United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)


    In News

    • At the 22nd session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the body called for full inclusion of indigenous people in realising their socio-economic development and preservation of culture, languages as well as environment.

    About the Session

    • The representative urged member states to ensure the full participation of indigenous peoples in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) diplomatic conference on a draft genetic resources and associated knowledge instrument.
    • The representative of UNESCO noted that Article 16 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People acknowledges such peoples’ right to establish their own media. Media is essential for providing reliable information, raising awareness and inspiring action to address global challenges
    • The representative of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for the Convention on Biological Diversity underscored that the framework acknowledged the full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities.
      • The framework provides a road map for addressing environmental challenges through biodiversity, conservation and sustainable use, as those components are essential for a more just and sustainable future for all.

    Indigenous Peoples & Issues of Them

    • There is no singularly authoritative definition of indigenous peoples under international law and policy, and the Indigenous Declaration does not set out any definition. 
    • Indigenous peoples are often marginalized and face discrimination in countries’ legal systems, leaving them even more vulnerable to violence and abuse.
      • There are 476 million Indigenous people around the world and spread across more than 90 countries. The vast majority of them – 70% – live in Asia.
      • China is the country with the biggest indigenous population in absolute terms. More than 125 million indigenous people – Tibetans, Uyghurs, Zhuang and 52 other recognized groups – still make up only 8.9 percent of the Chinese population. India has 104 million indigenous people (8.6 percent of the population).
    • They also suffer higher rates of landlessness, malnutrition and internal displacement than other groups, the experiences suffered by indigenous people originate from colonialism.

    Significance of indigenous peoples

    • Long before the development of modern science, which is quite young, indigenous peoples have developed their ways of knowing how to survive and also of ideas about meanings, purposes and values.
    • The term “scientific knowledge” is also used to underscore that traditional knowledge is contemporary and dynamic, and of equal value to other kinds of knowledge.

    United Nations Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

    • About: 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.
      • 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 on the rights of indigenous peoples.
    • Mandate: To deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.
    • Functions:
      • To promote the integra­tion and coordination of activities relating to Indigenous Peoples’ issues within the UN system; and promote respect for and full application of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and follow up on its effectiveness.
    • Headquarter:  New York.

    Source: DTE