United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Meetings and Workshops

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UN Headquarters, New York
27 - 29 January 2015

The Expert Group Meeting on the theme “Dialogue on an optional protocol to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, to be based on the study prepared on that topic (E/C.19/2014/7) and having a focus on land, territories and resource rights, together with all of the rights contained in the UN Declaration, in particular the right to self-determination, self-government and autonomy, as well as issues raised at the thirteenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is being  organized following a decision by the Economic and Social Council, authorizing a three day international expert group meeting. The results of the meeting will be reported to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its fourteenth session in April and May 2015. 

Representatives from indigenous peoples' organizations, non-governmental organizations and others who are interested in attending the meeting are advised to contact Ms. Maia Campbell (campbellm@un.org) or Ms. Sonia Smallacombe(smallacombe@un.org). Unfortunately, due to the nature of the meeting and limitations of space, not all requests for participation in the meeting will be able to be accommodated. Please note that participants will be required to cover their own travel, accommodation and related arrangements.

Please click here for more information regarding this meeting

 

United Nations Headquarters
New York
Conference Room 5--North Lawn Building 
15-17 January 2014
>>>More information
 
Representatives from indigenous peoples' organizations and from non-governmental organizations who are interested in attending the meeting are advised to contact Mr. Broddi Sigurdarson (sigurdarson@un.org).
 
The Expert Group Meeting on sexual health and reproductive rights is organized following a decision by the Economic and Social Council, authorizing a three day international expert group meeting. The results of the meeting will be reported to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its thirteenth session in May 2014. 
 
>>>Please click here for more information regarding this meeting
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United Nations Headquarters 
29-31 January 2013

Venue: United Nations Headquarters in New York
>>>Click here for more information on this meeting 

The Expert Group Meeting on indigenous youth was organized following a decision by the Economic and Social Council, authorizing a three day international expert group meeting. The results of the meeting were reported to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its twelfth session in May 2013. >>>More InformationLine

UN Headquarters, New York
18-20 January 2012
 

Venue: Conference Room 5--North Lawn Building

The meeting was attended by international indigenous experts whose findings were submitted to the eleventh session of the Permanent Forum in May 2012.

This Expert Group Meeting was organized following a recommendation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), approved by ECOSOC decision 2011/266, which authorized a three-day international expert group meeting on the theme "Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" and requested that the results of the meeting be reported to the Permanent Forum at its eleventh session, to the General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session and to the Commission on the Status of Women at its fifty-sixth session in 2012.  The meeting has disscussed the way in which the UNPFII should address its mandate under Article 22 of the Declaration.

>>>Click here for more information on this meetingLine

At its ninth session, the Permanent Forum decided to hold an Expert Group Meeting on indigenous peoples and forests, coinciding with the International Year of Forests. The findings of this Expert Group Meeting were presented to the Tenth Session of the Permanent Forum in May 2011.

>>>Click here to read more about the meeting and see the relevant documents.

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The meeting, sponsored by the First Nations Summit and the Interim First Nations Child and Family Wellness Council and cosponsored by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, focused on indigenous children and youth in state custody. It has explored contemporary removal of indigenous children from families and communities as a result of past government policies to promote assimilation, including policies on boarding and residential schools. It has also looked at the vastly disproportionate rates of indigenous children and youth currently incarcerated or under punitive detention; as well as the disproportionate numbers of indigenous children in foster care and adoption programs. Discussion was focused on sharing examples of promising practices to prevent or address forced removal of indigenous children and youth.

The Meeting was attended by Permanent Forum members, indigenous experts from the seven UNPFII socio-cultural regions, government officials and representatives from UN Agencies and Funds. Representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations also attended.

>>>Click here to view the documents of the meeting.

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The International United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Expert Group Meeting Indigenous Peoples: Development with Culture and identity: Articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was held at UN Headquarters in New York, on 12-14 January 2010.

