media

Two years after the death of George Floyd: Antiracism, #BLM and the United Nations

As people continue to challenge the systemic racism that has devalued the lives of Black and Brown people globally, many are asking the question: why do some of these tragic events spark a stronger call for change than others?

Floyds murder also revived the concept of antiracism. The webinar will explore, in practice, what it means to be antiracist. Participants will also be invited to reflect on the role played by Christian nationalism in reinforcing white supremacy and racial subjugation, thereby fueling racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

As a follow up of its 1 June 2021 webinar marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs will host this webinar on the sides of the 30th session of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will be taking place in New York city, USA, from 23 to 27 May 2022.

Speakers:

Moderator: Rev. Chebon Kernell, ordained elder in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

  • Gaynel D. Curry, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
  • Rt. Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis
  • Prof. Gay McDougall, member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

Register here to join this webinar live on Wednesday, 25 May, 3:30 pm CEST / 9:30am EST.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

World Press Freedom Day: Journalism Under Digital Siege

New York Observance of the 2022 World Press Freedom Day: Journalism Under Digital Siege

In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of the violations of press freedom and remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is a day to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics as well as to support media professionals, who are the targets of the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. Equally important, World Press Freedom Day recognizes and remembers journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

In collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations Department of Global Communications will host a virtual event for the New York observance of World Press Freedom Day 2022 on 4 May, 10:30 am – 12 pm EDT. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme, “Journalism Under Digital Siege,” examines the challenges to media viability in different regions and media sectors, identifying viable solutions without compromising the integrity and editorial independence and exploring the importance of professional practices. In addition, the session will mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and discuss the new challenges that the digital world brings to the safety of journalists.

Event site: un.org/en/civil-society/world-press-freedom-day-observance-2022

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

2nd PyeongChang Youth Peace Challenge [registration deadline]

Dear Friends,

Greetings of peace from PyeongChang on the Korean peninsula!

We are pleased to announce that youths interested in promoting and building peace are warmly invited to “The 2nd PyeongChang Youth Peace Challenge (YPC)”.

The YPC 2022 is the peace and global citizenship education program in the form of essays and group debates for youths. It is organized in the context of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030 and the UN Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020 in accordance with the PyeongChang Peace Spirit born out of the historical PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. 

THEME

How to implement the proposals contained in the Our Common Agenda report of the UN Secretary-General (Sep. 2021) from the peace perspective as a youth in your country and/or internationally. https://www.un.org/en/un75/common-agenda   

Pre-register online by 20th December 2021 at https://forms.gle/FsvHYpoK97HsdGwF7. Orientation for early applicants at 4-6 PM on Tuesday, 21 December 2021.

Submission of the essay is due by 15 January 2022. More detailed guidelines about the essay and group debate will be sent to registered applicants by email.

For any inquiries about YPC 2022 please contact us through PyeongChangYPC2022@gmail.com. More details about the PyeongChang Peace Forum (PPF) are available at http://ppf.or.kr/en/. Summary Report (English) of the PPF 2021 is available at http://ppf.or.kr/en/board/board_view.asp?BoardID=Notice&LangType=ENG&searchtext=&page=1&SNO=615. We look forward to welcoming your participation.

In peace and solidarity,  

PyeongChang YPC 2022 Organizing Team 

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

The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?

You are invited to “The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?”, the latest installment of the Temple of Understanding’s ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL Dialogues. These are special intimate discussions about the climate emergency with international ChangeMakers.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs presented by the Temple of Understanding, incorporating our outreach in the area of environmental awareness and advocacy. We present a diverse range of perspectives, from scientific to spiritual views, on the climate emergency and offer a variety of solutions that we can all do easily and effectively in our everyday lives. World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists and social scientists, environmental activists, artists, musicians and writers, youth and elders, local and global people, all come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis through these ongoing interviews and dialogues.

Register here!

Speakers:

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is an eco-theologian, spiritual leader, writer and creative. She founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization in 1988. Her books include Let the Earth Teach You Torah, Ecology and the Jewish Spirit, and The Splendor of Creation. Ellen also created the first ecologically-centered Tu B’Sh’vat (Jewish New Year of theTrees) seder in 1988 and popularized Tu B’Sh’vat as a community-wide inter-spiritual ecological arts celebration for all peoples. Her most recent book, The Promise of the Land, A Passover Haggadah is the first comprehensive, ecological haggadah (guidebook) for Passover (Behrman House, 2020). In 2020 during the pandemic, Ellen launched the Earth Seder movement, helping to organize several dozen world-wide Earth Seders on Zoom. Ellen continues to write and teach on the ecology of the Hebrew Bible, and serves on the advisory board of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. To learn more please visit ellenbernstein.org and thepromiseoftheland.com.

