democracy

Panel Discussion on Deepening Inequalities Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and their Implications for the Realization of Human Rights

Join us at HRC48 for this half-day panel discussion on 28 September from 15:00 to 17:00 CET.

Background documents, the concept note and full agenda are available here: ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Panel_Discussion_Inequalities_COVID19.aspx

Date and venue:

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 3 to 5 p.m. Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva and online platform (Zoom)

To be webcast live and archived at http://webtv.un.org

Objectives:

As States work to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will address inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and their implications for the realization of human rights. This discussion aims to identify ways to alleviate inequality within and among States by sharing best practices, solutions to challenges and lessons learned, including in the context of integrated approaches to the promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – paying particular attention to Goal 10 on reducing inequality. The meeting will also address the role of greater international cooperation in further reducing inequalities within and among States.

The objectives are:

  • To highlight and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the goal to reduce inequality, with a particular emphasis on the requirement of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health to eliminate vaccine inequality. Recognition that no one is safe until everyone is safe will also be looked at from a human rights perspective as will the necessity of vaccine equality in promoting and protecting all human rights;
  • To identify the role of the promotion and protection of human rights and technical cooperation in setting priorities and addressing gaps in the global vaccine roll out. The focus will be on the importance of the human rights approach in addition to the moral and ethical case;
  • To understand how to better use the United Nations human rights mechanisms to advance vaccine equality as a necessary step in the promotion and protection of all human rights and how to provide technical cooperation in this regard;
  • To address how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the digital divide – using education to illustrate how the divide detrimentally affects the realisation of human rights – and to engage in a constructive dialogue among States and other stakeholders about sharing good practices and experience with regard to overcoming the digital divide and ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all;
  • To identify concrete steps for building back better, including by reversing the impact of austerity and economic inequalities and realising a human rights-based economy.

Organized by:

Development Economic Social issues Branch
Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information. Considering that several civil society organizations and government bodies in the world have adopted and currently celebrate this observance, the UN General Assembly also adopted 28 September 2019 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs – the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme – provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.

Access to information

Informed citizens can make informed decisions, for instance, when going to the polls. Only when citizens know how they are governed, can they hold their governments accountable for their decisions and actions. Information is power. Therefore, universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. This right is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. The media plays a crucial role in informing the public about issues of interest, but it relies on the ability to seek and receive information, too. Hence, the right to universal access to information is also bound up with the right to freedom of the press.

To learn more about why and how the UN commemorates this day, please visit un.org/en/observances/information-access-day.

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

From Words to Action: The UN Secretary General’s “Our Common Agenda” Report

The UN Secretary-General’s much anticipated “Our Common Agenda” report will be presented to the General Assembly on Friday, September 10 2021 at 10am EDT.

Watch live on UN webTV at 10:00 am EDT here: media.un.org/en/webtv

The report follows the UN75 Declaration, adopted September 21 2020, when member states commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations promised to fulfill 12 key commitments across the global agenda and mandated the Secretary-General “to report back with recommendations to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges.”

Reflecting the importance of the Our Common Agenda report, the Secretary-General’s office initiated preparations earlier this year that included consultations with Member States, youth representatives, UN officials, academic experts and civil society. The report on the “We the Peoples” online consultations with civil society, which generated 523 proposals for a stronger UN from 1,759 participants from 147 countries, will also be released September 10.

In a letter sent to UN missions in August, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Coalition for the UN We Need (C4UN) and Danilo Türk, President of the Club de Madrid called on world leaders at the upcoming General Assembly High-level segment to reinforce the necessity of collective action to strengthen multilateralism.

According to Espinosa, “We recognize that responding to the challenges and threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the overriding priority for governments around the world. But the pandemic also reinforces the social solidarity and awareness of humanity’s shared need to strengthen global cooperation.”

Upcoming C4UN communications will provide additional information and analysis on the Common Agenda report as well as events in September and October where the reports recommendations will be discussed in greater detail. Read the Regional Consultations report here.

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CoNGO Notes: 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. 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Protect Education for Sustainable Peace

Dear friends,

We cordially invite you to attend the High-level virtual event to mark the International Day to Protect Education from Attack under the theme “Protect Education for Sustainable Development” to be held on September 9, 2021 at from 8:30am to 10:30am (ET).

