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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Cultural events cancelled, cultural institutions closed, community cultural practices suspended, empty UNESCO World Heritage sites, heightened risk of looting of cultural sites and poaching at natural sites, artists unable to make ends meet and the cultural tourism sector greatly affected… The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector is being felt around the world. This impact is social, economic and political – it affects the fundamental right of access to culture, the social rights of artists and creative professionals, and the protection of a diversity of cultural expressions.

The unfolding crisis risks deepening inequalities and rendering communities vulnerable. In addition, the creative and cultural industries (CCI) contribute US$2,250bn to the global economy (3% of GDP) and account for 29.5 million jobs worldwide. The economic fall-out of not addressing the cultural sector – and all auxiliary services, particularly in the tourism sector – could also be disastrous. (source “Culture & COVID-19: Impact and Response Tracker – Issue 2

Why does cultural diversity matter?

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.

At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

To read more about the origin of this observance and peruse relevant materials, visit un.org/en/observances/cultural-diversity-day.

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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 ngocsdvienna.org

 

Fortifying the Supply Chain – Addressing Premix Challenges

We are delighted to invite you to a webinar on Fortifying the Supply Chain – Addressing Premix Challenges which will take place on Wednesday 7 April from 14:00-15:30 Central European Time (CET).

Register here!

This webinar will examine how the fortification supply chain has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including foreign exchange shortages, limited sources for raw materials, concentration of premix suppliers in specific geographies and huge increases in air freight and shipping costs, and container shortages due to COVID-19 related trade imbalances. Moving forward it will discuss key questions as to:

  • how vulnerabilities in the premix supply chain be addressed to make it more resilient to external shocks
  • what actions can be taken by vitamin and mineral producers and premix blenders to ensure a reliable, affordable supply of vitamin and mineral premix to support fortification programs
  • ways to strengthen and protect local access to premix, especially by small and medium-sized producers of fortified staple foods

The webinar will be moderated by Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director of the Micronutrient Forum and featuring stakeholders working to overcome these challenges from Stern Vitamin, BASF, Hexagon Nutrition, the GAIN Premix Facility and voices from Tanzania and Mozambique.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Micronutrient ForumGlobal Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)HarvestPlusHexagon Nutrition, Stern Vitamin and BASF

Kind regards,
Second Global Summit on Food Fortification team

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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 ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

World Autism Awareness Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and heightened glaring inequalities around the world, especially when it comes to income and wealth distribution, access to health care, protection under the law, and political inclusion. Persons with autism have long faced many of these inequalities, which have only been further exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s a problem made worse by long  recognized discriminatory hiring practices and workplace environments that present major obstacles for persons with autism; all of which contribute to the unemployment or severe underemployment of a large majority of adults on the autism spectrum.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 provide a blueprint for addressing the major challenges facing the world, including strategies for reducing inequalities that hinder prosperity for people and the planet. One of the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) – Decent Work and Economic Growth – is to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all, including persons with disabilities. Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also recognizes “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others,” and to a “work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.”

Some employers have recently launched inclusive employment programmes, which  accommodate people with diagnoses of autism and related conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, etc., often referred to as neurodivergent persons. Based on the experience gained from these programmes, and motivated by the desire to both be socially responsible and to gain a competitive advantage by benefitting from the skills and abilities of a more diverse talent pool, an increasing number of employers are now creating  models to make the workplace and hiring practices more inclusive generally.

The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the efforts of companies to implement these new models, at a time when the international economy is undergoing the worst economic recession since the great depression, with the loss of hundreds of millions of jobs. At the same time, new ways of working, including remote working and the use of new technologies, have created opportunities for employees on the autism spectrum that previously found it difficult to thrive in traditional workplace environments.

The 2021 World Autism Awareness Day observance will address these issues through a virtual event that will include moderated panel discussions with individuals on the autism spectrum who have themselves experienced the challenges and seen these new opportunities in the employment market.

The event is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Specialisterne Foundation.

