humanitarian law

World Health Organization Executive Board 152nd Session

The 152nd session of the Executive Board takes place on 30 January – 7 February 2023. Proceedings will be webcast from this page:

who.int/about/governance/executive-board/executive-board-152nd-session

The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to implement the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, and to advise and generally facilitate its work.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights/NY, please visit childrightsny.org.

[monthly meeting] NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Dear colleagues,

Happy New Year! The NGO Committee on Financing for Development would like to cordially invite you to its first regular monthly meeting of the year, to be held virtually on Tuesday, January 17, from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.

Please register in advance for this meeting here!

A zoom link will be emailed to you after registering. We hope to see you then.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development 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 Sustainable Development/NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development/Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org

Civil Society FfD List Sign-on Letter: Implementation of UN Resolution on International Tax Cooperation

Photo: https://csoforffd.org/

We invite you all to sign on to the letter, and the deadline for doing so is Friday 16 December 2022. You can find the letter here and the form to sign on is here

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To the kind attention of:

Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations in New York

United Nations Secretariat, Agencies and Programmes

 

X December 2022

 

Subject: Implementation of UNGA Second Committee resolution on promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the United Nations (A/C.2/77/L.11/Rev.1)

 

Your Excellencies distinguished representatives of UN Member States,

 

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and trade unions, strongly support and welcome the UNGA resolution on promotion of inclusive and effective international tax cooperation at the UN (A/C.2/77/L.11/Rev.1). We commend the Africa Group for its excellent leadership on this issue and for finally ensuring implementation of the long-standing demand of developing countries for a UN intergovernmental negotiation process on international tax. We urge all UN Member States to maintain and reinforce the spirit of international cooperation that resulted in the adoption by consensus of this historic resolution. 

 

Furthermore, we are writing to you with a call for all governments to work constructively towards the urgent and efficient implementation of the resolution. This includes: 

 

  1. Supporting a speedy approval in the UNGA Fifth Committee of the required budget allocation for the implementation of the resolution, in line with the related Programme budget implications analysis (A/C.2/77/L.75). The budget requirement, totaling US$ 432,700, was presented to Member States ahead of the adoption of the resolution. We now count on all UN Member States to stand by the consensus agreement reached with the resolution and confirm the allocation of the required resources. We also urge all UN Member States to keep in mind that international tax cooperation is urgently needed, not least to combat tax-related illicit financial flows, which are costing governments hundreds of billions of dollars in lost tax income every year. This must therefore be a matter of high importance and urgency.

 

  1. Supporting strong stakeholder involvement in the consultation process related to the UN Secretary General’s report as mandated by the resolution. We strongly welcome the fact that stakeholder consultation is explicitly included in the text of the resolution, and we stand ready to make our contributions. We, the undersigned civil society organisations and trade unions, bring in-depth knowledge from all regions of the world about the devastating impacts of the failure of international tax cooperation, including the continued bleeding of public resources in the form of illicit financial flows. We also bring concrete and specific proposals for solutions, including for how a future UN Convention on Tax could be designed. 

 

  1. Supporting a strong intergovernmental UN process to strengthen international tax cooperation. Through the resolution, all UN Member States have agreed to “begin intergovernmental discussions in New York at United Nations Headquarters on ways to strengthen the inclusiveness and effectiveness of international tax cooperation”. We strongly welcome this vital initiative, and stress the importance of moving forward with urgency. As stated in the adopted resolution, combating illicit financial flows is an essential development challenge, and developing countries are particularly susceptible to the negative impact of illicit financial flows. Therefore, we believe that the modalities for the foreseen process must be adopted as a matter of high priority, and this should take place no later than the seventy-eighth session of the UN General Assembly. Furthermore, we would like to stress the importance of ensuring that the modalities provide for a transparent and inclusive member state-led negotiation process with full participation of stakeholders, including civil society. 

 

Despite the fact that international tax rules and standards affect all countries and people of the world, there has until this point been no inclusive international body where all countries were able to participate on an equal footing in the decision-making on international tax matters. This injustice is at the heart of the failure of the international tax system, which has continued to be characterised by injustice, inefficiency, incoherence, unilateral actions and beggar-thy-neighbor policies. All countries have paid a high price for this failure, but the impacts on developing countries have been particularly hard. The UN remains the only truly universal body where all countries participate as equals, and the consensus adoption of the UN resolution, including the decision to begin intergovernmental discussions on international tax matters under the auspices of the UN, constitutes a truly historical shift towards fairness and inclusivity. 

