global health

UNCTAD Civil Society Forum

The hosting of UNCTAD 15 in October of 2021, by a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) offers a critical opportunity to ground the discussions in the present and future realities and prospects of the most vulnerable countries and their populations.

The theme of UNCTAD 15, From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All, provides a platform to re-energize and refocus development efforts and commitments. It also presents a unique opportunity for member states to respond strategically by reinforcing the value of multilateralism and providing a renewed mandate for a strengthened UNCTAD.

This Civil Society Forum is intended to contribute to the transformative discourse that needs to take place to address some of the systemic and structural inequalities in the trade and development space. The Day 3 agenda includes:

Closing

14:45-15:00 (CEST) • 08:45–09:00 (AST)

Speakers:

  • Ms. Kozel Peters-Frazer, Caribbean Policy Development Centre and host country civil society coordinating organization
  • Ms. Arlette Verploegh, UNCTAD
  • Ms. Shantal Munro-Knight, Barbados UNCTAD15 Civil Society Forum Lead

Solidarity and system change are the only way forward to overcome the global economic, health, and human rights crisis: feminist perspectives from Asia and the Pacific

15:05–16:20 (CEST) • 09:05–10:20 (AST) | side event organized by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

Exploring the divide between the global north and south

15:05–16:20 (CEST) • 09:05–10:20 (AST) | side event organized by Tax Justice Network Africa

Sustainable solutions to debt crisis, the role of UNCTAD 

16:25–17:40 (CEST) • 10:25–11:40 (AST) | side event organized by the Global Policy Forum

How do we build a just recovery from the COVID crisis?

16:25–17:40 (CEST) • 10:25–11:40 (AST) | side event organized by Friends of the Earth International

Discussion on the Civil Society Declaration

17:40–19:40 (CEST) • 11:40–13:40 (AST) | The session will provide for discussion and confirmation of the Civil Society Declaration. The Caribbean Policy Development Centre is the host country civil society organization.

Access the sessions here: wtvglobal.6connex.eu/event/UNCTAD15-Barbados/login

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Sixth Annual SDG Business Forum

The sixth annual SDG Business Forum will take place virtually on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM, EDT in conjunction with Uniting Business LIVE, during the High-Level week of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the UN Global Compact, SDG Business Forum is one of the largest annual gatherings of business leaders at the United Nations.

It offers a unique opportunity to drive pivotal momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leveraging the power of the private sector in co-creating lasting solutions for some of the most critical issues of our times, such as sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change and nature loss; social inequality and economic exclusion. This year’s event will be closely related to the themes of several United Nations conferences in 2021, including the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, while building momentum for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Confirmed speakers for the 2021 programme include the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit Dr. Agnes Kalibata, HRH Princess Noura Turki Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji Mr. Commodore Josaia V. Bainimarama and several senior ministers from Member States, as well as prominent business leaders such as Executive Chairman of Mastercard Mr. Ajay Banga, Executive Director of ITC Ms. Pamela Coke Hamilton, CEO of Alecta Mr. Magnus Billing, Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Ms. Sandra Wu, CEO of GIST Advisory Mr. Pavan Sukhdev, among others.

Registration

Registration for the SDG Business Forum can be accessed through the Uniting Business Live digital venue. One day access to the SDG Business Forum is complimentary. Participants from Governments, UN System, civil society organizations and other stakeholder groups also have the option to sign up for complimentary access to all three days of Uniting Business Live with the code DESAGUEST.

For more information on the event, topics, and confirmed speakers, please visit the SDG Business Forum webpage: http://sdgbusinessforum.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

2021 Geneva Peace Talks: Recovering better for an equitable & sustainable world

We are pleased to invite you and your staff to attend the 9th edition of the Geneva Peace Talks. Marking the International Day of Peace, the Geneva Peace Talks will take place on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room XVIII at the Palais des Nations and online.

The 2021 edition is organized under the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better. People around the world are facing not only a global health crisis, but also other imminent crises: climate change, poverty, inequalities, stigma and discrimination. We must transform our world into one that is more equal, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. We must make peace with one another.

