Model United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is an advisory committee of the United Nations that was created in the year 2000. The committee’s mandate includes a focus on indigenous issues around the world. Its accomplishments are many but most notable is the writing of the “UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007.
SCCSD students are the first students in the world to be a part of a Model UNPFII. In addition, due to the support of the United Nations, students have been actual participants in the Annual Session of the UNPFII in May of 2011 and 2012. This is a meeting of 1,500 representatives from indigenous organizations, other U.N. bodies, and governments from around the world. To quote Broddi Sigurdarson of the Secretariat from Advisor Jerry Musial’s conversations with him, “Of all the UN sessions, this is the most interesting.”
The primary mission of the Salamanca High School Model UNPFII is to raise awareness among indigenous and non-indigenous youth of issues common to indigenous peoples around the world. By challenging youth to act as members of the UNPFII, we hope to further their understanding of the connection between indigenous peoples and give them the tools to address the issues. This program will be a joint effort between the United Nations, the Seneca Nation of Indians, and Salamanca City Central School District.
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