 – 27 May 2011|
|Eleventh Session||7 – 18 May 2012||"The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)"|
|Twelfth Session||20 – 31 May 2013|
|Thirteenth Session||12 – 23 May 2014||"Principles of good governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: articles 3 to 6 and 46"|
|Fourteenth Session||20 April – 1 May 2015|
|Fifteenth Session||9 – 20 May 2016||"Indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution"|
|Sixteenth Session||24 April – 5 May 2017||"Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration"|
|Seventeenth Session||16 – 27 April 2018||"Indigenous peoples' collective rights to lands, territories and resources"|
|Eighteenth Session||22 April – 3 May 2019||"Traditional knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection"|
|Nineteenth Session||13 - 24 April 2020||"Peace, justice and strong institutions: the role of indigenous peoples in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16"|
|Twentieth Session||19-30 April 2021||"Peace, justice and strong institutions: the role of indigenous peoples in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16"|
|Twenty-first Session||25 April-6 May 2022||“Indigenous peoples, business, autonomy and the human rights principles of due diligence including free, prior and informed consent”|
|Twenty-second||17-28 April 2023||“Indigenous Peoples, human health, planetary and territorial health and climate change: a rights-based approach”|
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.
Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032)
On 28 February 2020, 500 participants of a high-level assembly adopted the "Los Pinos Declaration" which concentrates on the indigenous language users' human rights.
To ensure diversity, members are elected from different regions depending on who nominated them:
- 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.
- Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment Initiative
- International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
- UN General Assembly. "International Year for the World's Indigenous People, 1993 : resolution / adopted by the General Assembly 14 December 1992, A/RES/47/75". Refworld. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- "The International Year for the World's Indigenous People". Center for International Earth Science Information Network. 25 November 1992. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- Gilchrist, Catie (24 July 2020). "Redfern Park". The Dictionary of Sydney. Dictionary of Sydney Trust. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- 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.
- https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/unpfii-sessions-2/newmembers.html retrieved on 11.06.2020
- "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.
- "Permanent Forum | United Nations for Indigenous Peoples". www.un.org. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
- United Nations. "UNPFII Twentieth Session: 19-30 April 2021". United Nations. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
- 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