The Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was established by the General Assembly in 2002. Based at UN Headquarters in New York in the Division for Social Policy and Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DSPD/DESA).
SPFII works year-round to:
- prepare for annual sessions of the Permanent Forum. The secretariat
- also provides support to the Members of the UNPFII throughout the year;
- advocate for, facilitate and promote the coordination of implementation within the UN system of the recommendations that emerge from each annual session and promote awareness of indigenous issues within the UN system, governments, and the broad public; and
- serve as a source of information and a coordination point for
advocacy efforts that relate to the Permanent Forum’s mandate and the ongoing issues that arise concerning indigenous peoples.
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
New York, NY, 10017
Tel: 1 917 367 5100
Fax: 1 917 367 5102
Supporting the Permanent Forum
In preparation for the Permanent Forum’s annual sessions, SPFII prepares documentation, coordinates pre-registration of attendees, arranges logistics for the meeting, coordinates the multitude of special events during the session (some 60 such events taking place), and provides information notes on substance and logistics for the indigenous and non-governmental organizations that will attend, as well as for Members themselves. SPFII also collects and disseminates reports from UN agencies and others on implementation of the Permanent Forum’s recommendations that are studied and used by Members as an important part of their dialogue with the UN system and member states.
Additionally SPFII facilitates the flow of information, both among Members, and between the Permanent Forum and the general public. Specifically, this flow is managed by fielding public queries, maintaining this website, and issuing a quarterly newsletter (called the Message Stick) and other informational materials for circulation. An awareness raising film on Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations has also been produced.
Promoting Indigenous Peoples' Issues
Within the UN system, SPFII takes advantage of its permanent presence at the United Nations Headquarters to advocate for implementation of the Permanent Forum’s recommendations during the year. SPFII also advocates for indigenous issues through its substantive support and participation in the UN Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues(see following section) as well as through convening the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Intra-Departmental Task Force of the UN Secretariat and participating in the meetings of the United Nations Development Group. SPFII staff members maintain an active circuit during the year of attendance at relevant indigenous issues meetings and workshops, usually in concert with Members of the Permanent Forum. SPFII actively promotes the integration of indigenous issues in the UN system by participating in a variety of inter-agency mechanisms, including the UN Development Group (UNDG), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the Inter Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANGWE) and other bodies.
SPFII also provides substantive support for the Trust Fund on Indigenous Issues and cooperates with various parts of the UN system in conceptualizing and implementing select pilot projects.