The urgency of this matter cannot be overstated. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the “cost of living crisis”, the fight to increase domestic resource mobilisation and combat illicit financial flows has never been more vital. In 2021, the State of Tax Justice report estimated that countries around the world are losing over US$450 billion per year due to international tax dodging and abuse by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. Faced with the challenges of financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and combatting the global environmental crises, it is clear that the international community must take urgent action to strengthen international tax cooperation and stop the immense bleeding of public resources. 

We remain at your disposal if you would like to receive more information or would like to meet to discuss this issue further. 

 

Yours sincerely,

Civil Society Financing for Development Group (www.csoforffd.org)

 

Signatories

 

  1. Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Group
  2. Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ): Alliance of five continental tax and fiscal justice networks in Asia (Tax & Fiscal Justice Asia), Africa (Tax Justice Network Africa), Latin America (Red de Justicia Fiscal de América Latina y el Caribe), Europe (Tax Justice-Europe) and North America (Canadians for Tax Fairness & FACT Coalition), collectively representing hundreds of organisations. 
  3. European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad)

 

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

This annual campaign – supported by the United Nations through the Secretary General’s UNiTE – began on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on the International Human Rights Day, 16 December.

The 2022 UN theme is “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls. 

Read the full concept note here.

The NGO Committee on Ageing of New York – through its Subcommittee on Older Women – participate in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The NGO Committee on Ageing promotes Education along with Activism and includes ALL women and girls to emphasizes the invisibility of older women in this campaign and to raise awareness of their presence among survivors of gender-based violence.

In partnership with AARP and in collaboration with the Fordham University Institute for Women and Girls, the New York NGO Committee on Ageing Subcommittee on Older Women will disseminate brief informational messages – with links – throughout this campaign, raising the visibility of older women who also experience gender-based violence.

Please check the NGO CoA website and follow on Twitter @UNandAgeing.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 the Status of Women/Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. 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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

The New UN Forum on People of African descent: realising the promises of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action?

The United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum of People of African Descent will hold its very first session from 5 to 8 December 2022 at the Palais des Nations of the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tuesday 29 November 2022, from 1 to 3 PM CET (Zurich time)

(7:00 AM in New York City, USA / 9:30 AM in Curitiba, Brazil / 1 PM Yaoundé, Cameroon / 7 PM in Bangkok, Thailand)

Ahead of this historic session, the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) offers a virtual side event entitled The New UN Forum for People of African descent: realising the promises of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA)?

Register here!

Some of the issues which will be raised include:

  • What are the lessons learnt since the 2001 Durban World Conference Against Racism? What kind of progress have we witnessed at the UN and other regional fora?
  • What can we hope from this new body? How can churches contribute to its work?
  • Policy efforts to combat systemic racism and racial discrimination
  • Structural racism as the legacy of slavery and colonialism: communities of African descent across the globe live in structural discrimination and structural invisibility, and are scarred by poverty, underdevelopment, marginalization, social exclusion and economic disparities.

Moderator: Rev. Jennifer S. Leath, WCC Central Committee member, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)

Panellists:

  • Rev. Dr Iva Carruthers, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • Dr. Sushi Raj, member of UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
  • Ms Marilia A. Schüller, Methodist Church of Brazil
  • Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith, WCC President from North America
  • Rev. Emmanuel Wayi, Cameroon Network for Alternative Solutions (CAMNAS)
  • Rev. Lamont Wells, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit un-ngocrip.net

Interfaith Prayer Service: The impact of HIV among the marginalized within the marginalized

Dear colleagues,

You are kindly invited to an Interfaith Prayer Service for World AIDS Day on December 1, 2022, under the theme “The impact of HIV among the marginalized within the marginalized.”

The service will be held in Tillman Chapel at 777 United Nations Plaza, NY, New York 10017, and will begin at 1:00pm EST.

For those unable to attend in person, the event will be live-streamed at both youtube.com/@hivfaith and facebook.com/ushivfaith.

