Session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues begins

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Hill Voice, 18 April 2023, International Desk: The 22nd session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has begun at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. This session of the two-week long permanent forum started on Monday (April 17).

Like every year, in this year’s 22nd session also, together about 1,200 observers of the United Nations member states, specialized agencies of the United Nations, representatives of indigenous peoples organizations, academics, and representatives of various human rights organizations are participating.

This year the theme of the 22nd session is “Indigenous Peoples, Human Health, Planetary and Territorial Health and Climate Change: a rights-based approach.”

In addition, discussions on the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39, Indigenous Platforms in various UN agencies, dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Expert Mechanism, the six mandate areas of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (Social and Economic Development, Culture, Environment, Education , health and human rights), future action plans of the permanent forum, dialogue between member states and indigenous peoples etc. will be held. Indigenous peoples organizations will organize collaborative programs (site events) during breaks from main sessions on their specific topics.

Yesterday on Monday in afternoon session, AIPP’s representative, Shohel Chamdra Hajong, delivered statement on Agenda “Item No. 5(G) – Thematic Dialogue: a) International Decade of Indigenous Languages and b) CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39”, and “Item No. 5(F): Indigenous Platforms in Various United Nations Agencies”.

Under the leadership of Pritibindu Chakma, Augustina Chakma and Chanchana Chakma are participating in the 22nd session as representatives of the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS). Apart from this, Pallab Chakma, executive director of Kapaeeng Foundation, Binotamoy Dhamai, expert member of EMRIP, Shohel Chandra Hajong and Chandra Tripura as representatives of AIPP are participating in the 22nd session of Permanent Forum. On behalf of the government of Bangladesh, Mosammat Hamida Begum, the Secretary of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs and Nikhil Kumar Chakma, the Chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board are said to be participating. Apart from this, representatives of military intelligence agency DGFI, NSI and Prime Minister’s Office are participating on behalf of the government.

In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly established a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues under the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and to fulfill the goals of the International Decade for Indigenous Peoples. The Forum works as an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council on six issues, namely economic and social development, environment, health, human rights, education and culture. The forum consists of eight government representatives and eight indigenous peoples representatives totaling sixteen members.