Amazigh human rights activist Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine has been appointed as the Chairman of the 6th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII), which will be held in New York from 24 April to 5 May 2017. The special theme of the session is “Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration”.
Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine is a medical doctor from Azawad in northern (Mali). She holds a degree from the Medicine School of the University of Tizi-Ouzou (Algeria) with several researches in ophthalmology, paediatrics and general medicine. She also holds a Masters in Humanitarian Action from the University of Geneva, focusing on interventions in crisis: armed conflict, marginalization/exclusion and natural disasters (earthquake, tsunami, drought, floods).
The latter part of her studies focused on “The role of traditional medicine in Tuareg Mali.” Mariam is currently studying nursing in Quebec (Collège Ste-Foy) and Global Community Health (Université Laval). Mariam is also a member of Tin Hinan, an association working for the defence, promotion and development of indigenous peoples in Africa, in particular the Tuareg (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya).
Mariam participated several times in the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She also volunteered with African NGOs for advocacy on Human Rights at the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and the Universal Periodic Review in Africa. Currently, Mariam advocates the cause of indigenous Africa particularly in improving the living conditions of the Tuareg and is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was established on 28 July 2000 by the United Nations general assembly, with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.