The event will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, from health equity to environmental action. We will hear from the former Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mr. Yves Daccord, the Head of the Secretariat of the Principles for Peace Initiative Ms. Hiba Qasas, Senegalese singer and champion for climate action Mr. Baaba Maal, Chief Executive Officer of the World Health Organization Foundation Mr. Anil Soni in an interview, three high school students from the first-ever Peace Talks club, a choreographer from South Africa; as well as two film makers creating a documentary on climate refugees.

Due to COVID-19 preventive measures, only a limited number of seats will be available in Room XVIII. Early registration for in-person participation is required as it will be closed once the maximum capacity is reached.

To follow the event online or to register, please use the following link: peacetalks.net.

This year’s Geneva Peace Talks are co-organized, once again, by the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to other international organizations in Geneva.

The Geneva Peace Talks are an annual highlight of International Geneva. We look forward to your participation, which will send a strong signal of support and demonstrate our collective commitment to peace across the world.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2021: Demanding Justice Beyond Rhetoric

Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated rather than reduced global inequalities. The most visible example of this is the global disparity in the distribution of vaccines. So far more than 60 percent of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but less than 2 percent have done so in low-income countries. In view of this dramatic disparity, the “leave no one behind” mantra of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains hollow. In fact, the vested interests of economic elites continue to dominate political decision-making. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis and the other unresolved global problems, most notably the climate emergency, it is high time for transformative policies, strategies and structural changes.

This year’s Spotlight on Sustainable Development Report describes the highly uneven socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and analyses the policy responses to it. It explores beyond the rhetoric, highlighting deepening inequalities, self-serving and hypocritical policies and governance failures at national and international level. Addressing the imbalance in global vaccine production and distribution, the report also examines a few key areas where political and structural changes are necessary to correct the limited and asymmetric recovery. With this virtual launching event, we will present key findings of the report.

Brief snapshots by:

  • K.M. Gopakumar, Third World Network
  • Vanita Mukherjee, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
  • Roberto Bissio, Social Watch

Policy conclusions by:

  • Kate Donald, Center for Economic and Social Right
  • Daria Cibrario, Public Services International (PSI)
  • Isabel Ortiz,Global Social Justice

Moderators:

  • Bodo Ellmers, Global Policy Forum
  • María Graciela Cuervo, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)

Register here: rsvp.globalpolicy.org/report-launch-spotlight-on-sustainable-development-2021-demanding-justice-beyond-rhetoric.

Participants will receive the login details one day before the event. Further information on the Spotlight Report 2021 will be available shortly at www.2030spotlight.org

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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 congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

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.

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, over 2,000 have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorating the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. In each subsequent year, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment that strongly advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Unfortunately, this has yet to enter into force.

As the Secretary-General recognized in his disarmament agenda “Securing our Common Future” launched on 24 May 2018, the norm against testing is an example of a measure that serves both disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. By constraining the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, the CTBT puts a brake on the arms race. It also serves as a powerful normative barrier against potential States that might seek to develop, manufacture and subsequently acquire nuclear weapons in violation of their non-proliferation commitments.

Every effort needs to be made to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and to preserve its place in the international architecture. In this regard, the Secretary-General appeals to all remaining States whose ratifications are required for the CTBT to enter into force to commit to sign the Treaty at an early date if they have not already done so, and to accelerate the completion of their ratification processes.

It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as the world works towards promoting peace and security.

To learn more about the background and significance of this observance, please visit un.org/en/observances/end-nuclear-tests-day.

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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 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. 

[deadline] Call to Civil Society Youth: Int’l Youth Day 2021 ‘Transforming Food Systems’

For International Youth Day on August 12, 2021, the United Nations Civil Society Unit is celebrating youth voices. The theme of this year Youth Day is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.” The day aims to highlight the notion that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

Everyday, young people all over the globe work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Department of Global Communications is aiming to share these successes with our Civil Society network to celebrate youth and to encourage more youth to become involved by becoming the change they want to see in the world.

Please submit text and video responses for a chance to be featured in our International Youth Day Celebration: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2zWeD09UYE-9zF6kFubccOvTA93e0tRCpxiXcqYBlUVUQThKS1U5NTkwMDRGQ0ozOUlKTlgwM1lITyQlQCN0PWcu

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