family

World Down Syndrome Day

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra partial (or whole) copy of chromosome 21. It is not yet know why this syndrome occurs, but Down syndrome has always been a part of the human condition. It exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics and health.

Adequate access to health care, to early intervention programmes, and to inclusive education, as well as appropriate research, are vital to the growth and development of the individual.

In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year. In order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome, the General Assembly invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner.

To learn more about Down Syndrome Day and how to participate in 2021’s events, please visit worlddownsyndromeday.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

International Day of Happiness

The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country which recognized the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

To learn more and stay apprised of planned events, please visit un.org/en/observances/happiness-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Informal Meeting of the GA Plenary on Syria with President of the GA

Dear Civil Society Partners,

The UN Human Rights Office in NY wishes to inform you about an upcoming informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters. The meeting will allow a high-level panel to brief on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic pursuant to A/RES/74/169. The meeting will be open and webcast on UN Web TV with interpretation in all official languages.

Further information, including with respect to the modalities for interested civil society representatives to submit questions to the high-level panel, is included in the correspondence below from the President of the General Assembly.

Sincerely,

UN Human Rights NY

 

Excellency,

I have the honour to inform you that I will convene an informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters. The meeting will allow a high-level panel to brief the General Assembly pursuant to A/RES/74/169, operative paragraph 37, in which the General Assembly,

“Urgently request[ed] the convening of a high-level panel discussion, funded by voluntary contributions, led by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, the Commission of Inquiry and Syrian civil society to brief the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and encourages United Nations monitoring and reporting to help this panel to further document violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, to provide recommendations to facilitate improvements in civilian protection and accountability measures, and to feature witness testimony of Syrian human rights defenders and other Syrian voices through appropriate and safe means”.

In addition to briefing on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic the panel will focus on:

(i) violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, in particular arbitrary detention, torture, the missing and disappeared, with a focus on women, peace and security; and,

(ii) recommendations to facilitate improvements in civilian protection and accountability measures.

The high-level panel will be moderated by Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant SecretaryGeneral for Human Rights and Head, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York. Ms. Brands Kehris will also present OHCHR’s role in documentation, accountability, and engagement with key counterparts including the United Nations, humanitarian partners and accountability mechanisms such as the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI), the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), the Syrian Government, and civil society. The high-level panel will be comprised of the following six panelists from the COI and civil society:

  • Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair, COI
  • Karen Koning AbuZayd, Commissioner, COI
  • Hanny Megally, Commissioner, COI
  • Mazen Darwish, President, Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression;
  • Sabah Hallaq, Syrian League for Citizenship
  • Wafa Moustafa, Families for Freedom.

The meeting will be open and webcast on UN Web TV with interpretation in all official languages. Each panelist will have up to 7 minutes to deliver his/her remarks. The floor will then be open for up to 3-minute interventions and/or questions. Please note that there will be no pre-established list of speakers for this meeting. For planning purposes only, delegations are encouraged to register their interest to speak by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, 26 February 2021 via e-mail to Mr. Igor Bondiuk (igor.bondiuk@un.org), Human Rights Adviser, copying Ms. Hila Wesa (wesa@un.org), Team Leader for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

Civil society representatives interested in submitting questions to the high-level panel are requested to do so by 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, 24 February 2021, via e-email to Ms. Giorgia Passarelli (passarellig@un.org), Human Rights Officer at OHCHR. The moderator will select some of the questions for the panelists to answer during the discussion.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Volkan BOZKIR

View this meeting via UN Web TV here on March 2, and read the full schedule of General Assembly Plenary and Related Meetings 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Rare Disease Day 2021

Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

The campaign targets primarily the general public and also seeks to raise awareness amongst policy makers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

Explore and participate in events happening around the world in honor of Rare Disease Day here!

The official Rare Disease Day 2021 video is available in 36 languages, kicking off the international patient-led movement that puts rare diseases in the spotlight. 6 continents, 6 portraits, 6 heroes, 6 lives. The official Rare Disease Day video shines a light on the global and wide community of 300 million people and over 6000 rare diseases.

What are Rare Diseases?

There are over 300 million people living with one or more of over 6,000 identified rare diseases around the world1, each supported by family, friends and a team of carers that make up the rare disease community.

Each rare disease may only affect a handful of people, scattered around the world, but taken together the number of people directly affected is equivalent to the population of the world’s third largest country.

Rare diseases currently affect 3.5% – 5.9% of the worldwide population.

72% of rare diseases are genetic whilst others are the result of infections (bacterial or viral), allergies and environmental causes, or are degenerative and proliferative. 70% of those genetic rare diseases start in childhood. A disease defined as rare in Europe when it affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 people.

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

Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing

The NGO Committee on the Family New York invites you to attend “Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing” on Thursday, February 25th, 1pm-2pm EST.

Concept note/background info:

Families around the world strive to provide children with a safe and nurturing home environment to empower their children to thrive. However, many families experience unexpected difficulties and trauma that can negatively influence this home environment. Parents, families, and communities can work to prevent, protect, and heal from these adverse events.

Speakers will present insights from their practical experiences working with parents and families to promote a healthy environment for children to thrive.

Prevent and ProtectSilvia Mazzarelli, Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and Arigatou International will look specifically at how parents can keep children safe online and prevent any access to harmful material and persons.