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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 csvgc-ny.org. 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 for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Parliamentary action to ensure equal participation and sustainability in disarmament initiatives

Dear colleagues,

PNND cordially invites you to “Women’s Leadership, Gender Perspective and Gender Approaches in Disarmament Action,” an online event on effective policies and parliamentary action to ensure inclusivity and sustainability in disarmament initiatives.

This is the sixth in a series of international parliamentary events in follow-up to the publication of Assuring our Common Future: a parliamentary handbook on disarmament for security and sustainable development.

Session A: Timed for Asia/Pacific: 7:00 – 8:30 CET. Register here!
Session B: Timed for the Americas/Europe/Africa: 16.00 – 17:30 CET. Register here!

The UN Secretary-General’s report, Securing our Common Future, recommends that in order to sustainably rid societies of the weight of armed violence, disarmament and arms control processes should include all relevant stakeholders and impacted parties. This includes empowering women and ensuring their equal and meaningful participation.

Following in the footsteps of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”, which recognizes the importance of including a gender perspective in peace-related efforts, parliaments should seek to identify and address the barriers that limit the participation of women in peace and disarmament-related matters.

Gender approaches to disarmament and security also address the different and disproportionate impact of weapons proliferation and armed conflicts on women, and incorporate a full range of perspectives and frameworks for security, including national/military, human and common security. These contribute to international processes and parliamentary practices that can make peace and disarmament efforts more inclusive, effective and sustainable.

The event will draw from relevant sections of Assuring our Common Future, including the section on ensuring the participation of women in peace and disarmament.

Objectives of the event:

1.    Increase awareness of the value of gender perspectives and approaches in disarmament processes;
2.    Enhance knowledge of Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) and good practices for its implementation;
3.    Share examples of effective policies and parliamentary practices that better include  women and gender approaches in disarmament-related efforts.

Languages:

The event will take place as an online webinar. Session A in English. Session B with simultaneous translation in English, French and Spanish.

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CoNGO Notes: 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/Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.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 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@yahoo.com. 

61st Session of the Commission for Social Development

The 61st United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD61) will take place from 6 to 15 February 2023 in Conference Room 4 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Priority Theme:

Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Review of relevant UN plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups:

(i) Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities: the way forward, a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond;

(ii) World Programme of Action for Youth;

(iii) Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002;

(iv) Family issues, policies and programmes.

Full schedule of events, more info on NGO participation, and background documents available here.

Hosting Side Events:

Most CSocD61 side events will take place virtually. In person side events are ONLY open to Permanent Missions, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations system entities.

Each side event organizer is responsible for hosting and choosing their virtual event platform. All participants of the CSocD and users of the CSocD online platforms, and any contributions they make, must comply with the United Nations Code of Conduct.

General Instructions for Side Events

Deadline for submission of online application forms for side-events is 22 December 2022 for in person events and 6 January 2023 for virtual events (EDT – New York Time).

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family/NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family/Vienna, please visit viennafamilycommittee.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

Financing for Development in a Fractured World

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development for an important look at FfD in a contemporary context, knowing that the repercussions of COVID-19 and climate destruction are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Date and Time: 8:30 am – 10:00 am EST on November 9, 2022

Please register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwuduutpjguGtENOtCZCf-EtA7AD0azr_Wu

Objective: The General Assembly will decide during the current session whether it is ready to convoke the fourth Financing for Development (FfD) conference in the next few years. The global economy is in a difficult situation, especially for development, underlining the need for more effective international economic and financial cooperation. While it is not obvious that the international community as a whole is currently ready to effectively address the pending issues, it is time to start to try to build a new global consensus on financing for sustainable development.

The objective of the NGO Committee on FfD in organizing this workshop is to build the capacity of NGOs/CSOs that focus on a range of economic, social, and environmental issues to engage effectively in the FfD processes and to share updates on the current FfD discussions. While the session is geared towards NGOs/CSOs already engaged with UN processes, it is open to anyone interested in gaining an understanding of FfD. Speakers will provide a perspective of the FfD processes, clarify the larger impact of FfD-related decisions on the achievements of the 2030 agenda, and share insights on current developments and areas that require urgent action and strengthened advocacy efforts.

Read the full concept note here!

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development 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 Sustainable Development/NY, please 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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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