human dignity

Briefing for representatives of the civil society by the President of the Human Rights Council

On behalf of the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem, OHCHR New York Office is pleased to invite you to a virtual briefing on Thursday, 28 October 2021 from 1500 – 1600 New York time. The briefing in virtual setting will provide an opportunity for the President of the Human Rights Council to present the outcomes of the 46th, 47th and 48th sessions of the Human Rights Council. Some limited time will be set aside during the briefing for questions and answers.

The meeting will be held virtually via MS Teams. Please register here. The link for the meeting will be communicated to all who registered closer to the date of the briefing.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security at ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org.

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Public dialogue on the progress of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development

Dear colleagues,

You are cordially invited to an informal public dialogue on the progress of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF on FFD), in preparation for the 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report. The public dialogue will be held on the 21st of October (Thursday), 9:00 – 10:30 EDT, virtually via MS Teams.

Representatives from the Secretariat, the five major institutional stakeholders (World Bank Group, IMF, WTO, UNCTAD and UNDP), and other Task Force members will brief Member States and external stakeholders on their work. A short presentation will be followed by an interactive discussion to solicit feedback and input. We welcome the participation of all delegations and all stakeholders in this briefing and look forward to your contributions to the dialogue.

If you are interested in attending the briefing, please click here to register and you will receive a specific calendar invitation for the event.

Background information on the briefing is available on the Task Force website. For further information please contact Mr. Peter Chowla (chowla@un.org), Ms. Poh Lynn Ng (ng6@un.org), and Ms. Jie Wei (weij@un.org).

Kind regards,

Navid Hanif

Director, Financing for Sustainable Development Office, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

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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.

Faiths 4 Climate Justice

Two weeks before global climate negotiations, people of diverse religions will rise to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions.

Learn more and register here!

On Sunday, Oct. 17:

At temples, mosques, and churches around the globe, we’ll call for climate justice and care for the vulnerable by ringing our bells, singing, praying, meditating, calling the Azan, sounding the shofar – whatever is true to our tradition. We’ll also unfurl banners on our sacred buildings that make it clear: the time to act is now.

On Monday, Oct. 18:

Dressed in religious garb, we’ll take our faiths into the streets and to our leaders’ doorsteps.  We’ll deliver our demands to political and financial leaders, hold prayer or meditation vigils outside government and bank offices, sing hymns about the climate, or take action rooted in our deepest values.

*Co-sponsors are religious organizations and spiritual communities worldwide who publicize Faiths 4 Climate Justice to their communities. We invite diverse religious institutions, congregations, schools, and other groups to sign on as co-sponsors. Co-sponsors commit to recruit action hosts and participants for the global day of action and organize 1 or more local actions. We provide co-sponsors with tools, resources, and one-on-one support for recruitment and action organizing. Co-sponsors, if interested, can serve on a planning team in preparation for the mobilization.

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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 Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Stand up for Rights of Older Persons

Violations of older persons’ human rights have been witnessed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Decades long implicit biases rooted in ageism have made older people invisible through lack of insightful policies that protect their rights. As the world’s population ages, the trends of human rights violations will undermine the fabric of society and its prosperity.

The United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) seeks to create an environment that enables older people to do what they value, where no one is left behind, left to languish, or be disregarded and patronized, be stopped from working or have access to basic health and care. In order to overcome the paucity of progress on drafting a legally binding document (a convention) on the human rights of older persons, the United States and Canada need to STAND UP as global leaders in the effort to Call for Action at the United Nations.

Register here!

This event is organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, the International Longevity Center of Canada, the International Federation on Ageing, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People, and the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, a Substantive Committee of the Committee of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, 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.

The State of the World’s Children Report launch

Dear colleagues and partners,

Every year, UNICEF releases its flagship The State of the World’s Children global report, examining a key issue affecting children. These have ranged from children with disabilities, conflict and war, child labour, urbanization, early childhood development, and much more, making it the most comprehensive analysis of global trends that impact children.

This year, for the first time in UNICEF’s history, The State of the World’s Children will focus on child and adolescent mental health and well-being, reflecting a priority focus on mental health across UNICEF’s global programming, advocacy and communications. Growing awareness about the importance of mental health, the impact of COVID-19, and increased evidence on the value of optimizing mental health and developmental trajectories for children and adolescents, have combined to create fresh momentum and urgency around mental health of children, youth and caregivers.

The State of the World’s Children 2021 will present new data and trends on mental health, as well as perspectives from young people, and will help to strengthen UNICEF’s policy outreach and targeted advocacy at global, regional and national levels, as well as drive action and investment to protect and promote the mental health, well-being and development of children, young people, and their families.
The State of the World’s Children 2021 report will be available here on October 5th 00/01 GMT.

