COVID-19

Our Goal of World Community: The UN at 75

Our Goal of World Community: The UN at 75

This year, the United Nations is celebrating its 75th birthday, and the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the UN, in collaboration with the Canadian Unitarian Council, will be commemorating that anniversary with a special virtual event co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on Human Rights: “Our Goal of World Community: the United Nations at 75.” In the current moment of simultaneous global political, social, economic, health, and climate crises, continued involvement with and investment in international cooperation could not be more critical. During this event we’ll talk about how Unitarian Universalists can make our mark for global justice.

Featured speakers:

  • Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Rev. Alicia R. Forde, Director, Unitarian Universalist Association International Office
  • Hawa Diallo, United Nations Department of Global Communications
  • Chris King, United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs
  • Bruce Knotts, Director, Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations
  • Craig Mokhiber, Director, New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Bobbi Nassar, Co-chair, Nongovernmental Organization Committee on Human Rights at the United Nations
  • Vyda Ng, Executive Director, Canadian Unitarian Council
  • Gillian Sorenson, International Rescue Committee, formerly Assistant Secretary General at the UN, then with the UN Foundation

Register for the event here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com.

[UN Day event] Multilateralism of the Future: How Will Global Cooperation Evolve in the 21 Century?

Join us for this important Geneva-based conversation on Oct. 22 to honor UN Day 2020!

UNTV live broadcast: webtv.un.org/

UN75 and the Global Conversation:

  • Fabrizio Hochschild, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration
    of the UN 75 Anniversary

In-focus dialogue:

  • Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, former President of Ireland, and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General, United Nations Geneva

Moderators:

  • Alessandra Vellucci, Director at United Nations Information Service at Geneva
  • Francesco Pisano, Director, United Nations Geneva Library & Archives

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chars at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

Helping Children & Families Thrive in All Circumstances {in honor of the October 1989 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child}

Please join us [at the NGO Committee on the Family] as we discuss important aspects of family life, in honor of the October 1989 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Concept Note

In 1989, Member States adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark treaty intended to ensure the protection and wellbeing of children around the world. In the intervening time, nearly every country has ratified the treaty, signaling commitment to its core principles of the best interest of the child, non-discrimination, right to life, survival, and development, and the right of the child to be heard. The Convention also notes that “the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.”

Since the Convention’s adoption, children’s welfare has improved greatly. Child poverty and mortality before age five have halved since then, and school attendance has risen. Countries have directed more attention, resources, and legislation to reducing child vulnerability and respecting the rights of children. Yet challenges remain. Poverty, natural disasters, conflict, family separation, and now a global pandemic affect children’s wellbeing. Times of crisis place stress on families and put children at risk. How can we ensure that children, even those in vulnerable situations, thrive?

This month, we are pleased to host two expert speakers who will address children’s vulnerability and ways to ensure that children and their families are supported to thrive in all circumstances and despite challenges. Ms. Rima Salah has extensive experience in the protection of children and peace and conflict resolution, through several leadership roles in United Nations entities, including serving as served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in the Peacekeeping Mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and as a member of the UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Mr. Nuno Crisostomo has worked for child welfare with various non-governmental organizations, with the Portuguese government, and, from 2001, with UNICEF, most recently as an Emergency Specialist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We hope you will join us as we learn from these two distinguished experts on this important topic.

Please RSVP to attend at https://forms.gle/KajCCPdPak3XtWms7.

Meeting information will be sent out after the RSVP deadline to all registered attendees.

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

Safeguarding the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and Cultural Rights at a Time of Crisis

Safeguarding the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and Cultural Rights at a Time of Crisis

Featuring Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 Eastern Time

RSVP (include name and affiliation) to unforb@gmail.com – registered attendees will be emailed with link & password just prior to the event

Please join us for a conversation in which Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and Ms. Karima Bennoune will discuss their most recent reports to the UN General Assembly as well as several areas in which they have both engaged in their recent work as UN Special Procedures mandate holders. These include their efforts to encourage States to advance the rights to freedom of religion or belief and cultural rights in ways that are consistent with the principle of the universality of rights; their efforts to promote greater recognition of rights defenders in their respective fields; and their concern about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the essential rights they monitor.

