Jose Francisco “Pancho” Cali Tzay has been appointed as the new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the next three years.
The United Nations Human RIghts Council approved Francisco Cali's appointment before the suspension of the council's 43rd session in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Cali, who is from Guatemala, has served on the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for 16 years, including three years as the committee's president, and was the first Indigenous member of a United Nations Treaty body.
Mr Cali will officially step into the new role next month when the current Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz completes her second three-year term.
Mr Cali said he's grateful to the United Nations Human Rights Council for appointing him as Special Rapporteur.
"I also thank those who submitted my nomination as well as the Indigenous representative bodies and organisations, educational institutions, human rights organizations and United Nations Mandate holders that wrote letters of support," he said.
"I am honoured and humbled by their trust. I look forward to working with United Nations bodies, Indigenous Peoples and States from around the world to carry out this role.”