2 February, 2016

Peru nominates indigenous woman leader to the UN

Tarcila Rivera Zea, Quechua leader, was nominated as candidate to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Tarcila Rivera Zea, Quechua leader, was nominated as candidate to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

On Monday, February 1, the Foreign Ministry of Peru, announced the presentation of candidacy of Tarcila Rivera Zea to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, a forum composed by leading leaders, academics and politicians from all across the world.

If elected, Tarcila Rivera Zea is to serve pro bono, as independent expert, for a three year term. Her role would be to provide advice and recommendations on development policies affecting the lives of more than 370 million indigenous peoples globally.

“Tarcila is a person we all recognize not only for her long trajectory but also for her ability to promote dialogue”, highlighted Ms. Patricia Balbuena, Vice-Minister of Interculturalism during the public ceremony.

Representatives of civil society and international cooperation, and indigenous leaders in attendance, expressed their support for this initiative by the Peruvian Government.

There are only two spots available for Latin America and the Caribbean to be nominated by governments. In addition to Tarcila Rivera Zea, the former Colombian indigenous senator, Gabriel Muruy Jacanamejoy and the president of the Advisory Council for Indigenous Peoples Development of Mexico, Jesus Guadalupe Fuentes Blanco, are also candidates.

Born in Ayacucho, she is one of the most recognized indigenous activists in Peru and globally. For more than 30 years she has been defending indigenous rights through her organization CHIRAPAQ, and her involvement in other networks and institutions.

She has received awards and has been recognized by UNICEF, Ford Foundation, Sacred Fire Foundation, and the Minister of Culture of Peru for her distinguished trajectory and valued contributions to the promotion and defense of indigenous cultures and rights.

To highlight, is her role as a member of UNWomen’s Civil Society Global Advisory Group.

She is also founder of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas (ECMIA) and the International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI), networks that foster leadership and political participation of millions of indigenous women around the globe.

Tarcila Rivera Zea has wide knowledge of the UN system, as she formed part of the writing process of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and creation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues is an advising body whose purpose is to examine indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, education, health, the environment and human rights.

The Forum is composed by sixteen independent experts. Eight of the members are nominated by governments and the other eight are nominated by regional indigenous organizations.

Members nominated by governments are elected by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). To support Rivera Zea’s candidacy, please contact the Foreign Ministry of Peru at the following email: