digital divide

Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5)

The world’s Least Developed Countries are in a race to deliver the global development goals by 2030. This new decade needs to usher in a new global partnership to close the divide.

A major conference will be held in Doha in January 2022 to help build an ambitious new programme for action for LDCs and will be held at a critical time, as the final decade of action for the 2030 agenda gathers pace. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LDC5 will now be held from January 23 – 27, 2022.

For information about the preparatory process, past conferences, how to participate, and more, explore un.org/ldc5.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy [5th session]

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

Written contributions In order to facilitate the deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Friday, 4 June 2021, to allow participants to prepare themselves for the meeting.

Participation:

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.

Further information and contact details:

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

________________________________________________________________________________________

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

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

Education for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Our planet and its inhabitants are under increasing pressure: Human-induced climate change, limited and recklessly exploited resources, rising temperatures and sea levels, pollution and shrinking biodiversity are just a few of the issues governments and populations face around the world. The current Covid-19-pandemic amplifies existing weaknesses and challenges in our societies.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is crucial to empower people to have the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to meet these crises and other sustainable development challenges. The new ESD for 2030 framework provides us with an important opportunity to move away from the disastrous path of climate and other emergencies by transforming our societies through education.

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development will highlight the crucial role of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a key enabler for the successful achievement of all SDGs, the COVID rebuilding process, and to create momentum for strengthening ESD in policy and practice.

The Conference will take place as virtual event. Further information on participation and how to register for the Conference will be made available shortly on this website. Read the full concept note here.

All UNESCO Member States will be invited to attend the event and nominate a delegation including participants from diverse backgrounds.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, 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.

[Annual General Assembly] NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva

NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva

The NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva invites you to attend its virtual meeting on April 20, 2021. If you are a member of the Committee you will have received the invitation to the meeting, including the virtual link to the meeting.

If you are not yet a member of the Committee and are interested in its work and meetings, please email the Chair of the Committee, Silvia Perel-Levin at ngoageing@gmail.com.

Join via Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81479132014

Please go to the link only at the time of the meeting, 13:30 – 15:30 Geneva time.

Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/ageinggeneva
and Twitter: @NgoAgeing

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory Symposium

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our exchange with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will close the proceedings with a lecture on Saturday, May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

The symposium program can be found here.

Registration information can be found here. There will be one zoom link for the entire conference. (Panelists and chairs will also receive a special link for their sessions.)

Our primary sponsors are the Migration Lab of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Study Group for Language and the United Nations. We’d like to acknowledge additional support from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Esperantic Studies Foundation, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, and Birkbeck, University of London. At Princeton, generous support has also come from the Lewis Center, the Humanities Council, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Please direct questions to Sam Evans at same@princeton.edu

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is currently in the process of constituting an NGO Committee on Language and Languages and is calling for endorsement of the creation of this important committee. For information on this new committee, visit here. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Grassroots Community-Based Research Findings: “Asks” to Strengthen Social Protection, Digital & Financial Inclusion, and Climate Finance in a Post-COVID-19 Era

Grassroots Community-Based Research Findings: “Asks” to Strengthen Social Protection, Digital and Financial Inclusion, and Climate Finance in a Post-COVID-19 Era

Register HERE by 5:00 pm EST on April 14

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a global framework for financing sustainable development by aligning all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities. The Paris Agreement provides the roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience. Together they provide the most important global frameworks for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us the frameworks have not translated effectively to those who need it the most.

This side event presents a critical look at how adequate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement have been to meet their avowed goals at the grassroots level and effective compliance by Member States. It also presents the impact on Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance looking through the principle of “Leaving No One Behind.” Primary data that was gathered by field surveys conducted in 7 countries regarding Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance both before and during the pandemic forms the basis for policy “asks” to strengthen Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance. It will provide an opportunity to engage in “Hearing People’s Voices” impacted by the lack of adequate funding for social protection, financial inclusion and climate financing and reeling under the economic, social and health crisis caused by the pandemic.