This event is free and open to all. Advance registration is required. For more information about the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

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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 Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

{Webinar} Faith Speaks to UN75

You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar Faith Speaks to UN75, scheduled to take place onWednesday October 21, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.(New York time) and facilitated via Zoom.

Please register by October 20th via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu2uqD4uEtWStFEaMfMn1TeZJaAes3vZ.

Concept note

The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic with severe economic and social impacts creates increased challenges for the UN. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have a history of inspiring people to act and are often the first responders, and longest sustainers, in times of global crisis. Our communities and partners on the ground ensure that basic needs are met for all people, regardless of religion or belief, in the communities in which we live and serve. We reach out to communities that are often the most vulnerable and are left behind. Faith-based actors fill the service gaps usually without government assistance. FBOs continually engage in projects on the ground that specifically further the objectives of the UN Charter, implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as advance other UN mandates that promote the common good.

These long-term commitments to the UN Mission serve to accelerate our constructive partnership in negotiations and reviews of UN frameworks. We must ensure that throughout the UN processes and respective consultations at all levels, FBOs are not only present but also have the opportunity for meaningful engagement earned by protecting fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, worship, and expression.

The continued support and actions of faith-based organizations are essential as we forge ahead to “build back together.” These are also equally essential as we accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, especially for those left furthest behind. For, as the Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a guide for people of all faiths or beliefs. Our core values are largely aligned with the 2030 Agenda. FBOs are well placed to carry innovations and lessons learned across communities and national borders. The UN can benefit from the breadth and depth of faith-based organizations.

We all share a common objective: a future of dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. This is true regardless of what religion or belief one practices. We need to continue working together through partnerships and strengthened collaboration among faith-based organizations and civil society in general, national governments, the international community, the private sector and other actors.

The panelists and participants in this webinar will discuss the opportunities for creating the space to leverage such partnerships in common cause to build a better world despite the vast challenges we currently face. They will also explore the pathways to make the constructive role of the faith-based organizations in the UN processes more central and impactful, in the context of the UN75 discussion on the future of the UN. Some argue that global leadership in multilateralism is lacking “political will”. In this regard, religious values can inspire people to act, locally, nationally and internationally, at whatever position they are, and deliver results beyond any material consideration.

Panelists:

  • Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chief, Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, UN DESA
  • Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
  • Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM – Executive Co-Secretary, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Union of Superior Generals and International Union of Superior Generals
  • Rev. Protopresbyter Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Saphira Rameshfar, Representative to the UN, Baha’i International Community
  • Rana Yurtsever, Member of Advisory Board, Islamic Society of Midwest
  • Teresa Blumenstein, New York Coordinator, Justice Coalition of Religious,
  • Marvelous (Marvie) L. Misolas, MM, NGO Representative at the UN, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

Moderator: Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative at the UN, International Presentation Association

14 faith-based organizations/sponsors of the webinar: Baha’i International Community, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, International Presentation Association, Islamic Society of Midwest, Justice Coalition of Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UNANIMA International

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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 Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-New York, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Older People’s Experiences in Real Life and Data

HelpAge International (in partnership with DESAAARP, Ghana Statistical Services, UNDP, and WHO )

is co-organizing the session “Older People’s Experiences in Real Life and Data” on 21 October 2020 at 10:00AM (New York) at the United Nations World Data Forum.

This session will:

  • Explore information required to understand the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing and rights of older people
  • Examine systemic barriers to better data on older women and men
  • Identify actions members of the data community can jointly take to improve availability of data on older people for inclusive response and recovery

We look forward to your joining the event! Please register at: https://attendify.co/62RQIWV

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email vice-chair Dr. Seperson at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Interreligious Council (IRC) Development: Multi-Religious Humanitarian Support

Dear Esteemed Partners of Religions for Peace,

It is our honor to extend to you a special invitation to join in the fifth Religions for Peace Global Webinar on Interreligious Council (IRC) Development onWednesday 21 October 2020.

