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Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

November 2009 – in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, UN General Assembly declares 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day.” Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

Last year, coinciding with the date of the Nelson Mandela International Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. In his speech, “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A New Social Contract for a New Era,” the Secretary-General takes aim at the various layers of inequality that are being exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about Nelson Mandela and view UN materials on his life and message, check out nelsonmandela.org/content/page/annual-lecture or un.org/en/events/mandeladay.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

World Drug Report 2021: Africa & the Americas

The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) together with the UNODC Civil Society Unit will be holding two webinars to present and discuss the World Drug Report 2021, which was launched on 25th June. The yearly publication is the most comprehensive source of facts and knowledge on drugs and the world drug market, sourced straight from evidence-based studies and data compiled by UNODC experts. The participants of the webinars will learn about the newest trends, both global and regional. This webinar will be held on 15th July 2021 (16:00-17:30, CEST, Vienna) and will focus on Africa and the Americas.

Register here: https://bit.ly/3ipmlHf

Interpretation in French and Spanish will be available. The full agenda can be viewed on the VNGOC website.

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

Financing a sustainable recovery: the role of debt-relief instruments

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us for an HLPF Side Event on “Financing a sustainable recovery: The role of debt-relief instruments.”

This virtual side event, which is part of the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative, is jointly organized by UN DESA and UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA), with participation of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the IMF.

The event brings together UN and other international experts to present and explore efforts to develop instruments for debt relief and restore fiscal space, for countries’ COVID response, climate action and the SDGs. The session aims to strengthen international and regional discourse on debt relief, especially in relation to climate change and the upcoming COP26.

The side event will take place on Thursday, 15 July 2021 (7:30 am – 9:00 am, New York/EDT) on WebEx.

Click here to register for the event and for more information, including the full concept note.

We welcome the participation of all stakeholders. You are most welcome to share this invitation with your networks.

Kind regards,

Navid Hanif

Director, Financing for Sustainable Development Office
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.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 Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org

World Drug Report with focus on Asia & Europe

Webinar on the World Drug Report with focus on Asia and Europe

The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) together with the UNODC Civil Society Unit will be holding two webinars to present and discuss the World Drug Report 2021, which was launched on 25th June. The yearly publication is the most comprehensive source of facts and knowledge on drugs and the world drug market, sourced straight from evidence-based studies and data compiled by UNODC experts. The participants of the webinars will learn about the newest trends, both global and regional. The first webinar will be held on 13th July 2021 (10:00-11:30, CEST, Vienna) and will comprise welcome remarks from VNGOC and UNODC, a formal presentation of the World Drug Report 2021 with a respective focus on the different regions by UNODC experts, two civil society panelists, and an open question and answer session. 

Register here:https://bit.ly/3pyC5t1

Interpretation in Russian and French will be available. The full agenda can be viewed on the VNGOC website.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org.

UN HRC47 side event: National security and civic space in Asia

Across Asia, there has been a growing trend of using national security and counter-terrorism legislation to curb the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

In this virtual side event to the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council organized by Civicus, Franciscans International, and FORUM-ASIA, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay will join human rights experts from India, Indonesia, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association Clément Voule in examining the impact of counter-terrorism legislation on civic space and in making recommendations on human rights protection to the United Nations Human Rights Council, States, and civil society.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org.

Virtual launch event for Version 3 of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs has the pleasure to invite you to attend the Virtual Launch Event for Version 3 of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines on Thursday, 8 July from 10 AM – 12 PM (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (NY Time).

Register here!

Background info:

The Virtual Launch will feature presentations by technical and policy experts in the field of ammunition management, providing an overview of the key changes to the IATG and the rationale behind them. Experts will also reflect on the importance of the IATG Version 3 in responding to the increasing risk of explosive events at ammunition sites, resulting in grave humanitarian consequences. Over the past 2 years, the IATG have undergone a comprehensive technical review by the UN SaferGuard Technical Review Board. IATG Version 3 comprises 12 thematic series (or volumes), sub-divided into 41 individual modules. In addition to technical updates to existing modules, Version 3 includes two new modules, namely on organizational capabilities (module 01.35) and on airfields (module 8.20).

The International Ammunition Technical Guidelines First developed in 2011 pursuant to the request contained in General Assembly resolution 63/61, the IATG respond to a growing concern at the international level over explosive events at munition sites and the diversion of ammunition from poorly managed and unsecured stockpiles to the illicit market. The IATG are voluntary, practical and technical guidelines that serve as a foundation and reference framework for national authorities to improve the safety, security and effectiveness of their ammunition management policies and practices.

