United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
According to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), it is estimated that there are more than 370 million indigenous people – people who self-identify as indigenous at the individual level and are accepted by the community as a member – in 70 countries worldwide. Established in 2000, the UNPFII serves as an advisory body to the UN Economic and Social Council to advocate for indigenous rights within and outside the UN system, as well as provide expert advice, suggest recommendations, and raise awareness of indigenous issues concerning social development, culture, environment, education, health, and human rights. At the latest 2018 session, various topics under the purview of the indigenous peoples’ collective right to lands, territories, and resources were discussed. In addition, there was mention of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, funds, programmes, and specialised agencies of the UN, as well as methods to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples at the UN. This comes in the light of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, which seeks to draw attention to the critical loss of, and the urgent need to preserve, revitalise, and sustain indigenous languages at various levels of governance.
This committee seeks to address some of the mutual, underlying issues faced by various Indigenous communities around the world, including indigenous women and children, the protection of indigenous rights in multi-level governance, promotion of self determination and collective rights, as well as their ramifications at the international level.
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Charles Hongseok Choi