This forthcoming Global Webinar will focus on the theme of Multi-Religious Humanitarian Support, bringing together the World Council, Honorary Presidents, Trustees, National IRCs, Regional IRCs, Women of Faith Networks, and Interfaith Youth Networks from over 90 countries in six continents.

Register in advance for this meeting by Tuesday, 20 October 2020, with this link:  https://religionsforpeace.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrceirqz8uG9NVn9–1EFozTE_o-rOD4sL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Any questions or comments can be sent to ejackson@rfp.org. We look forward to our collaboration in further developing, equipping and strengthening our IRCs and the Religions for Peace global movement.

Read the IRC Development Strategy Paper here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

[5-year UN observance] World Statistics Day

At its 41st Session in February 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20 October 2010 as World Statistics Day (Decision 41/109).

Acknowledging that the production of reliable, timely statistics and indicators of countries’ progress is indispensable for informed policy decisions and monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly adopted on 3 June 2010 resolution 64/267, which officially designated 20 October 2010 as the first ever World Statistics Day under the general theme “Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics.”

In 2015, with resolution 96/282, the General Assembly decided to designate 20 October 2015 as the second World Statistics Day under the general theme “Better data, better lives,” as well as to celebrate World Statistics Day every five years on 20 October.

Register for the World Data Forum, Oct. 19 – 21, here: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/undataforum/index.html

Program & agenda for the Forum available here.

[UN observance] International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2020: “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”

To follow the worldwide commemoration,

  • A global interactive event in FRENCH and ENGLISH will be organized on Facebook Watch Party at 11 am New York /3pm UTC/5 pm Paris /6pm Nairobi.
  • For those not able to attend the Facebook Watch Party, the video of the global commemoration will be uploaded on ATD Fourth World’s Youtube channel on October 17, at midnight EST.

Register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org or facebook.com/NGOCSocD. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

[Member’s Meeting] NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will hold its regular monthly members’ meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST.

EST Zoom link: us02web.zoom.us/j/85866826804?pwd=MlA0TEJ2V3lYdHZNWmRCd3pXTjhqZz09

Next meeting: November 19, 2020

Agenda

1. Moment of Silence

2. Introductions

3. Rashmi Jaipal, Chair of the Health subcommittee of this NGO Committee, will introduce our speaker, Professor Dorlanda Thathing of the University of Jharkland, India

a. See Prof. Thathing’s bio below for more information

b. Topic – Indigenous Health Beliefs

4. Meeting minutes of Sept. 17, 2020

5. Executive Committee Report

6. Update on Climate March

7. Discussion on Activities around Indigenous Peoples Day

8. Election December 2020

Speaker Bio: Dr. Khathing is retired as a Professor of Physics at the North-Eastern Hill University. He is a nuclear scientist by training and his research had earlier been carried out at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay. His research group has been using the different nuclear facilities at Kolkata, Delhi, Trombay and Germany. He has authored over 70 research articles in refereed international journals of repute. He has successfully completed over twenty major research projects as the Principal Investigator. Eight PhD and three MPhil scholars have successfully been awarded degrees under his direct supervision.

Dr. Khathing is a life member of many national scientific societies ( Electron Microscope Society of India, National Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Society, Indian Assoc. of Analytical Scientists, Indian Physics Association, Indian Assoc of Physics Teachers, Indian Science Congress, Indian and International Society of Radiation Physics, etc) . He served on the Executive of many of them. He was also the founding Chairman of several regional Chapters of the national bodies. He is a Governing Board / Executive Council member in many central institutions including IIM Ranchi, Inter University Accelerator Centre New Delhi, Central Universities of Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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