United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

About Us/Members

 Permanent Forum: Origin and Development 

The Permanent Forum was established by the UN in response to demands from indigenous peoples for a high level permanent body at the United Nations.

PFII Members

The Permanent Forum is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

According to its mandate, the Permanent Forum will:

  • provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations, through the Council
  • raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system
  • prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues

The Permanent Forum holds annual two-week sessions. The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002, and yearly sessions take place in New York. 

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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the term 2014-2016

Aisa Mukabenova
Alvaro Esteban Pop Ac
Dalee Sambo Dorough

Edward John
Gervais Nzoa
Joan Carling

Joseph Goko Mutangah
Kara-Kys Arakchaa
Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe
Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine
Megan Davis

Mohammad Hassani Nejad Pirkouhi
Oliver Loode 

Raja Devasish Roy
Valmaine Toki


The Permanent Forum is comprised of sixteen independent experts, functioning in their personal capacity, who serve for a term of three years as Members and may be re-elected or re-appointed for one additional term.

Eight of the Members are nominated by governments and eight are nominated directly by indigenous organizations in their regions.

The Members nominated by governments are elected by ECOSOC based on the five regional groupings of States normally used at the United Nations (Africa; Asia; Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Western Europe and Other States).

The Members nominated by indigenous organizations are appointed by the President of ECOSOC and represent the seven socio-cultural regions determined to give broad representation to the world’s indigenous peoples.

The regions are Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Arctic; Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific—with one additional rotating seat among the three first listed above. The rotating seat is taken by Asia during the 2014-2016 term.