The UN SaferGuard Programme, managed by the Office for Disarmament affairs, functions as the caretaker of the IATG, allowing for holistic oversight and dissemination of the Guidelines and its supporting toolkit. In doing so, it is supported by a Technical Review Board (TRB) and the Strategic Coordination Group. Over the past two years, the TRB has conducted an extensive review of the IATG, resulting in its endorsement of Version 3 of the Guidelines as current, comprehensive and of the highest standards.

For more information, please contact Ingmar Snabilie at ingmar.snabilie@un.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021.

Register here: unctad.org/meeting/intergovernmental-group-experts-consumer-protection-law-and-policy-fifth-session

The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

  • a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;
  • b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;
  • c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;
  • d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;
  • e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;
  • f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;
  • h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;
  • i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;
  • j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers.

Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations.

Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting. For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org.

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

Open Global Civil Society Consultation on IMRF

First Open Global Civil Society Consultation on the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF)

To prepare for collective civil society self-organizing towards the IMRF, we will review initial civil society ideas, expectations and strategies for our engagement in the IMRF during the consultation. These inputs will then be presented to Member States in a series of dialogues over the next 12 months.

All civil society organizations are invited to join us for this global civil society consultation on the IMRF. Register here! Consultation co-facilitators: Alma Maquitico (NNIRR), Apolinar Tolentino (BWI/CGU), Cecilie Kern (NGO CoM), Marta Verani (MGCY)

Agenda

A. Opening Plenary: Setting the Stage 

i. Technical intro

ii. Welcome and introduction to the agenda

iii. Context and road to IMRF, AC survey results, IMRF modalities for civil society etc.

iv. Summary reports on GCM implementation (reports from RMRFs from regional networks) – what has been accomplished, what has not?

  • i. Africa
  • ii. Arab States
  • iii. Asia-Pacific
  • iv. Europe and North America
  • v. Latin America and Caribbean

B. Breakout discussions on civil society priorities in GCM implementation, and IMRF modalities

Intro: breakout goals and questions, and Zoom rooms mechanics

2 i. Discussion on civil society benchmarks for GCM implementation (For this discussion, you may choose from one of these following thematic priorities to discuss benchmarks and progress, or use any other themes you wish to highlight…)

  • Labor Migration and a New Social Contract
  • Racism, Ethnicity and Discrimination
  • Detentions and Returns
  • Regular Pathways and Irregular Migration
  • Climate Change
  • Other

a. What benchmarks should be used to measure GCM implementation?

b. What would GCM progress look like in a national/regional context? ii.

Discussion on IMRF modalities 

  • a. Based on the current IMRF modalities for civil society participation, do you see any challenges that you and your members will face to participate fully in the IMRF?
  • b. How do you think the official civil society rapporteur for the IMRF should be selected?

C. Plenary discussion on main points

  • i. Short reports by group rapporteurs
  • ii. Summary of the discussions and identifying key inputs to present to Member States

D. Closing remarks and next steps

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For 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

Religious Actors: Ally or Threat for Achieving Gender Equality? 

You are warmly invited to a pre-Event to Generation Equality Forum and the High Level Political Forum

Religious Actors: Ally or Threat for Achieving Gender Equality? 

 Register via Eventbrite

Program:

  • Opening remarks: Khushwant Singh, Head of Secretariat, PaRD
  • Launching new report: Dr. Nora Khalaf-Elledge, Post-Doc Fellow, Joint Learning Initiative

Looking Back to Look Forward: The Role of Religious Actors since the Beijing Declaration

  • Zainah Anwar, Executive Director, Musawah
  • Karin Ericsson, Programme Specialist Gender Equality, Sida
  • Umyra Ahmad, Advancing Universal Rights and Justice Coordinator, AWID
  • Dr. Nontando Hadebe, International Coordinator, Side by Side

Moderator: Shahin Ashraf MBE, Head of Global Advocacy, Islamic Relief Worldwide

Launching a new report co-published by ACT Alliance, Act Church of Sweden, Side by Side, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith Communities, SVRI, Goldsmiths and PaRD. With live illustrator and Q&A. 

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention has been ratified by 162 countries.

Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persist in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual; and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.

The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org/about.

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