The Permanent Forum recommended the following actions in its annual session reports:
Sixteenth Session (2017)
- The Permanent Forum encourages States to continue cooperating with indigenous peoples to develop fair, transparent and effective mechanisms for the repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains, at the national and international levels.
Fifteenth Session (2016)
- The Permanent Forum recognizes the recent formation of an ad hoc working group on international repatriation, with the participation of States, indigenous peoples and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, including the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNESCO, and the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, which was reported at the 2016 session as another positive step forward in the implementation of recommendation No. 8 of the Forum at its fourteenth session.
- The Permanent Forum requests UNESCO to host a joint seminar with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other relevant United Nations mechanisms for the purpose of exploring the development of a new international mechanism on the repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains. Furthermore, the Forum calls upon all States with national repositories of indigenous cultural items and ancestral remains, including museums and universities, to work with UNESCO to create an international database and inventory of these items accessible to indigenous peoples as a basis for initiating dialogue.
- The first World Indigenous Games, held in Palmas, Brazil, in November 2015, illustrates and highlights the implementation of the six mandated areas of the Permanent Forum, as contained in articles 3, 31 and 43 of the United Nations Declaration, among others. The leadership of the Inter-Tribal Committee of Brazil and the peoples and Government of Brazil are commended for this endeavour to uphold the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world. The Forum welcomes the organization of the second Games, planned for Canada in 2017.
Twelfth Session (2013)
- The Permanent Forum recognizes culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. Indigenous peoples have always recognized that the three pillars of sustainable development (economic viability, social inclusion and environmental balance) are not enough to reflect the complexity of indigenous peoples’ societies. Indigenous peoples see the cultural pillar as encompassing the cultural and spiritual traditions of humanity.
- Indigenous culture and tourism is often seen as a driver of growth and development for the economies and businesses of indigenous peoples, with indigenous peoples often trivialized and viewed solely as cultural icons and objects by others. The Permanent Forum therefore recommends that United Nations agencies, in collaboration with the indigenous peoples concerned, affirm and make operational the right of indigenous peoples to determine their own priorities for development and opportunities concerning indigenous culture and tourism.
- The Permanent Forum welcomes the recommendations of the international expert workshop on the World Heritage Convention and indigenous peoples, held in Copenhagen on 20 and 21 September 2012, and the anticipated establishment by the World Heritage Committee of a consultative body on the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention during its thirty-seventh session, to be held in Phnom Penh from 17 to 27 June 2013, in order to consider, among others, revisions to the guidelines relating to the human rights of indigenous peoples, including the principle of free, prior and informed consent. The Forum recommends that UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee implement the Convention in accordance with the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, taking an approach based on human rights. The Forum members will endeavor to participate in the thirty- seventh session of the Committee, including the meetings of the consultative body on the Operational Guidelines, as observers.
- The Permanent Forum encourages all States to endorse the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, considering the need to protect and enhance indigenous peoples’ distinct identities and cultural institutions, philosophies and world views, customary laws, indigenous political governance and justice systems, indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable traditional livelihoods and other economic systems, as well as to rebuild in urban centres the cultures and communities of indigenous peoples displaced from their traditional territories. The Forum calls upon States to build on good practices to ensure, safeguard and protect indigenous knowledge and intangible heritage and to promote indigenous peoples’ cultural expressions.
- The Permanent Forum recommends that UNESCO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) work closely with indigenous peoples to develop an instrument to protect traditional knowledge and culture-based economic opportunities and activities as a potential way of strengthening the identities of indigenous peoples in order to contribute to gross domestic product growth, environmental protection and mutual appreciation of cultures.