Toshao Bertie Xavier of Wowetta Community in North Rupununi, Region Nine, was on Wednesday elected to serve on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a release yesterday.
The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was established in 2000 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) through Resolution 2000/22 of July 28, 2000, and it is one of three UN mechanisms mandated to deal specifically with indigenous peoples’ issues.
The others are the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples.
The release said further that the Permanent Forum serves as an advisory body to the ECOSOC 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.
It is also expected to raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system, as well as prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues.
Xavier’s election to the Permanent Forum, the release added, follows from the importance that Guyana has attached to indigenous issues nationally and the continued engagement on these issues at the international level, including consistent participation in the sessions of the forum.