Tentative Program Agenda:

  • Financing for Sustainable Development Office to share its perspective on status of delivering on commitments made under Addis Ababa Action Agenda including social protection, financial inclusion, and climate finance
  • Introduction to the Project & Presentation of Review Project Implementation & Survey Findings
  • Enumerator’s Experience from the field – 3 enumerators from 3 different countries / continents to share their experience during the survey
  • Access to Social Protection, Financial Inclusion, Climate Finance Pre- Covid 19 – Voices from the ground – 3 respondents from 3 different countries / continents to share their access to Social Protection, Digital and Financial Inclusion, Climate Finance before and during Covid
  • Response from Misean Cara
  • Responses from member states
  • Recommendations

Moderator: Anita Thomas – Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsoring organizations: NGO Committee on Financing for Development, Salesian Missions Inc., Misean Cara, Man Up Campaign, Congregation of Our Lady of the Good Shepherd, STARTNOO, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (Women First International Fund), Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maryknoll Sisters, United Religions Initiative, Salesians of Don Bosco, Ireland

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue

As part of the 11th Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, this official side-event entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue” is hosted by the International Longevity Centre Canada with the support of our funders, the Canadian Medical Association, Home Instead and our partner, the International Federation of Ageing, with the support of UN DESA, UN OHCHR and the Government of Canada.

This important event unites UN officials and global leaders in the fields of ageing and beyond to address the need for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People. Register here!

This webinar will feature interventions from global leaders of the highest calibre, including:

  • The. Hon. Patricia Bovey, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Dr. Ann Collins, President of the Canadian Medical Association
  • H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco to the United Nations
  • Dr. Alexandre Kalache, President of the International Longevity Centre Brazil
  • Dr. Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • H. E. Mr. Bob Rae, Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations
  • H.E. Ms. Maria del Carmen Squeff, Ambassador of Argentina to the United Nations

This event is free of charge and will be recorded and broadcast live on UN WebTV (webtv.un.org) and IFA’s Facebook channel (facebook.com/intfedageing).

Live interpretation will be available in French, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Access to Justice at the Intersection of Disability and Older Age: A Moderated Discussion

Access to Justice at the Intersection of Disability and Older Age

This event includes a dynamic high-level moderated discussion between two UN experts, the UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, Ms. Claudia Mahler, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Gerard Quinn. Time will also be devoted to Q & A with registrants on Zoom.

Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law: a guarantee for people to exercise their rights, and hold perpetrators and decision-makers accountable. However, both older persons with or without disabilities, and persons with disabilities regardless of their age, are disproportionately impacted by abuses to their right to access to justice.

Register here!

Virtual Format Accessibility: The International Disability Alliance will support accessibility and inclusion of participants by providing International Sign (IS) and communication access real-time translation (CART).

Contact: Erin Hardin ehardin@ida-secretariat.org

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than 700 million young people. About 85 million come from marginalized backgrounds, living in extreme poverty, having little to no access to education, employment, health care, and social protection, and facing barriers to meaningful opportunities to engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Disconnected from their peers and pushed to the margins, youth took a serious hit due to the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face significant disruptions and changes on multiple fronts- at home, in their community, and in the economy. They will continue to feel the weight of this crisis for a long time.

The Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) recognizes the immense value of youth as equal partners in promoting transformative youth and adult work and strong lifelong learning systems and creating a better world. ASPBAE is well-positioned to serve as a source of support for youth and as a platform through which their voices and needs can be conveyed and amplified, even and especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Strengthening the voice and agency of youth in education policies and processes has been a priority of ASPBAE and is a huge part of its work and advocacies.

It is against this backdrop that ASPBAE invites you to its virtual side event:

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

Register here!

This side event will bring together youth and youth organizations, national and local governments officials, international organizations, civil society organizations, parents’ and teachers’ associations to deepen understanding of the new and challenging realities that marginalized youth are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the different aspects of their lives. The event specifically aims to:

✱ Share stories and recommendations of marginalized youth on how to place education, decent work, and social protection at the centre of the agenda towards recovery and resilience

✱ Discuss measures that governments, decision-makers, and other relevant stakeholders can take to finance and prioritize the recommendations of youth

✱ Appraise the VNRs of 12 countries in the region through an adult learning and education (ALE) lens looking into the integration of youth and adult learning and education in the implementation of the SDGs

✱ Discuss the financing of education based on the recommendations from the youth-led action research

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

1 2 3 5