The aim of the meeting was to:

To analyze enshrined human rights within international standards and policies and how these contribute to indigenous peoples’ concept of development with culture and identity;

  • Promote an opportunity to exchange information and analysis on the various concepts of development;
  • Draw attention to the various development concepts and practices and their impact on indigenous peoples’ livelihoods, communities, cultural practices and lands and natural resources;
  • Identify options and further plans to build the necessary conditions for development such as empowering and strengthening indigenous peoples’ organizations and governance systems;
  • To analyze opportunities for partnerships with indigenous peoples on development issues and how such arrangements might be informed by good practices and Corporate responsibility models;
  • Highlight both positive and negative development practice models from indigenous peoples’ perspectives;
  • Identify gaps and challenges and a possible way forward.

The Meeting was attended by Permanent Forum members, indigenous experts, States and representatives from UN Agencies and Funds. Representatives of indigenous peoples organizations are also attended.

>>>Click here to read the documents of this meeting

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This Expert Group Meeting was organized following a recommendation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during its Seventh Session, which states:

The Permanent Forum decides to authorize a three-day international expert group workshop on indigenous peoples' rights, corporate accountability and the extractive industries, and requests that the results of the meeting be reported to the Forum at its eighth session, in 2009. The report of that workshop can feed into the eighteenth and nineteenth sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which will address the themes of mining, chemicals, waste management and sustainable consumption and production patterns, and contribute to the review by the eighteenth session of the Commission.

The International Expert Group Workshop was organized by Tebtebba Foundation in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The workshop has provided the opportunity for dialogues among participants with the aim of improving the situation of indigenous peoples in relation to extractive industries.
The EGM was attended by invited indigenous experts and UNPFII members, and observers at expert level from the UN system and other-governmental agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, States and extractive industries.

>>>Click here to read the documents of this meeting

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This Expert Group Meeting was organized following a recommendation of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, approved by ECOSOC decision 2008/249, which authorized a three-day international expert group meeting on the implementation of Article 42 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and requested that the results of the meeting be reported to the Permanent Forum at its eighth session. The workshop discussed the way in which the UNPFII should address its mandate under Article 42 of the Declaration.

The EGM took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 January 2009. It was attended by indigenous experts and UNPFII members as well as interested Member States, UN Agencies and Indigenous Peoples' Organizations.

>>>Click here to view the documents of this meeting

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This workshop was a collaborative effort between the United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (SPFII) and North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance.

The main objectives of the workshop were to consider:

  • the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples;
  • adaptation measures to climate change;
  • carbon projects and carbon trading; and
  • factors that enable or obstruct indigenous peoples’ participation in the climate change processes.


The Expert Group Meeting has sought to draw on the expertise of indigenous peoples, UNPFII members, relevant United Nations agencies, intergovernmental agencies, national and local governments, indigenous peoples' organizations, non-government organizations and academics that are active within the field of climate change.

SPFII has prepared a background paper. Climate Change an Overview

>>>Click here to view the documents from the meeting 

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This Expert Group Meeting was organized in accordance with ECOSOC decision 2007/244, which authorized a three-day international expert group meeting on indigenous languages and requested that the results of the meeting be reported to the Permanent Forum at its seventh session.

In addition, the Permanent Forum stated the following in its report:

"Considering that 2008 is the International Year of Languages, the Permanent Forum recommends holding an expert group meeting on indigenous languages that will call upon States, the United Nations system and indigenous peoples and their organizations to consider the following elements:

(a) Working towards concrete actions and legislative development aimed at eliminating discrimination against the current use of indigenous languages;

(b) Developing programmes aimed at promoting the empowerment of indigenous languages through all mediums, including radio and television;

(c) Supporting and increasing the number of centres for the study of indigenous languages;

(d) Financing and supporting schemes for special projects that are formulated by indigenous peoples and are focused on revitalization and rescue of threatened languages;

(e) Designing, in consultation with indigenous peoples and the Permanent Forum, the organization of a world conference on linguistic diversity, indigenous languages, identity and education, as a contribution to the programme of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People."

