Indigenous Forum opens in NYC


In early May, the United Nations’ General Secretary Kofi Annan will open The Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, what he’s called a “historic” occasion.

The idea for the forum first surfaced in 1991 when Greenlander Henriette Rasmussen proposed the forum at a Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva.

The Permanent Forum will have 16 members, eight representatives from indigenous peoples and eight members appointed by governments.

Ole Henrik Magga from Kautokeino, Norway, will represent the interests of both Sámi and Inuit at a new United Nations forum for indigenous peoples.

The forum won’t be able to interfere in the internal affairs of U.N. member states, but it will consider indigenous opinions on issues touching human rights or environmental and social issues as well as hear grievances.

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference and the Sámi Council jointly nominated Magga to the Forum.

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