The twelfth session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is currently taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York City from May 20 to May 31. The UNPFII is an advisory body to the UN Economic and Social Council, which is the UN platform on economic and social issues. The UNPFII brings together Indigenous peoples, governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders in unique fashion to collaborate on issues faced by Indigenous peoples. Natural Justice is attending the UNPFII and undertaking a number of activities, including supporting the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and the National Khoi-San Council, as well as launching the second edition of the Living Convention. This year, Mr. Kanyinke Sena, a former IPACC Executive Committee member, has been nominated as the Chair of the UNPFII.
This session of the UNPFII is billed as a Review Year, and is addressing a number of different issues, including health, education, culture, human rights, and the World Bank. On Thursday, May 23, the UNPFII held a half day on the African region, where, among other things, a study on resilience, traditional knowledge and capacity- building for pastoralist communities in Africa was addressed. Natural Justice also helped in the preparation of statements on the Khoi-San communities as well as the World Bank that were read during plenary sessions of the UNPFII. During the second week, the UNPFII will address, among other issues, a Consolidated report on extractive industries and their impact on indigenous peoples, as well as the future work of the UNPFII.