The Agenda of the Meeting was based on the above mentioned recommendation of the forum.

The EGM was attended by indigenous experts, UNPFII members as well as interested Member States, UN Agencies, Indigenous Peoples' Organizatinos, AND Non-Governmental Organizations.

>>>Click here to read more about the Meeting and to view the meeting documents.

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The objective of the meeting was to identify opportunities and challenges after the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, identify common actions for the publicization and implementation of the Declaration and of the Programme of Action or the Second Decade as well as to discuss regional preparations for the special theme of the next session of the UNPFII.

>>> Report of the of the meeting of the Consultative Group of Indigenous Leaders and the UN system/Latin American and Carribbean Region [ Microsoft Word (doc) ]

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The objective of the meeting was to promote an opportunity to exchange information of the adverse effects of wide ranging toxic, dangerous products and wastes that impact on the well-being of indigenous peoples' spiritual, cultural and physical well-being, their food sources and lands; identify types of environmental discrimination and the forms that it takes; consider how indigenous peoples might seek administrative or legal remedies in regards to the effects of toxic, dangerous products and wastes as well as natural and man-made disasters under existing international standards; highlight good practice models; identify gaps and challenges and a possible way forward; draw attention to the contamination of the Amur river which flows along transnational borders and has a dramatic impact on the traditional lifestyle and health of indigenous peoples of the Khabarovsk Krai region.

>>>Click here to view the documents from the meeting

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The workshop was co-organized by the Administration of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON) and the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, with support from the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Some 80 persons participated at the workshop, including 13 Members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, indigenous experts from the Pacific Region, Central and South America, Africa, the Arctic, North America, and the Russian Federation, representatives of 7 companies operating in the Russian Federation, representatives of the Government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations. 

>>>Click here to view the documents from the workshop

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The Government of China has hosted the 2007 informal pre-sessional meeting of the Sixth Session of the Forum in Beijing, China, from 19 to 21 March 2007. This is the second time that a member State of the United Nations generously offered the hosting of an informal pre-sessional meeting of the Forum prior to its annual session in May. The 2006 pre-sessional meeting was held in Nuuk, Greenland, from 13 to 14 February 2006 and hosted by the Greenlandic Home Rule Government with the support of the Danish Government.

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This workshop has been organized in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its Fifth Session which states: "The UNPFII recommends a three-day international expert group meeting on the Convention on Biological Diversity international regime on access and benefit-sharing and indigenous peoples´rights with the participation of representatives from the United Nations system, and five members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and invites other interested intergovernmental organizations, experts from indigenous organizations, and interested Member States to participate as well, and requests that the results of the meeting be reported to the Permanent Forum at its sixth session in May 2007."

A. OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

The Expert Group Meeting is intended to:

  • Promote an opportunity to evaluate current negotiation and agreement-making practices in terms of effective participation of indigenous peoples and their ability to produce outcomes which adequately take into account indigenous peoples’ concerns and rights;
  • Promote an opportunity to exchange information of ABS processes currently operating in various regions that take into account the rights of indigenous peoples;
  • Promote an opportunity to formulate benchmarks for agreement-making and;
  • Highlight good practice models;
  • Identify gaps and challenges and a possible way forward.


B. PROPOSED THEMES FOR DISCUSSION

Four major themes of discussion are proposed as follows:

Theme 1: International Standards and policies on agreement-making with reference to indigenous peoples.

Theme 2: Areas in which indigenous peoples’ participation is relevant to any ABS arrangements.

Theme 3: Factors that enable or obstruct indigenous peoples’ participation in the CDB processes.

Theme 4: Good examples of indigenous participation in negotiating ABS processes in other arenas.

