In 2020, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues postponed its 19th session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Economic and Social Council decided that the 20th session of the Permanent Forum will take place from 19-30 April 2021 on the theme of “Peace, justice and effective institutions: the role of indigenous peoples in the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal 16″.
In preparation for the 2021 session, the Permanent Forum conducted informal virtual dialogues with indigenous peoples and Member State representatives from all seven socio-cultural regions. The regional dialogues took place from October 2020-April 2021. United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, regional and national human rights institutions, NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, and academia were also invited to participate. These virtual dialogues were instituted by Forum Members to continue the tradition of regional consultations that take place during the annual sessions of the Forum. The aim of the regional dialogues initiated in 2018, is to discuss issues of relevance in the countries of the region and identify how to sharpen the focus and impact of the Permanent Forum’s analysis and recommendations.