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UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples - Last session

Session 2016

The 29th session of the Board of Trustees took place at Palais des Nations in Geneva from 18 to 22 January 2016. Claire Charters was elected Chairperson of the Board.

Having examined the applications in light of the selection criteria, the Board recommended for approval to the Secretary-General:

  • 25 grants for representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to attend the 15th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII);
  • 20 grants for representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to attend the 9th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • 2 grants for representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to attend the 24th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group and the 89th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Additionally, the Board recommended the allocation of the following number of grants to be awarded throughout the year:

  • 38 grants for representatives of indigenous communities and organisations to attend the sessions of the Human Rights Council, the UPR Working Group, and the treaty bodies that will take place from July 2016 to March 2017;
  • 14 grants for representatives of indigenous communities and organisations to attend the Expert Workshop to Review the Mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • 14 grants for representatives of indigenous organisations and institutions to attend the General Assembly Consultation Process Aiming to Enhance the Participation of Indigenous Peoples’ Representatives in United Nations Meetings on Issues Affecting Them.

In addition, the Board held ten private meetings and examined information prepared by the Secretariat concerning the implementation of recommendations adopted at its 28th session, the extension of the mandate of the Fund, the financial status of the Fund, fund-raising efforts, policy issues and capacity building of grantees.

On 21 January 2016, the Board of Trustees held its annual meeting with representatives of donor countries and other interested governments, as well as a meeting with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries in the United Nations. Representatives of twenty-two member states attended the meetings with the Board including Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Spain, the United States and Ukraine.  The members of the Board thanked member states for their past contributions as well as highlighted the impact the Fund has had on beneficiaries and their communities.

States expressed their strong support to the work of the Fund and commended the excellent work done by the Board and secretariat. States also highlighted the importance of the Fund’s expanded mandate to support Indigenous peoples’ participation in the Expert Workshop on the Review of the Mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the General Assembly Consultation Process Aiming to Enhance the Participation of Indigenous Peoples’ Representatives in United Nations Meetings on Issues Affecting Them.