Access the full program, speaker biographies, and live stream here: sep9.educationaboveall.org/events/detail/1020408182850968762/talk/1953456246373491363

The event will focus on the critical issue of monitoring, reporting and data, and discuss how global leaders, local communities and groups, governmental bodies, academia, and media can engage fully and systematically in shaping advocacy, prevention and protection of education from attack. Discussions will also contribute to the global debate around the important need to build back education as part of countries’ COVID-19 recovery efforts, making education systems more responsive and resilient.

With kind regards,

UNESCO Liaison Office in New York

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CoNGO Notes: 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 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. – China Relations

The U.S. and China

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations

The prophetic historian Howard Zinn taught that if we don’t know our history, we can’t be free.  Without that knowledge, he warned, whenever a president comes on TV and says that we are in danger from here or there, we lack the framework needed to critically judge its truth.  Today the near unanimous Washington, media, and even scholarly and expert consensus is that China poses a dire threat to democracy and freedom around the world, and that our freedom requires defend them by challenging and containing China militarily, economically, technologically, diplomatically, and politically.  Provocative military operations near Taiwan or in the South China Sea carry the danger of an accident or miscalculation escalating to war, even a nuclear war.  Demonization of China also drives anti-Asian racism and violence across the United States, which must immediately be ended.

Understanding Chinese history and the history of U.S.-China relations provides us what we need to advocate for mutually beneficial policies and diplomacy, bringing the world back from the brink and opening the way for collaborations to address the existential threat of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. Professors Mark Seldon and Zhiqun Zhu are uniquely qualified to share the essential histories of China and of U.S.–Chinese cooperation and competition.

Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModOmorz4rHtwRKZ9w0MwVaDenIP6Hy8GI

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

Roundtable on the United Nations’ Role with regards to the Dangers of Anocratic States

This roundtable, co-hosted by the Center on Governance through Human Rights and the Stimson Center, will discuss how and why anocratic states have become the “new normal.” Studies and research on democracy often focuses on two political regimes: democracy and autocracy. Register here!

Chair

  • Gabriel Amvane, Vice President and Director, French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People (OFPRA)

Participants

  • Anja Mihr, Program Director, Center on Governance through Human Rights
  • Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • John-Mark Iyi, Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape
  • Kseniya Kizilova, Head of Secretariat, World Values Survey Association
  • James Kim, Research Fellow, Asan Institute for Policy Studies
  • Daisaku Higashi, Professor, Center for Global Education and Discovery, Sophia University

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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 Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slaverythe Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.

Join us for the 5th installment of this Live Discussion Series:

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public.

In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.

Register here: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R2NKoD1CR2aIVHXygJKYVA

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

A gathering to foster the basic principles of a new approach for a fairer and more inclusive Digital Society

Grand Conversation: 

A gathering to foster the basic principles of a new approach for a fairer and more inclusive Digital Society

21 June 2021, Monday

Opening 6:00 AM PDT | 9:00 AM EDT | 2:00 PM WEST | 3:00 PM CEST | 4:00 PM EAT

Watch live on facebook.com/occam.milano.

This year 2021 is turning out to be rich in mutations. People are taking back their hopes and activities after the dark months of the Covid confinement. The great rendezvous of G7, G20 and COP26 are proving to be rich in contents and looks promising in terms of a step towards new global assets. The “Next Generation EU” Plan aims at reinforcing not only the new generation, but also at reforming countries in a more just and efficient way. The wind of digitalization blows strong and gives the feeling of a new world in gestation. All of us understand that we can be the protagonists: this is the reason for this Grand Conversation and the invitation to take part to actively discuss how to build the future rather than being a passive audience

21 June 2021

Live on facebook.com/occam.milano

This year 2021 is turning out to be rich in mutations. People are taking back their hopes and activities after the dark
months of the Covid confinement. The great rendez-vous of G7, G20 and COP26 are proving to be rich in contents and
looks promising in terms of a step towards new global assets. The “Next Generation EU” Plan aims at reinforcing not only
the new generation, but also at reforming countries in a more just and efficient way.
The wind of digitalization blows strong and gives the feeling of a new world in gestation. All of us understand that we can
be the protagonists: this is the reason for this Grand Conversation and the invitation to take part to actively discuss how to
build the future rather than being a passive audience.

Preliminary Agenda

Opening 6:00 AM PDT 9:00 AM EDT 2:00 PM WEST 3:00 PM CEST 4:00 PM EAT
Greetings: Daniela Bas, Director, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Division for Inclusive Social Development, USA
Maurizio Molinari, Director, European Parliament Office in Milan, Italy
General introduction: Pierpaolo Saporito, President, OCCAM and Infopoverty Programme, Italy

Session 1: Policies and Strategies Fostering the Next Digital Society

We are living in a moment of gestation towards new forms of society that are arising all over the world in different shapes, operated by digital
innovations that are now part of the common practices of life, work and governance. They are growing up in their global assets to give life to the Next Digital Society.

