United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is a high- level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council. The Forum was established on 28 July 2000 by resolution 2000/22, with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.
More specifically, the Permanent Forum:
- provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations, through ECOSOC;
- raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system;
- prepares and disseminates information on indigenous issues The Permanent Forum holds annual two-week sessions.
The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002, with yearly sessions thereafter. The Forum usually meets for 10 days each year, at the UN Headquarters in New York. According to the ECOSOC resolution E/2000/22, the Forum may also meet at the UN Office in Geneva or at such other place that it decides.
In addition to the six mandated areas (economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights), each session is thematically focused on a specific issue. During the Forum’s first six sessions, a specific theme was discussed each year. Since 2008, it has adopted a bi-annual working method of one year with a specific theme and the next year focussing on review of implementation.
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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples.