Conference of NGOs (CoNGO)

NGO Committee on Status of Women-NY [monthly meeting]

Join NGO CSW-NY for our May Monthly Meeting about racial justice and gender. More information coming soon. At the beginning of the meeting, we will discuss the NGO CSW/NY Executive Committee elections taking place in June.

Register here!

If you missed April’s monthly meeting on the intersection of climate change, gender, and migration, you can watch the recording on Youtube here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

AI Readiness Check: Policy Impact, Opportunities and Challenges

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), machine learning and the analysis and use of data are transforming all aspects of our lives, economies and societies, in both visible as well as unforeseen ways. Bringing with them the potential to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the use of such AI technologies also raises many new technical, ethical and socio-economic issues.

In order to prepare for this AI revolution, Governments, in collaboration with other stakeholders, are taking various steps such as monitoring developments in AI, data use and data protection; developing national strategies for AI; introducing and enhancing data protection legislation; adopting and adapting e-government and AI in public services; creating and upgrading national databases; upgrading national infrastructure; establishing university programmes and courses; funding and incentivizing AI research and AI start-ups and registering AI patents; introducing regulatory guidance (e.g. self-driving vehicles); and so on.

This high-level dialogue will explore progress by nations with respect to AI readiness. It aims to enable exchange of knowledge and best practices within the WSIS community on policies and strategies that could be most effective to facilitate the inclusive use of AI for good.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aR2ctpJzRaCUeJYpLp8i4g

View the full agenda and list of panelists here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/352

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Government Services

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4waiI4cJTRCpn5f8M6jdWg

Digital government services are vital for developing a digital economy that benefits all citizens by expanding access to critical services such as health, education, and social protection. Countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years are increasingly looking to national digital strategies and agendas to transform the way they do business and improve the lives of their citizens. Current challenges to digital government include lack of coordination, the habit of working in siloes, funding constraints, and the absence of scalable solutions, all posing significant constraints to digital transformation in government. Amid the increasing pressure to act, countries do not have the time nor the luxury to reinvent the wheel or review fragmented and duplicated investments. This further increases costs and inefficiencies.

A “Whole-of-Government” platform approach to developing government services through the reuse and minimal customization of quick and easy to adopt building blocks is at the heart of the success of digital government services projects. Open-source models for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach, are an optimal solution to solving these issues in a cost-efficient and scalable manner.

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

For more information, full agenda, and the list of panelists: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/416

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Families and New Technologies: The Challenging Impact of Social Media

Certainly, there are positive aspects of access to internet and social media especially during Covid-19 related shutdowns. However, parents and families around the world also have found themselves vulnerable to a deluge of unwanted negative material such as pornography, sexually explicit messages on Tik Tok or damaging bullying on other social media. Unfortunately, many families are not aware that their children, at younger and younger ages, are viewing this material. The evidence is clear that exposure to such negative content can have a tragic effect leading to depression or even suicide. Data also show that pornography leads to demeaning and abusive treatment of women and can be deleterious to viewers. In addition, the use of pornography has been shown to tear apart the trust and security in a marriage, leading to conflict and divorce.

Panel speakers will share policies that help protect families from harmful use of technology. Other experts will explain the research of the impact of pornography on the personal and family life and practices that help individuals overcome the habit of pornographic viewing. Speakers will also describe how parents can protect their children from harmful exposure to social media and heal together from inappropriate use.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApceutrzotGdWxWzaDPuN7hFv6tM7MU9CT

Speakers: 

  • H.E. Mohamed Al Hassan, Permanent Mission of Oman to the UN
  • Mohamed Ibrahim Elbahi, Charge d’Affaires, Permanent Mission of Sudan to the UN
  • Andrew Love, Founder and Director, High Noon, Content Developer, Educator in sexual integrity and overcoming pornography habits
  • Erica Komisar, LCSW, Family Therapist, Parenting Coach, Author of forthcoming “Raising Resilient Adolescents in the New Age of Anxiety”
  • Kristen Jenson, Founder and Director, Protect Young Minds, Parent educator and author

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

NGO Committee on Social Development [monthly meeting]

The NGO Committee on Social Development will hold their regular monthly meeting at 10:00 am EST on May 19. Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrcOqqpj8uHtHqW8yFsbkrjk4wp3k-jSYv

About:

The NGO Committee for Social Development, is dedicated to promoting a People-Centered Development through the United Nations. We are dedicated to raise awareness on social development issues taken up by the United Nations (UN) System and in particular by the UN Commission for Social Development.

In partnership with UN DESA and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation, the NGO Committee on Social Development hosts the Civil Society Forum which creates a special space for Civil Society to interact with states members of UN Commission on Social Development and other multi-stakeholders.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Environmental factors as an important trigger for migration

Join this virtual side event at the occasion of the 30th Session of the Conference on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice,

organized by ZONTA and co-organizers

Tuesday May 18th, 1:10-2:00 pm CET.

Reconsidering the definition of smuggling migrants in the context of (transnational) environmental disasters and hazardous legacies

Environmental factors influence migration in important ways, shaped by local economic, sociopolitical and cultural conditions. The root causes of environmental migration are often deeply intertwined and closely connected to sustainable development issues. Experts will present actual research data and share experience at the grass roots level, followed by a discussion on understanding the links between environmental change and migration, which disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81148641691?pwd=SWh2Q3NLS05IRTBWNnVTeWw2L2gxZz09

Meeting-ID: 811 4864 169

Kenncode: 478023

Panelists:

  • Roman Hoffmann is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis with affiliations at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Vienna and degrees in sociology and economics from the University of Munich. In his applied research, he studies the impacts of climate change on populations and resilience to environmental stress with a focus on climate adaptation and migration. He has served as a consultant for UNIDO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), and several non-governmental organizations.
  • Farai Maguwu is devoted to improving the governance of natural resources in Zimbabwe. Human Rights Watch honoured him with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. He was also honoured by Rapaport, a clean diamond campaigner, for protecting artisanal diamond miners in Zimbabwe‘s Marange region. In 2012 he founded the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (cnrgzim.org), which researches and documents human rights abuse and illicit trade in minerals. Farai is a PhD candidate at the Wits School of Governance. He holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies, and a Master in Peace and Governance from Africa University.

Moderator:  Sharon Fisher, President, Soroptimist International

The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development–Vienna: The focus of the committee is on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. It provides a forum for NGOs interested in discussing and analyzing the work of the UN intergovernmental bodies in the field of sustainable development, as well as the related activities of the Vienna-based UN organizations. It encourages new initiatives and seeks inputs into civil society’s contribution to the 2030 agenda of the United Nations.

Contact point: Ingeborg Geyer, e-mail: ingeb.geyer@gmail.com

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

International Day of Families: Family-Friendly Business Enterprises

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to invite you to a virtual high-level side event organized by the Partnership for Families (Brazil, Hungary, and Poland) on the occasion of the International Day of Families.  The event will take place on Tuesday, 18 May 2021, from 10 am – 11:30 am. New York time.

To attend the event, please register on the following link: https://forms.gle/zmKEqdnLNC1evp1dA. The connection details for the event will be sent by email to registered participants.

Background:

During the 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD58), which took place in New York in February 2020, the “Partnership for Families” initiative was launched with the aim of raising awareness and promoting families and family-friendly policies in the international agenda. As we celebrate the 2021 International Day of Families, the Partnership will hold a virtual panel to discuss policies to promote and support family-friendly business enterprises.

