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Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues


Closing its twenty-second session this afternoon, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues sent three draft decisions to the Economic and Social Council for formal adoption as it approved several recommendations on this year’s priority theme, “Indigenous Peoples, human health, planetary and territorial health and climate change: a rights-based approach”.


Calls for Indigenous Peoples’ full inclusion took centre stage once again as the Permanent Forum today continued its twenty-second session, with speakers underscoring their need to ensure their full participation in realizing the Forum’s six mandated points, including their social and economic development and the preservation of their culture and languages, as well as their environment.


Calling attention to the myriad challenges, violations and injustices faced by their communities, speakers stressed that the rights of Indigenous Peoples cannot be realized without their full, meaningful representation and participation in decision-making processes at all levels affecting their territories, governance and families, as the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues continued its twenty-second session with a day-long discussion on the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.


The knowledge and insight of Indigenous People must be harnessed to address the global climate crisis, speakers told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, as it opened its twenty-second session amidst observations that such People’s participation must be enhanced, and their rights protected if the international community is to enjoy the benefit of their custodial experience in tackling these existential challenges.


The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues closed its twenty-first session today, approving a raft of recommendations related to its theme — “Indigenous peoples, business, autonomy and the human rights principles of due diligence including free, prior and informed consent” — as well as three draft decisions to be sent to the Economic and Social Council for formal adoption.


Speakers in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today pressed United Nations bodies across the system to expand resources and opportunities for indigenous representatives so that they may participate in the Organization’s work, with many calling out practices that prevent their voices from being heard and advocating for a greater focus by the Forum on breaking down barriers.


Indigenous peoples are routinely exposed to highly toxic substances left behind by reckless companies that poison their lands and waters with cyanide, mercury, lead and cadmium, the Special Rapporteur on the issue told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, as participants engaged with three United Nations experts on ways to uphold their basic human rights on the international stage.


While international standards guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination, territories and resources, these fundamental freedoms are trampled upon in the name of mining, logging, oil, gas exploration and even conservation deemed essential to national development, speakers told the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues today, laying out recommendations for transnational businesses to respect their traditional knowledge and inherent dignity.