The Forum on Indigenous Issues is the central UN body dedicated to the concerns and rights of the world’s indigenous peoples
NEW YORK (AP) — This week, Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, and COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, travelled to New York to meet with stakeholders on the sidelines of the 22nd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).
The Forum on Indigenous Issues is the primary United Nations forum concerned with the issues and rights of the world's indigenous peoples. Both members of the COP28 leadership team emphasised the UAE's commitment to closer partnership with indigenous communities in driving climate solutions in their respective engagements.
In her keynote speech at the Forum, Al Mubarak stressed the necessity of harnessing indigenous peoples' expertise and beliefs for achieving sustainable development and safeguarding biodiversity, and she advocated their full participation in the creation of climate change policies.
"As a UN Climate Change Champion, I am committed to working with you to support your efforts and to promote indigenous peoples' solutions to the climate crisis," Al Mubarak said.
Ambassador Al Suwaidi informed officials of the Group of 77 + China on potential areas of cooperation and the UAE's resolve to work closely with developing nations of the Global South to produce an inclusive COP28 on the sidelines of the Forum.
Furthermore, Al Mubarak and Ambassador Al Suwaidi co-convened indigenous youth activists and young people at the forefront of climate change mitigation activities.
Al Mubarak emphasised the critical role of indigenous youth as leaders in fostering climate resilience and mitigating the effects of climate change. In his remarks, Al Suwaidi emphasised the necessity of establishing a dedicated space for indigenous youth to support COP28 outcomes and the development of indigenous-led long-term climate solutions.
Al Mubarak co-hosted an event on the penultimate day of her tour alongside environmental and indigenous rights campaigner Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, as well as the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The event aimed to shape the global conversation on planetary health and climate action by promoting indigenous values and knowledge systems.