Daniela Rondinelli, Member of the European Parliament, Commission on Employment and Social Affairs, Belgium
Uma Rani, Senior Economist, International Labour Organization (UN-ILO), Switzerland
George Hara, Special Advisor, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister of Japan
Liberato C. Bautista, President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), USA

Session 2: The New Post-Covid Paradigm

The Covid-19 emergency is still pressing, imposing a hard change of behaviour to the society. After the pandemic, other priorities will emerge in the field of health security and in the expansion of human relationships, thanks to the increased digital opportunities. The whole world is now connected, and the ancient North-South gap can be easily overcome, changing the paradigm from charity and support, to transferring knowledge and competences. Africa woke up and started producing many innovations adaptable to its context without the influence of big, for-profit multinational enterprises. This should be a further motivation to renew win-win collaborations. How can emerging countries enter the digital development process? How to exploit human and material resources that are pivotal for the industrial development?Tony Ojobo,

President, African ICT Foundation, Nigeria
Nicolas Boissez, Head of Communication and External Relations, Fondation Hirondelle, Switzerland
Sofia Khadiri, Innovation Manager, LDV20 – Sparkasse, Italy
Andrea Cuomo, President Sacertis Knowledge, IW Bank, Switzerland

Session 3: e-Services for Development

The flow of change is exposed to different accelerations: enterprises are putting in place codes of conduct; governments are understanding how to use them, especially in the post-pandemic phase; consumers are still very much depending on the global supply. Much space can and must be covered by digital innovations to tackle the needs of consumers and the society as a whole, in fields such as health, education, jobs, agriculture, creative production. The aim is to ensure an e-welfare able to grant a dignified lifestyle and access to jobs for every individual.

Food Security and Agriculture
Jawoo Koo, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
Giulia Bartezzaghi, Director, Food Sustainability Observatory – Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Giovanna Seddaiu, Project Coordinator, EWA-BELT EU Horizon2020 Project, Italy

Telemedicine
Francesco Sicurello, President, International Institute of Telemedicine, Italy
Claudio Azzolini, Professor Emeritus, University of Insubria, Italy
Fabrizio Conicella, General Manager, OpenZone, Italy
Hassan Ghazal, Founder and President, Moroccan Society for Telemedicine and e-Health, Morocco

Education

Toky Ravoavy, NGO Ligne Verte, Madagascar
David Neely, President, Affecting Change International, USA
Michael Mathews, Vice-President for Innovation and Technology, Oral Roberts University, USA

Session 4: How the Digital Communication can Drive the Process to Envisage a New, Better Digital Society

Cinema always anticipated new, visionary societies: what we live now was already done in films. The audio-visual language became universal, a new koiné, and everyone can be a producer, diffuser and consumer. Billions of movies are uploaded every day on the platforms, and the virtual world creates the reality. How to empower this collective creativity towards trends able to register and feed new aspirations of young people, in open dimensions that even democracy can benefit of?

Melita Zajc, Associate Professor of Media Communication, AMEU ISH Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jasmina Bojic, Founder and Director, UN Association Film Festival, USA
Firdaus Kharas, Founder, Chocolate Moose Media, USA
Giacomo Mazzone, Secretary-General, Eurovisioni, Italy

Roundtable: New Approaches to Build the Next Digital Society

The ancient régime is dying, and we need to find new perspectives, opening to younger generations to allow the growth of a world based on their vision. Traditional, hierarchical systems based on archaic powers are inconsistent with the new digital nature. This new DNA shall be made explicit and become the instrument for the development of the new SDG-inspired society, where software and hardware merge for the transformation of ideas into things and for the creation of correct actions enhanced by artificial yet intimately human intelligences.Participants to the Conversation, plus:

Heidi Tworek, Senior Fellow, Center for International Governance Innovation, USA
Nicol Turner-Lee, Senior Fellow, Brookings, USA
Giuseppe Enne, Founder and Scientific Advisor, Desertification Research Centre, Italy

Conclusion 10:15 AM PDT | 1:15 PM EDT | 6:15 PM WEST | 7:15 PM CEST | 8:15 PM EAT

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.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 Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

International Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

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