>>>Click here to view the documents of the Expert Group Meeting

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CONTACT:
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Divison for Social Policy and Development - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
USA

indigenous_un@un.org

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The Permanent Forum has emphasized the need for indigenous experts to identify gaps in existing indicator frameworks, examine linkages between quantitative and qualitative criteria, and propose the development of indicators that are culturally-specific, measure exclusion, and reflect the aspirations of indigenous peoples. In order to progress work in this area, the Centro para la Autonomía y Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas has organized a regional meeting on indicators in cooperation with SPFII from 4-6 September 2006 in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. This meeting followed the Ottawa meeting on indicators (21-23 March 2006), and is the first in a series of regional meetings that have been organized globally.

CONTACT:
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Divison for Social Policy and Development - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
USA

indigenouspermanentforum@un.org

>>> Proposed Agenda fo Workshop on Indicators of Well-being in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua [ Microsoft Word (doc) ]

>>> List of participants at the Workshop on Indicators of Well-being in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua [ Microsoft Word (doc) ]

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[Workshop]

CONTACT:
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Divison for Social Policy and Development - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
USA

indigenouspermanentforum@un.org

Migration, especially the movement of people across national borders, has risen to the top of the development agenda in recent years. This is a result of the recognition of the far-reaching development implications of migrant flows for both sending and receiving communities. A review by the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) has observed that migration has generally not been considered an integral component of the development agenda. While this neglect is evident across countries and various population groups, it is even more acute with respect to indigenous populations.

The SPFII, with the collaboration and assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has organized a meeting to address some of the gaps in knowledge with respect to indigenous peoples and migration.

>>>Click here to read the documents of this workshop

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[Workshop] The Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Indian and Northern Affaris Canada have co-organized a workshop on indicators.

>>> Concept Note for Meeting on Indigenous Peoples and Indicators for Well-Being [ Adobe Acrobat (pdf) ]

The UN system and a significant number of its Member States have been gearing their programming at the national level for the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 18 targets and 48 indicators. The formulation of the Goals and the targets and indicators, however, did not include the participation of or consultation with indigenous peoples, thus resulting in a situation where the goals, targets and indicators do not capture or inadequately capture the situation of indigenous peoples. At its Fourth Session in 2005, the Permanent Forum stated that “…Poverty indicators based on indigenous peoples’ own perception of their situation and experiences should be developed jointly with indigenous peoples”

In order to assist in this effort, the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum has organized a series of meetings of indigenous experts on indicators and seeks to build on the challenges, gaps, and existing work on global and regional indicators across the mandated areas of the Permanent Forum.

>>>Click here to view the Meeting Report and the papers submitted at the meeting

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[Workshop] The workshop was co-sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency, Danida and the Greenland Home Rule Government and hosted in partnership with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

While providing the Permanent Forum with an opportunity to meet indigenous peoples of the Arctic Region, the objective of the workshop was to share practical experience in partnership building and to propose concrete measures to establish and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships between indigenous peoples and various local, national and international organizations. Diverse types of partnership and experiences in this regard have been presented at the workshop.

Participants included representatives of the Greenland Home Rule Government, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, representatives from governments and indigenous organizations and UN agencies.

The workshop has reported on recommendations and proposals for action to ensure the further development and mutual benefit of partnerships between the indigenous and non-indigenous world at the 5th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May 2006.

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This meeting brought together participants from the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations, Governments and indigenous experts.  Due to the technical nature of this meeting, a limited number of participants were able to attend.

>>> Report of the International Expert Group Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, Indigenous Participation and Good Governance [ Adobe Acrobat (pdf) ]

This meeting was organized in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its Fourth Session and as decided by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2005(decision 2005/252).

The overall objectives of the workshop were:

1) Highlight the importance of indigenous representation in decision-making processes within the context of the MDGs and the Millennium Declaration overall, as well as the broader context of the current socio-economic and political transformations, the World Summit Outcome and the broader UN development agenda.

2) Examine linkages between indigenous presence in governance and other decision-making bodies at all levels and their impact on policy formulation and the conduct of public institutions.

