The representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and agencies of the United Nations system in Peru formed yesterday in Lima a committee to support the actions of Tarcila Rivera Zea, who was elected as a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues.
The committee announced as a priority action the organization of a national level preparatory meeting for the next session of the Permanent Forum that will be held in New York in April 2018. The aim of the meeting is to achieve more informed, effective and strategic participation of indigenous organizations within this UN mechanism.
The newly formed group’s major commitment is to inform and increase awareness among regional and national indigenous organizations, government officials and public servants as well as the civil society about the existing UN mechanisms for the recognition and the defense of indigenous rights. These actions will be carried out in support of Rivera Zea’s function as member of the Permanent Forum.
In the meeting, the State of Peru was represented by Alfredo Luna Briceño, the Vice Minister of Interculturality, and Ana Peña Doig, Director for Social Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, the meeting was attended by representatives of main UN agencies based in Lima, including María del Carmen Sacasa, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Peru and UNDP Resident Representative, María Arteta, Deputy Director of the ILO Office for the Andean Countries, and María Elena Zúñiga, representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues has the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights of the indigenous peoples. The Permanent Forum is an important space for dialogue between the States, the indigenous peoples and the United Nations system and for the development of proposals to guide public policies at the country level.
Tarcila Rivera Zea is one of the most recognized indigenous activists in Peru and in the world. For more than thirty years she has been defending indigenous peoples’ rights from within her organization CHIRAPAQ and the networks such as the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI-IIWF). She has been awarded and recognized by UNICEF, the Ford Foundation, the Sacred Fire Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of Peru, for her distinguished work and valuable contributions to the promotion and protection of indigenous cultures and peoples. This year she was nominated as a member of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues for the period 2017-2019.