human rights atrocities

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

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

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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 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.

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the legacy and resilience of the victims

The webinar, part of the ongoing “Remembering Past Massacres” series, will focus on Latin America, with speakers reflecting on the atrocities committed against Indigenous populations in the name of Christianization, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the ruthless military dictatorships in South America during the 1960s-80s, and the 1937 massacre of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

The webinar will be in Spanish and English.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8Rd14QbmQkKa50EyZyGmyQ

Speakers include:

  • Moderator – Rev. Gloria Ulloa Alvarado, WCC President for Latin America
  • Co-facilitator – Rev. Dr. Mikie Roberts, WCC staff

Panellists:

  • Dr. Betty Ruth Lozano Lerma, Colombia
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Argentina
  • Prof. Dr. Jessica Byron-Reid, WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs member, Trinidad and Tobago

More info via social media:

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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 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.

The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty: Protocol and the Way Forward

The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ Treaty) was signed in Bangkok on 15 December 1995 by 10 Southeast Asian States (ASEAN Member States) and entered into force on 27 March 1997, committing the region to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in line with the 1971 Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN). The webinar falls under the implementation of Action 5 of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Agenda for Disarmament: Securing Our Common Future, which aims to strengthen and consolidate nuclear-weapon-free zones, including by facilitating enhanced cooperation and consultation between existing zones, encouraging nuclear-weapon States (NWS) to adhere to the relevant protocols to the treaties establishing such zones.

Co-organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, this event aims to raise awareness on the issue of the SEANWFZ Treaty and to generate ideas for accelerating the signing and ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty by the NWS.

The webinar is open for participation by New York, Geneva and Vienna-based diplomats, academia and representatives of civil society. Speakers will engage in a moderated discussion representing different perspectives on the challenges surrounding implementation of the SEANWFZ, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Register here!

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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.

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.

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.

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 1 – Cultures Left Behind

Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. On the 24 March, the Outreach Programme will hold an online panel discussion that will examine the series, and the first episode, “Cultures left behind.”

Please register to attend the discussion and to receive information of how to view Episode 1 before the discussion. The specific time on March 24 has not yet been announced – registrants will receive info when it becomes available.

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

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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.

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.