20th Anniversary of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

28 Jul, 2020 | Press Releases

On 28 July 2000, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) was established by UN Economic and Social Council Resolution 2000/22, in order to address indigenous issues within the mandate of the Council related to “economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights”. Twenty years after its constitution, this Forum provides a space to raise the voices of indigenous communities to discuss the development and protection of their cultural and ancestral rights and identity, among other important aspects.

As we explore in our “Beyond Covid-19” series webcast, human rights violations against indigenous communities have been committed around the world with terrible consequences, leaving them especially vulnerable not only to ongoing violations but to global events. Some regions, particularly Latin America, have been particularly affected by the current pandemic and indigenous communities are at high risk considering their lack of access to essential services and sanitation.

The UNPFII, as a high-level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, should continue working on the promotion and respect for the full application of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is important to continue this work and to hear the testimonies and possible ways of protection from the members and activists of the indigenous communities, especially during these challenging times. We hope that the 19th session of the UNPFII, postponed in April 2020, will be held without undue delay, particularly given its theme of “Peace, justice and strong institutions: the role of indigenous peoples in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16”.

No Peace Without Justice stands in solidarity with indigenous peoples around the world and urges governments to protect their territories and their members. We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to the strengthening of the rights of indigenous peoples and to promote a universal system of protection for nature.