As presented at the 2015 UN observance of World Autism Awareness Day, the mission of the Specialisterne Foundation is to leverage knowledge gained from the employment of autistic persons to support the creation of meaningful and fulfilling employment for one million persons, in a world where there are equal opportunities for all in the labour market.

Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World

Thursday, 8 April 2021
10:00 -11:00 a.m. EST/16:00 – 17:00 p.m. CET

Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdCe1tiFE7QlebOFoN97jT3okXKM6ZzDT13ZzxWTh6w8WekJQ/viewform

Click here to view the full event program and past events commemorating World Autism Awareness 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 for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing

The COVID-19 outbreak is not only a health crisis, but a jobs crisis, a humanitarian crisis and a development crisis of unprecedented scale and dimension and it demands unprecedented efforts, including to finance the response and recovery.

The UN Webinar on the COVID-19 Impact on Transfer Pricing will be a 4-hour virtual learning event on the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the policy and administrative aspects of the transfer pricing analyses for developing countries in their efforts to mobilize domestic resources for response and recovery. Given the relevance of the topic to stakeholders from all regions and multiple disciplines, the event will be open to the public. The forthcoming update of the Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, approved by UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters in its 21st Session, will be considered in light of the COVID-19-related crisis.

Register here!

The webinar is designed to:

• Give participants a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business’ value chains and how the rapid changes and economic downturn have impacted the transfer pricing position of taxpayers and posed a challenge to tax administrations in assessing transfer prices under these circumstances.

• Identify some of the specific issues faced by developing countries on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transfer pricing position of their taxpayers and suggest practical solutions to these challenges.

• Give particular attention to the issue of the lack of local comparables to undertake the transfer pricing analysis based on the arm’s length principle. It is acknowledged that this issue is not exclusive of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been exacerbated by it.

• It is acknowledged that while many businesses have incurred losses, some may have experienced extraordinary gains. It is important for developing countries to identify these different circumstances and have a better understanding of how to deal with extraordinary losses, as undue treatment of losses can further erode the tax base.

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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 ngocsdvienna.org

CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm?

Gender injustice is deep-rooted in social norms. Social norms are the values defined by a group and to which members of the group are expected to comply, otherwise risking disapproval, marginalization and/or exclusion. Religion and culture have a strong influence on the definition of social norms, including those relating to gender. At any given moment, many social norms are presented as fixed. Our event brings together gender advocates, who are challenging and changing social norms, to achieve gender justice. Tackling social norms related to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Women in Leadership, Child Marriage, Political Voting, Masculinities, FGM and Social Protection.

To register for “CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm,” and to explore other upcoming events on gender equality, click here

Organized by: Side by Side, Islamic Relief Worldwide, ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Religions for Peace, All Africa Conference of Churches, World Council of Churches, Christian Aid

Religions for Peace’s Co-Moderator, Dr. Vinu Aram, will be a speaker at this event.

Please note that you must have a profile on the NGO CSW65 virtual platform to register for this event. You can register as an NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum Advocate for free here: NGO CSW65 Forum Advocate registration page link.

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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 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.

The Role of Women in Faith-Based Organizations

Women are increasingly playing leading roles within faith-based communities and organizations. Join the World Jewish Congress, ActAlliance, Muslims for Progressive Values, Religions for Peace, and Tanenbaum for a parallel event to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to celebrate the diversity of opinions and address the many challenges faced by these leaders.

Register & Watch:  Register here or watch on Facebook live.

Shared Paths: 
Overcoming obstacles and opening doors for women leaders in faith-based communities

An open conversation with rabbi Maya Leibowitz and imam Ani Zonneveld

Followed by a panel discussion featuring:

Dr. Husna Ahmad, OBE, CEO, Global One
Prof. Azza Karam,  Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Rev. Dr. Elaine Neuenfeldt, Gender Programme Manager, ACT Alliance
Amichai Wise, World Jewish Congress Diplomatic Corps

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. 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.

