human rights protections

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: Policies, Access, Literacy & Safety

The NGO Committee on Ageing-New York’s program provides a platform for a multi-stakeholder dialogue with a call to action. Speakers will address digital equity, including adequate policies, access, digital literacy, and safety. The virtual program will take place October 1st from 10:00—11:30am EDT.

Register here: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6cE7POAkqrbuCIgY3L2HFJghTde6BlqlF2HrEayaE4gwoCA/viewform

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Ageing-New York is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship to the United Nations, and more information is available at ngocoa-ny.org. Likewise, 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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tons and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day. Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, while an estimated 17 percent of total global food production is wasted (11 percent in households, 5 percent in the food service and 2 percent in retail).

The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is an opportunity to call to action both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals), to prioritise actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems.

Check how you can help us through FAO, the leading agency for this International Day, and discover what you can do. Take action, start something. Stop food loss and waste. For the people. For the planet. And on Sept. 29th, join the global virtual event, where FAO and UNEP experts will share their perspectives on the issues and actions required to stem the problem of food loss and waste. Register here!

To share your event, download the logo and other social media materials in different languages, check the guide that will help you to spread the message, or just get more information, at FAO’s official page for the Observance. To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, please visit un.org/en/observances/end-food-waste-day.

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Preventing and Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) as a Tool of War

Dear Colleagues,

Search for Common Ground invites you to join us for a UNGA side-event focused on conflict-related sexual violence as a mechanism of war. This event is hosted in collaboration with the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.  Against the backdrop of events transpiring in Afghanistan, this panel discussion seeks to showcase the imperative need to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence around the world, to promote the safety, security, and prosperity of all people.

The panel will cover historic and present-day examples of CRSV; policy and programming approaches to preventing and addressing CRSV; and lessons learned from civil society representatives in conflict-affected countries on the impact of CRSV interventions.

Please use the following link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlc-ChpzwtEt171qKG-jP4sgpcZViJVUf2

We look forward to your participation and encourage you to share this invitation with your partners. For questions about the event, please contact Anna Crouch at acrouch@sfcg.org.

Thank you,

Search for Common Ground

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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 Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. 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 Universal Access to Information

On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information. Considering that several civil society organizations and government bodies in the world have adopted and currently celebrate this observance, the UN General Assembly also adopted 28 September 2019 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs – the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme – provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.

Access to information

Informed citizens can make informed decisions, for instance, when going to the polls. Only when citizens know how they are governed, can they hold their governments accountable for their decisions and actions. Information is power. Therefore, universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. This right is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. The media plays a crucial role in informing the public about issues of interest, but it relies on the ability to seek and receive information, too. Hence, the right to universal access to information is also bound up with the right to freedom of the press.

To learn more about why and how the UN commemorates this day, please visit un.org/en/observances/information-access-day.

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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 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, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

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. 

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/

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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-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. 

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.

76th Session of the UN General Assembly

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) will open on Tuesday, 14 September 2021. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, 21 September 2021.

As more information becomes available, it will be posted here: sdg.iisd.org/events/76th-session-of-the-un-general-assembly-unga-76

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CoNGO Notes: For information about the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO), and its commitment to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, see www.ngocongo.org

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