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.

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.


Call for nominations for the term 2017-2019

The United Nations calls for nominations of candidates to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the term 2017-2019 from indigenous peoples' organizations.

To send in nominations for consideration, the following documents are required:

  • A formal letter of nomination
  • A recent resume/curriculum vitae of the candidate (maximum 4 pages)
  • Information about the nominating organization.

All correspondence should be sent to the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The deadline for submission of nominations is 1 February 2016.

For further information see the letter that has been sent to representatives of indigenous peoples in English, Spanish, French and Russian.

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

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.



Aisa Mukabenova

Ms. Aisa Mukabenova
Russian Federation

María Eugenia Choque Quispe

Ms. Maria Eugenia Choque Quispe

>>> Biography

A E Pop

Mr. Alvaro Esteban Pop

>>> Biography


Ms. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine
Burkina Faso

>>> Biography

D S Dorough

Ms. Dalee Sambo Dorough
United States

>>> Biography

Megan Davis

Ms. Megan Davis

>>> Biography

Ed John

Mr. Edward John

>>> Biography

Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad Pirkouhi

Gervais Nzoa

Mr. Gervais Nzoa

>>> Biography

Oliver Loode

Mr. Oliver Loode

 >>> Biography

Joan Carling

Ms. Joan Carling

>>> Biography

Raja Devasish Roy

Mr. Raja Devasish Roy

>>> Biography


Mr. Joseph Goko Mutangah

>>> Biography

V Toki

Ms. Valmaine Toki
New Zealand

>>> Biography


Ms. Kara-Kys Arakchaa
Russian Federation

>>> Biography


Asia Pacific Region