Sacred People, Sacred Earth { A Faith-Climate Day of Action event}

On 11 March 2021 people of faith and conscience all around the world are kicking off organizing for the biggest-ever faith-climate day of action, all at the grassroots.

In places of prayer and households around the globe, we are joining together to call for climate leadership guided by compassion, love, and justice. In Chile alone, there are more than 15 actions taking place in Santiago and around the country. Churches are ringing their bells, and other places of prayer and meditation are sounding the alarm for action on climate change.

Click here to organize or attend an event.

Our 10 Demands

  • Energy: 100% renewable, clean energy for all! Sustainable, affordable power for everyone – especially the 800 million people without access to electricity
  • Finance: Global finance aligned with compassionate values!  Increased financing – in COVID recovery and beyond – for sustainable industry, infra-structure and agriculture
  • Employment: Jobs and healthcare for all! A just transition for workers impacted by climate change through job training, living wage and universal healthcare and insurance
  • Self-Determination: Respect Indigenous Rights! A strong defense for the legal rights of Indigenous communities and all environmental protectors
  • Hospitality: Welcome for migrants! Generous opportunities for climate refugees to migrate and establish new homes
  • Restoration: No more climate pollution! Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in wealthy countries by 2030; accelerated finance/technology transfers for global net zero before 2050
  • Biodiversity: End the planet’s desecration! No new fossil fuel exploration or infrastructure, no more deforestation; no more habitat or biodiversity loss
  • Divestment: Eliminate immoral investment! No further financing or COVID bailouts for fossil fuels and exploitative agriculture
  • Reparation: Climate reparations from wealthy countries! Initiatives by wealthy countries in climate financing and technology transfer, in recognition of these countries’ colonialist and environmental debt
  • Community: Bold faith community leadership! Sustained, united action guided by the teachings of our diverse religions, ushering in an equitable, peaceful life for all.

Click here to sign the statement and lend your support.

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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 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.

Education for Sustainable Development and Lifestyles: Re-designing Consumption and Production

UNESCO ESD Online workshop #6

Education for Sustainable Development and Lifestyles: Re-designing Consumption and Production

Register here!

Concept/background:

Climate change, shrinking forests, declining biodiversity and world food shortages are all results of the fact that we are demanding more from nature than it can supply.

To build a more sustainable world, attitudes and behaviours must change at different levels: individual, community, national, regional and global.  In this perspective, education is particularly relevant for achieving responsible sustainable consumption and production.

But concretely, how can Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) help accelerate transformation towards more sustainable economies and societies? Discussions will focus on the following questions:

  • What is the role of education, in particular Education for Sustainable Development, to promote alternative lifestyles/livelihoods in response to consumerism?
  • How can ESD promote reflection on new lifestyles that combine well-being, quality of life, responsible production and respect for nature and other people?

Speakers:

Mr. Palmiro Ocampo, Chef and founder of the NGO Ccocori Cocina Óptima, Peru

Ms. Bridget Ringdahl, Environmental Education Project manager, Water Explorer/Global Search for Sustainable Schools, African Conservation Trust, South Africa

Mr. Yann Le Tallec, Director Government & Public Affairs, Europe, Middle East and Africa, The LEGO Group

Mr. Tom Green, Ecological economist, Climate Solutions Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation, Canada

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is bringing together a panel of prominent female leaders to discuss how their diverse religious and belief backgrounds have shaped their views and prepared them for leadership positions around the world as well as how the freedom of religion or belief is critical to empowering women and girls.

March 16 from 12:30 – 2:00pm EST.

Register here:https://tinyurl.com/3csr4678

Panelists:

  • Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office 
  • Blu Greenberg, Founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance 
  • Carole McConkie, Latter-day Saint Charities Representative at the United Nations in Geneva 
  • Margaret Downey, Founder of the Freethought Society 

Format: Each speaker will present for 10-12 minutes followed by a time of Q+A from the attendees.

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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 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.

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