hate speech

Annual Holocaust Commemoration: International DAy of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

We are pleased to invite you to the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, the central event organized in observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and held under the theme Home and Belonging. The theme highlights the multidimensional human needs of victims of atrocity crimes and the dangers of hate speech, antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and denial, and prejudice.

The ceremony will take place in person for the first time since 2020. Those unable to attend in person will be able to watch the event virtually.

Speakers include the United Nations Secretary-General; the President of the 77th session of the General Assembly, the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations. Renowned Holocaust historian Professor Debórah Dwork will deliver the keynote address. Mr. Jacques Grishaver of the Netherlands will share his testimony as a survivor of the Holocaust. Professor Ethel Brooks will speak to the persecution and mass murder of the Roma and Sinti. Professor Karen Frostig, granddaughter of victims of the Holocaust, and Michael Shaham, grandson of a Holocaust survivor, will present. Musicians include Ms. Shoshana Shattenkirk, Mr. Michael Shaham (who will perform on a Violin of Hope). Professor Renée Jolles will perform a piece for violin specially composed by Dr. Victoria Bond for the 2023 Holocaust Memorial Ceremony. Cantor Nissim Saal will recite the memorial prayer. Ms. Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, will host the event.

We look forward to having you join us, in person, or online. The event will be live-streamed.

Register to attend the Ceremony in-person

NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief/NY Annual General Meeting

Dear Friends,

The NGO Committee on FoRB (NY) will host its Annual General Meeting at the Baha’i Center (866 United Nations Plaza #120) on Wednesday, October 12, from 1:15 – 2:30pm (EDT). A light lunch will be provided. (For those unable to attend in person, we will have a Zoom option for virtual attendance.)

Annual General Meeting:

The bureau will provide a brief overview of recent developments in the international FoRB space. We will also discuss ideas for upcoming events. We will conclude by holding our biannual bureau elections. Attached please find the proposed slate for the election. 

Please RSVP for the Annual General Meeting at info@unforb.org by Monday, October 10, 2022.

A Zoom link will be sent out to those who have RSVP’d for virtual attendance approximately an hour prior to the start of the event.

For more information on the Committee, please visit our website: unforb.org.


CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns/NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Addressing Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws in Muslim Societies

Dear UN NGO Committee on FoRB and interested colleagues,

This month, our friends at Muslims for Progressives Values will be hosting an in-person event on Apostasy and Blasphemy in Washington, DC. Here’s the event summary:

The practice of criminalizing the religious beliefs of others through apostasy and blasphemy legislation violates the fundamental teachings of Islam as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines the right to freedom of religion, belief, and thought to all individuals. 

Clearly, this issue is transnational as we’ve witnessed in the stabbing of Salman Rushdie. While he is one of the more prominent victims, there are many more unnamed victims. The two-hour forum will begin with an introduction to social, historical and religious contexts of apostasy and blasphemy laws in Muslim Societies. It will be followed by an interactive workshop with tools to delink these harsh laws from Islam, inculcating a culture of human rights, and overcoming hateful social media campaigns directed at human rights advocates.


Here’s the event page with the concept note, outline of the program and speakers. To register, please click here.

Event Location: Rayburn 2060, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

Please visit our Freedom of Religion and Belief page for a comprehensive overview of our work in this field.


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. 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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns/NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org

Human Rights in older age: Towards the elimination of ageism and age discrimination

Join us for a special side event of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday 21 September 14:00 Geneva time.

Ageism is a global phenomenon, which has serious consequences for individuals and society at large. According to the UN Global Report on Ageism, half of the world’s population is ageist against older persons. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light entrenched ageism and age discrimination in many areas including hate speech in public discourse and on social media. Despite its scale and harmful impacts, ageism remains largely unknown and is often considered more acceptable compared to other forms of discrimination.

The report of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons to the 48th session of the HRC (A/HRC/48/53), examines ageism and age discrimination, analyses their possible causes and manifestations, and reviews the way the existing legal and policy frameworks at the international and regional levels protects older persons against ageism and age-discrimination.

This side event of the 48th session will bring to the fore real-life experiences of ageism and age discrimination faced by older persons and will take stock of the Independent Expert’s conclusions and recommendations with the aim to discuss strategies to address and prevent ageism and age discrimination and to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

Register here: hrworg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wOy7GGkqQgaaACt38yJb9Q

Event will also be webcast live on https://media.un.org/en/webtv/


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-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 Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.