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Every September, the Member States of the United Nations meet at the General Assembly in New York to discuss the critical issues of global concern. This year, in addition to the general debate, world leaders participated in a series of summits and high-level meetings to boost action on climate change and accelerate progress on sustainable development, aimed at securing healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all.

All Photography by Marla Mossman 2019

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The 18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has now closed. The traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples took centre stage at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for this annual forum. For 10 days from April 22-May 5 representatives of Indigenous Peoples, gathered at the United Nations to attend conferences and informal interactive panels. They reflected on possible measures necessary to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples’ on issues directly affecting their local communities.

For the the Opening Ceremonies the United Nations General Assembly was filled to capacity with people dressed in a rainbow of colors, patterns and textiles with over one thousand attendees wearing their traditional costumes. Native People from around the Globe - from the Yanomami of Brazil to the Sami People from Finland came to honor their cultural heritage.

Besides the main theme, the Permanent Forum also discussed the International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Conservation and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Rights of indigenous women and children.

The Peace Caravan Project and The Diplomatic Society cohosted a session on April 25th 2:00-3:00pm in the

UN The Media Zone. The Media Zone space is for indigenous and mainstream media to cover the session through their own media channels and world views, perspectives and languages and organize their own media events.

Here, I moderated a panel of 3 members of the

The 18th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

Media Zone Presentation April 25, 2019

Host Organizer


The Peace Caravan Project

Diplomatic Society

Storytelling with Visionaries

Panelists included Maroon Women’s Chamber of Cooperation Members

Akilah Jaramogi

Director Maroon Women Chamber of Cooperation (MWCC)

Gaama Gloria “Mamma G” Simms Spiritual Leader Maroons of Jamaicaa and Suriname.

Drs. Fidelia Graand Galon

Ambassador in the Ministry Foreign Affairs, Suriname, Parmaribo.

Guest Participants

Lisa Atwater

Educator, Merkin Maroon Heritage

Phil Fixico

Founder/President of the Semiroon Historical Society

The informative discussion focused on Hope for a Better Future. Each Maroon Woman and Man told stories of survival and cultural preservation of the African Diaspora. The Maroon people are the descendants of escaped slaves who settled throughout the Caribbean and Central America. These 5 courageous people came to the Forum to gain the Recognition of the Maroon’s Indigenous status and are very positive about their future.

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