Heal – In the unfortunate event of early childhood trauma, Dr. Amanda Costello from the University of Delaware will discuss the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) home-visiting parenting program that was developed by Dr. Mary Dozier. This evidence-based program helps caregivers to develop strong relationships with their children through positive feedback on parenting strategies. The program is currently offered in 19 US states and 8 countries.

Following this, there will be an opportunity for questions.

Please RSVP by Feb. 24th at 6pm EST to attend at https://forms.gle/bDVdyoPtM2hoPB5z7.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org

Youth Activist Space: Youth Voices in the MENA Region Under Crisis

In this installation of NGO CSW/NY’s Youth Preparation Series leading up to CSW65, young activists from the Middle East and North Africa region take the mic to share their views on the effects of a multitude of crises on the feminist movements in the region.

Register here!

About the series:

To prepare young people and youth gender equality activists for CSW65, the NGO CSW/NY Youth Leaders & Young Professionals are hosting an event series that will feature virtual spaces for youth to share their voices, experiences, and visions, as well as different trainings and skills workshops.

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

[CSocD59 Side Event] The Role of Digital Technologies to Stop Online Sexual Exploitation of Children

59th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development Virtual Side Event February 15, 2021 8:30AM EST – please register by February 13!

Priority Theme “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”

Event Title: The role of digital technologies to stop online sexual exploitation of children

Objectives:

1. To protect our youth from cyber exploitation, especially livestreamed sexual abuse.

2. To call on Member States to prioritize setting-up legally binding internet governance that will ensure respect of human rights, child protection, and equality for all.

3. To share creative and systemic good practices from the government, private technology industries and different stakeholders.

Speakers:

  • H.E. Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative, Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN
  • Ambassador Per-Anders Sunesson, Deputy Director-General- Swedish Ministry for Health and Social Affairs, Former Ambassador at Large for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Swedish MFF
  • Abbie Gillgan, Policy Manager, Tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA), United Kingdom Home Office Role of Digital Technologies: Stop Online Exploitation of Children
  • Richard Pursey, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, SafeToNet Jaqueline Beauchere Global Digital Safety Advocate, Microsoft
  • Madeline and Jamie Gall, Youth Advocates
  • Marvie L. Misolas, MM Winifred Doherty, RGS, & Fred Sullivan, Co-Moderators

Register here!

Contact mmisolas@mksisters.org with questions.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

[IFFD Virtual Briefing] Parenting in the Digital Age: Policymaker Perspective

IFFD virtual briefing on “Parenting in the Digital Age” through a policymaker perspective

Co-organized by UN-DESA Division for Inclusive Social Development, with the participation of Center for Educational Research and Innovation – OECD, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Common Sense Media

Background Note

The global pandemic crisis has shown the great value of new technologies, especially for families. New technologies have enabled many people to continue working at home. They have helped many teachers and parents to continue to provide an education for their children when the schools closed. They have provided ways to stay connected with friends and relatives. They have been a way to reach out for help getting food and medicines. They have been a much-needed source of entertainment.

At the same time, new technologies have shown a darker side. Parents around the world are concerned about what impact the Internet is having on their children’s lives. Their concern is not so much about if they are spending too long online but more about how their online interactions are impacting on their health, happiness and wellbeing. They also worry about them being cyber-bullied, what their kids’ digital legacy will be and if they are safe online.

The event will focus on how policymakers can help parents and families to develop character and cyber-wisdom in their children. At the same time, it will spur parents’ proactivity in seeking to cultivate values, qualities and skills in their children.

Discussion Points

1. What is access and opportunities to digital technologies among different families? Digital opportunities and access for all (Curitiba Manifesto)
2. How does the digital gap impact the suitability and efficiency of parenting? (Venice Declaration)
3. How can policymakers, industry leaders and global media partners support parents in building a digital world that works better for every child, family and community? (Common Sense Media)

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

[UN Observance] International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Each year on February 6, the United Nations Commemorates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Over 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM. In 2019, an estimated 4.1 million girls were at risk of being cut. In 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and data are available, an estimated 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 unless concerted and accelerated action is taken.

To learn more about UNFPA & UNICEF’s Joint Programme to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation, currently in Phase III, click here.

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

[Civil Society Briefing] “Childhood After Atrocity Crimes: Hope for Peace, Dignity and Equality”

Civil Society Briefing “Childhood after Atrocity Crimes: Hope for Peace, Dignity and Equality”

Register here: bit.ly/39Kzaau

Experts examine the approaches taken to support children who survived the Holocaust and consider how these approaches contributed to models adopted for contemporary practice for working with young people who have survived atrocity crimes.

The briefing is organized by the Outreach Programme on the Holocaust and the Civil Society Unit of the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

SPEAKERS

Ms. Hawa Diallo, Chief, Civil Society Unit, Department of Global Communications

Dr. Beth B. Cohen, Social Historian and Author

Professor Theresa S. Betancourt, Boston College School of Social Work

Ms. Divina Maloum, Founder, Children for Peace

POEM

Lament of Syria

by Ms. Amineh Abou Kerech, Winner, Betjeman Poetry Prize 2017

For more information about the 2021 Holocaust Remembrance please visit: https://www.un.org/holocaustremembrance

If you have questions please contact: education-outreach@un.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

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