3) Consider the interplay between indigenous economic and political participation and the development of indigenous communities and their economic empowerment, focusing on persisting barriers to indigenous entry into politics and public representative institutions in light of their economic empowerment in the past decades.

4) Propose strategies to advance indigenous participation through capacity-building, coalition-building and indigenous and gender-sensitive institutional policies, programmes and mechanisms.

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Click here to view the Meeting Documents

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The workshop was organized as follow up to the recommendations of the Permanent Forum (E/2005/43) and hosted by the UNICEF's Regional for Latin American and the Caribbean. The workshop was attended by 12 indigenous experts from various regions (Latin America, Asia, Pacific, Africa, North America, the Arctic and Russian Federation), representatives from 9 UN agencies, 2 members of the Permanent Forum and the Chairperson / Rapporteur of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations.

During the two and half day workshop, participants exchanged information and extensively discussed ways on how different United Nations entities working on traditional knowledge can better integrate a more collaborative, complementary and holistic approach to traditional knowledge in order to enhance better understanding of indigenous concerns and their possible solution. The outstanding quality of papers presented by indigenous experts were highly appreciated, they have substantively contributed towards the formulation of specific recommendations to the UN system and other inter-governmental organizations with a view to better integrating indigenous perspectives in their work on traditional knowledge. The report and recommendations were adopted by the workshop and were submitted to the Fifth Session of the Permanent Forum.

>>>View all of the papers from the workshop here

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This workshop was held at the International Conference on Engaging Communities in Brisbane Australia. Click here to view all of the Workshop Documents.

>>>Guidelines for engagement with indigenous peoples

>>>Background Paper: Engaging Indigenous Peoples in governance process

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[Workshop] The Workshop was convened in accordance with the Economic and Social Council decision 2004/287, following a recommendation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issuess at its third session.

CONTACT:
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Divison for Social Policy and Development - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
USA

indigenous_un@un.org

>>> Report of the International Workshop on Methodologies regarding Free, Prior and Informed Consent [ Adobe Acrobat (pdf) ]

The International Workshop on Methodologies regarding Free, Prior and Informed Consent and Indigenous Peoples was convened in accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 2004/287 of 22 July 2004, following a recommendation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its third session.

The principle of free, prior and informed consent had been identified as a major challenge by the Forum at its first, second and third sessions. In response to the Council’s decision, the Workshop was held from 17 to 19 January 2005.

The Workshop was attended by 67 experts and observers from the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations, Governments and indigenous organizations. The Workshop examined the international and domestic instruments and practices relevant to the principle of free, prior and informed consent, heard examples of the application of the principle, identified challenges, and made recommendations about free, prior and informed consent and indigenous peoples. In its conclusions and recommendations, the Workshop identifies elements of a common understanding of free, prior and informed consent and indigenous peoples, promoting better methodologies regarding free, prior and informed consent and indigenous peoples for the consideration of the Forum at its fourth session.

>>>Click here to view all of the Workshop documents 

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CONTACT:
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Divison for Social Policy and Development - Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
USA

indigenous_un@un.org

>>>Click here to view the Workshop´s final report and papers submitted by participants.

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>>> E/C.19/2004/2: Report of the Workshop on Data Collection and Disaggregation for Indigenous Peoples

The Workshop on Data Collection and Disaggregation for Indigenous Peoples was convened in accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 2003/300, following a recommendation of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its second session. Data collection was identified as an urgent priority by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at both its first and second sessions. In response to the Council’s decision the Workshop was held from 19 to 21 January 2004.

The Workshop was attended by 36 experts from the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations, Governments, indigenous organizations and academia. The Workshop discussed a number of case studies and examined challenges and made recommendations concerning data collection and disaggregation
concerning indigenous peoples.

In its recommendations, the Workshop promotes better data collection and disaggregation concerning indigenous peoples for the consideration of the Permanent Forum at its third session.

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