Key themes will include:

  • Mental health is central to children’s health and overall well-being: As Brock Chisholm, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first Director-General, stated, “Without mental health there can be no true physical health.”
  • Mental health is a continuum: Everyone sits somewhere on the mental health continuum, and many, if not most, people move along it at some stage – from experiencing good mental health to anything from short-term distress to long-term disabling conditions.
  • Mental health must be understood along the life course: Every stage of life – from the period around pregnancy, to early childhood and the first decade, and on to adolescence and the second decade – offers unique moments when mental health can be supported and when it may be at risk.
  • Social determinants help shape mental health outcomes: Biology and genetics play a role in determining mental health, but so too do protective and risk factors in the child’s family, in school, in the community, and across society. Understanding these is key to developing policy approaches.
  • COVID-19: The report will address evidence for the mental health impact of COVID-19, as well as challenges in humanitarian situations and emergencies.
  • Mental health requires a pyramid of interventions: A range of multi-sectoral services and institutions are needed to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children, and care for children facing the greatest challenges. Launch plans

We will launch the report on 5th October at the Ministerial Summit on Mental Health organized by the French Government in Paris, alongside a series of ‘satellite’ launch events worldwide and a new mental health communications campaign.

On 5 and 6 October 2021, the French Minister for Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will host the “Mind Our Rights, Now!” Global Mental Health Summit in Paris. The summit will be attended by high-level policy makers, international organizations, health professionals, experts and civil society actors, in addition to foundations and renowned academics, all of whom aim to strengthen international efforts that support mental health, promote respect for rights and foster worldwide innovative experiences. The summit aims to sustain the momentum generated by the International Conference on Mental Health hosted by the Netherlands in October 2019, and Ministerial MH Summit in the UK before it.

Ten thematic areas have been selected to advance the objectives of the summit and are a core part of the programme. UNICEF is co-leading the workstream focusing on Children and Adolescents, with WHO and War Child, aiming to develop a set of recommendations for mental health and psychosocial support for children, adolescents, and families, which will align closely with the SOWC report. The SOWC launch is officially part of the programme on the 5th October.

The global launch will initiate a series of regional and national events around the world, involving UNICEF offices and key partners, in which we aim to spark a global conversation about child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing. ‘Satellite’ events are being explored in strategic locations across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, as well as the UAE, China and the US.

UNICEF will accompany the report launch with our new public engagement campaign, Mental Health #OnMyMind, which will provide a unifying creative concept and communications framework for all UNICEF offices and partners in support our global mental health advocacy strategy objectives over the next four years. A social media pack is available here.

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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 Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.

International Day of Non-Violence

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, including definitions and principles of non-violence, please visit un.org/en/observances/non-violence-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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

Digital Equity for all Ages: Connect, Respect and Protect Older People in Digital Technologies

This year, the International Day of Older Persons 2021 will provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and serve as a call to action. The #UNIDOP2021 will adopt a person centered, human rights approach to ensure digital equity including adequate policies, access, digital literacy and safety for individuals of all ages.

This particular side event from the NGO Committee on Ageing in Vienna’s program will address cyber security, especially for older persons. The virtual program will take place on October 1st from 7:30—9:15am EDT.

Objectives of #UNIDOP2021:

• To address digital availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation in the areas of public and private interests

• To bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy

• To highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

• To explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world

• To promote an intersectional person-centered human rights approach for a society for all ages taking into account existing/non-existing legal instruments in the field of digitalization

Register hereus06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GqD_gJ4OTtymbzNWk5x-rw

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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. 

Uniting to Dismantle Racism and Militarism in U.S. Foreign Policy

The major challenges facing Americans today – racial and gender injustice, economic inequality, pandemic disease, climate change – cannot be solved without international solidarity and human compassion.  Endless wars and endless Pentagon spending only exacerbate these problems, making people at home and abroad less safe.  Without addressing the racism and militarism at the core of U.S. foreign policy, progress toward a more sustainable, just, and peaceful world will not be possible.

Please join us for a webinar to explore how progressive groups working on a wide variety of domestic and foreign policy issues can join together to dismantle structures of militarism and white supremacy

Speakers include:

• Salih Booker, President and CEO, Center for International Policy
• Shailly Barnes, Policy Director, Kairos Center and Poor People’s Campaign
• Diana Duarte, Director of Policy and Strategic Engagement, MADRE
• Tobita Chow, Founding Director, Justice is Global
• Diana Ohlbaum, Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation (moderator)

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvcumrrT0vGtOXAq3fM6tBj7AerKMTqD1i

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CoNGO Notes: 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. 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.

32nd World Peace Festival

Namaste Dear Friends,
Please join and celebrate with us at the 32nd Annual “World Peace Festival” & Intl. Day of Peace celebration.
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Time: 10 AM – 1 PM EDT New York (7:30 PM India)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Livestream link on Facebook from the World Yoga Community – HQ: facebook.com/groups/235426709956668

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CoNGO Notes: The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations is one of the Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

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