genocide

Restorative Justice, Intergenerational Healing, and Reconciliation

Join a Religions for Peace “Faithful Conversation”:

Restorative Justice, Intergenerational Healing, and Reconciliation

Religious and spiritual leaders in Canada and from across the globe share the profound sorrow and agony of indigenous communities as unmarked graves of indigenous children are found on the grounds of residential schools in Canada. Religious and spiritual leaders join Religions for Peace Honorary President Grand-Father Dominique Rankin, who himself is a victim and survivor of the physical and sexual abuse at a residential school, in a conversation to address how to advance peace with justice, heal the old wounds, and walk together the difficult path towards reconciliation. Register here!

Read the Religions for Peace World Council Statement here.

French-English interpretation will be available.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.  For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.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.

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.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2021 focuses on the power of inclusion.

The shared experience of COVID-19 has showed us that we only succeed if we stand together. We have all had to do our part to keep each other safe and despite the challenges, refugees and displaced people have stepped up.

Given the chance, refugees will continue to contribute to a stronger, safer and more vibrant world. Therefore UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s World Refugee Day campaign this year is calling for the greater inclusion of refugees in health systems, schools and sport. Only by working together can we recover from the pandemic. Together we heal, learn and shine.

Background

Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several types of forcibly displaced persons:

Refugees

  • A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

Asylum Seekers

  • Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

Internally Displaced Persons

  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Stateless Persons

  • Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.

Returnees

  • Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

To learn more about how/why the UN commemorates this observance, including how the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol helps protect refugees, explore un.org/en/observances/refugee-day.

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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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Remembering and Honoring Past Massacres: The Legacy and Resilience of the Victims

Remembering and Honoring Past Massacres: the Legacy and Resilience of the Victims

This webinar conversation will start by marking the 100th year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot, and will broaden its scope on other similar tragic events the English-speaking Americas (USA, Canada and the Caribbean).

This webinar will be a conversation (not a lecture) and remembrance, punctuated with moments of art (poetry, drums). A moment to lament, but also to recognize these fallen heroes. Other webinars focussing on the same issue of past massacres will be organized throughout the year and will focus on other regions.

We invite you to register here for this event:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qsguoT97Th2e76YIYcmNvw

Moderator: Bishop Mary-Ann Swenson, WCC Central Committee

Co-facilitator: Rev. Dr. Mikie A. Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life

Panellists:

  • Rev. Dr. Robert Turner, pastor of Historic Vernon chapel A.M.E. church, Tulsa, Oklahoma and academic dean for Jackson Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Michael McEachrane, co-founder and consultative member of the European Network of People of African Descent
  • Mrs. Jennifer P. Martin, Education in Mission Secretary, Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM)
  • Dr. Daniel D. Lee, academic dean of the Centre for Asian American Theology and Ministry, assistant professor of theology and Asian American ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Mr. Russel Burns, member of the National Indigenous Ministries and Justice Council (NIC), of the Indigenous caucus of Western Mining Action Network (WMAN), and of the Comprehensive Review Task Group (CRTG) of the United Church of Canada.

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

Memorial and Celebration of the Life of Pamela Kraft

Dear friends,

Please join us for this special online event celebrating the life of our dear Pamela. She is being honored in this side event at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – the global gathering of Indigenous Peoples at the UN that she so loved and participated in for decades, and for which Project Access prepared Indigenous Peoples.

The program will feature speakers, artistic presentations, and open sharing. Spanish and Portuguese interpretation will be available. Registration is not required to attend this virtual event. If necessary, you can use this time zone converter to see the time of the event in your time zone.

We hope to see you at this special event.

Best wishes,

Tribal Link’s staff and Board

Special note:

This has been one of the most difficult months in Tribal Link’s history, as we continue to mourn the passing of our inspirational founder and leader, Pamela Kraft. However, this has only strengthened our resolve to continue on with the crucial work of facilitating opportunities for Indigenous Peoples’ voices to be heard in international decision-making. With a record-breaking 1,400+ people already signing up for “Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations: Project Access Online,” we are sure that she is looking down on us, happy to see the fruits of her labor multiplying. We will continue to honor her legacy, as was her deepest wish.

Thank you all so much for your support during this time.  Should you wish to contribute to Tribal Link’s ongoing work, memorial contributions are still being accepted at Tribal Link’s donation page.

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

Strong Families for Strong Communities: Examples from Turtle Island

Family is the foundational institution for Indigenous Peoples and communities yet many policies and practices such as boarding schools and the Indian Act have undermined Indigenous families resulting in a legacy of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and large numbers of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). This presentation will describe the centrality of families for the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (North America), review policies and programs that have undermined Indigenous families, and discuss opportunities to support Indigenous families

Presenter:

Dr. Hilary Weaver (Lakota) Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion University at Buffalo (State University of New York)

Discussant:

Dr. Elaine Congress Associate Dean, Fordham University Board Member of UN NGO Committee on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Questions? Contact Elaine Congress at congress@fordham.edu

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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 NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Hybrid Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Dear NGO representatives,

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda and the United Nations Office at Geneva will mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda during a hybrid ceremony to be held on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include the message of Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director‑General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by her own remarks and the statements of Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, of H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva, of Mrs. Nadia Galinier, survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and of Mr. Cesar Murangira, President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section). This year’s ceremony will also include a poem read by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt. Interpretation will be provided in English and French.      

You are cordially invited to this important event through this link. You can also watch live at webtv.un.org.

Provisional Program:

  • Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Alessandra Vellucci Director, United Nations Information Service
  • Lighting of candles
  • Observance of a minute of silence
  • Message of Mr. António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by the Director-General’s remarks
  • Remarks by Ms. Ghada Waly Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Remarks by Mr. César Murangira President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section)
  • Testimony by Mrs. Nadia Galinier Survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
  • Reading of a poem by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt
  • Remarks by H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva

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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.

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations

Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed.

This annual observance pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador.

The right to the truth is often invoked in the context of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law. The relatives of victims of summary executions, enforced disappearance, missing persons, abducted children, torture, require to know what happened to them. The right to the truth implies knowing the full and complete truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.

To learn more about how and why we honor the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, visit un.org/en/observances/right-to-truth-day.

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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.

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