In the Side Event to be held on the occasion of the International Day of Families, the members of the Partnership will present a scientific and evidence-based approach on the implementation of policies to support family-friendly business enterprises, and how they can improve the well-being of families, which also translates into the general well-being of the society on a country level. Such practices also promote social and economic development, the enjoyment of human rights and support individuals and their families all over the world. Considering all systemic changes in the world of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect a comprehensive debate over this increasingly influential theme during the scheduled event.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

[Laudato Si Dialogue] Critical opportunities in 2021 to create change: call for an integral path

This webinar will highlight key political opportunities in 2021 to create change, with a focus on the UN climate conference (COP 26) and the UN biodiversity conference (COP 15) and the need for an integral approach. We will hear from the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and from indigenous and youth leaders on the key role these conferences must play in building back better after the COVID 19 pandemic, achieving global goals, restoring harmony between humanity and nature, and building a culture of care and justice.

Register here!

Participants:

  • Moderator: Christine Allen, CAFOD Director
  • Representative from the Dicastery, Fr Augusto Zampini
  • Representative from COICA (Amazonia), Gregorio Mirabal
  • Global Youth movement representative, Ditebogo Lebea, Climate Activist and Youth Programmes Associate at South African Institute of International Affairs

Watch the event here:

youtube.com/c/GlobalCatholicClimateMovement

facebook.com/GlobalCatholicClimateMovement

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

CSTD Special Event: Conversation with Great Minds

Twenty-Fourth Annual Session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN-CSTD)

Special Session: A Conversation with Great Minds

Scientific advances are being made in leaps and bounds. In the biotech field, the revolutionary CRISPR gene editing tool and the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, are revolutionizing healthcare and hold the promise of changing our world for the better, with the prospects of eradicating pathogens, treating degenerative conditions, and growing more food, to name a few. But important questions arise with such ground-breaking advances. These need to be answered to inform public policy making, especially for developing countries – where many of the challenges that these technologies promise to address are prevalent.

Moderator: Ms. Didi Akinyelure, award-winning journalist

Speakers:

  • Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Katalin Karikó, Senior Vice President, BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals

This year’s Conversation with Great Minds will address the following issues:

  • What support is needed for doing cutting-edge research?
  • How do we scale breakthrough technologies to those who need them most?
  • How can politicians be engaged to support research priorities of public interest?
  • How do we ensure that any risks of such revolutionary technologies are mitigated?
  • How did these remarkable women in science break the glass ceiling in their careers?

Join us via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86891619693?pwd=SG9BNG5zMmJDZS9kNEhjRW9sK0pIUT09

Meeting ID: 868 9161 9693 Passcode: Lj7PLwNe

The event will also be livestreamed on UNCTAD’s Facebook page: facebook.com/UNCTAD/live_videos

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

CRNGO Climate Working Group advocacy meeting

Good afternoon colleagues,
Eid Mubaak to those of you celebrating / recognizing Eid ul Fitr. As discussed on at the 3 May meeting, the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations’ Working Group on Climate will have an informal, 60-min meeting to discuss COP26 Advocacy this coming Monday, 17 May, at 10:00 am EDT.
The agenda will be simple:
  • Bring along your organization’s plans / ideas  for Advocacy to share (or if you don’t have a plan, come and learn and support others who do!)
PS – just FYI, here’s some info on the upcoming UN Decade of Ecological Restoration:

Even amidst the global pandemic and climate crisis challenges, the Good News is that it’s almost time for the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.  In an effort to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) has developed many resources to share on June 5, 2021, which is World Environment Day. (See more information here: worldenvironmentday.global)

To help us take action in this next decade, UNEP has published a practical guide to ecosystem restoration called the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook – it provides an introduction to a range of actions that can slow the degradation of ecosystems and foster their recovery. Designed for all interested individuals and stakeholder groups, this guide outlines three pathways to getting involved in ecosystem restoration during the UN Decade and beyond:

· Taking action such as starting or support an on-the-ground restoration project

· Making smart choices like buying only sustainable products and changing diets

· Raising your voice in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration

You can find more information, as well as a link to this 21-page guide, here:  https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/

So join in on restoring one or more of the eight key types of ecosystems – forests, farmlands, grassland and savannahs, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, towns and cities, peatlands, and mountains – and become part of #GenerationRestoration !

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.
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