Theodore Hiebert writes about biblical perspectives on the environment and about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel challenges claims that the Bible privileges humans and separates them from nature, and it shows how biblical religion is grounded in the natural world. He has made contributions about biblical perspectives on nature to such works as The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, and Interpretation. He is the author of the article on Genesis for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Bible and Ecology. Ted was the lead translator of the Book of Genesis and one of the editors for the recent English translation, the Common English Bible (CEB). He wrote the notes to Genesis for the CEB Study Bible and for the New Interpreter’s Study Bible, based on the New Revised Standard Version. He is the Old Testament editor for Abingdon Press’s Covenant Bible Study. Ted also writes about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God’s Diverse World challenges exclusivist cultural interpretations of the book of Genesis and reveals a text that embraces and celebrates ethnic identities and differences. It contains a reinterpretation of the story of Babel as positive account of the origin of the world’s cultures. God’s Big Plan, which he co-authored with Elizabeth Caldwell, is a children’s story of Babel based on this new interpretation. Ted is currently at work on a study of the book of Genesis as migration literature. Ted is a member of the Mennonite Church and has served as pastor of the Boston Mennonite Congregation. He is a frequent lecturer and teacher in adult education programs in churches in the Chicago area. He is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and lives in Homewood, IL.

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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 Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions

You are invited to join the NGO Committee on the Family for a time of Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions!

Many different cultures and religions celebrate holidays around this time of year, and the family plays a unique role in preserving and passing on these traditions. Many families create their own family customs as well, which are then passed on to the next generation, which can preserve and adapt them. These may shift and blend through the years, yet they create intergenerational links, fostering a sense of identity and self in the young who feel connected to those who came before them. In an increasingly global world, these traditions provide a connection to the past and guideposts for the future.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for cultural exchange and community experience discussing family and culture in a holiday context. Attendees will have a chance to share their own holiday traditions during the general discussion. Online participants can share in various ways, such as showing a favorite holiday treat, describing a holiday tradition, or showing your holiday decorations via webcam. As culture and food are closely connected, committee members will bring holiday refreshments from their family and cultural traditions, and in-person attendees who would like to do the same are invited to bring a dish to share. 

Please RSVP by 6pm EST on December 15 at bit.ly/NGOFamilyHoliday

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Family-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For information about collaborative work of NGOs on the issues above and related matters, visit the substantive committees related to CoNGO. 

NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [regular mtg]

On behalf of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please consider yourselves cordially invited to attend our next regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 at 1pm EST.

AGENDA

1. Moment of Silence in Honor of the Land we are on and the Native Peoples of this land

2. Welcome, Introductions and Review of Agenda

3. Meeting minutes of November 18, 2021

4. Report of the Executive Committee

5. Announcement – Secretariat Update by Elaine re: Indigenous Forum – April 25 – May 6

6. Speaker –Teresa Darder (invited) from Pointe au Chien in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana on the topic of fragile coastal areas – Intro by Joy

7. Film and Discussion – “Dawnland” –  Intro by Roberto

8. Resource – Native Network Consulting – LaVonne Peck & Nina Vandenburgh (invited) – Intro by Sandy

9. Other announcements

10. Next meeting will be held on Thursday January 20, 2022, 1-3 pm

Access the meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2028703180

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

[book launch] Contemporary ecotheology, climate justice and environmental stewardship in world religions

Seasonal Greetings from Switzerland,

On behalf of the World Council of Churches’ Economic and Ecological Justice Programme, please find below the invitation to attend our upcoming ECOTHEE book launch webinar: 

“Contemporary ecotheology, climate justice and environmental stewardship in world religions” (ecothee. Vol. 6) taking place Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 17:00 CET

Please register through this link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-2pqTorGdBLN1P6LWw67PhPNO8pDAVo

Kindly find the link on our website, for additional information about the programme: https://www.oikoumene.org/events/book-launch-webinar-contemporary-ecotheology-climate-justice-and-environmental-stewardship-in-world-religions .

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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 Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations

The UN Palestinian Rights Committee , will hold the virtual event “Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations” on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (New York Time), via WebEx. The event will also be livestreamed on UN Web TV.

The event will highlight the engagement of the Committee with civil society partners in the implementation of its mandate towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian territory and advancing the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It will shed light on the implications of the Israeli decision of 22 October 2021 to designate six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian NGOs as “terrorist organizations” and more broadly on the work of civil society organizations and human rights defenders in the OPT. Finally, it will underline the role and responsibilities of the international community in the context of a shrinking space for CSOs.

The speakers – Shawan Jabarin (Al-Haq), Heba Morayef (Amnesty International), Michael Sfard (Human rights lawyer) and Omar Shakir (Human Rights Watch) – will brief on the varying dimension of this critical decision and show Israel’s long-time efforts to target organizations that document the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and seek to hold Israel accountable.

Participants in the Webex event will consist of the invited panellists, Committee Members / Observers and other Member States. Intergovernmental and civil society organizations as well as the public and media will be invited to follow the event via live stream. While participation in the virtual platform will be limited to UN Member and Observer States, panellists, IGOs ​​and CSOs, the general public can send their questions via the Committee Facebook pageTwitter account  or email dpr-meeting @ un.org.

For further information, please visit un.org/unispal.

Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtags #Rights4Palestine and #ForPalestineRefugees on their social media and to tag the Committee’s social media pages using Twitter & Instagram: @UNISPAL, Facebook: @ UN.palestinianrights.

Watch the live stream on UN Web TV: webtv.un.org

Share live updates from the Committee Twitter account and Facebook page.

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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 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 bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org.

Global Forum for Children and Youth (CY21)

Dear colleagues and partners,On December 7-9, UNICEF and partners will convene the Global Forum for Children and Youth (CY21), which includes leaders, experts, change-makers, and influencers together with children and youth to discuss and accelerate proven and new solutions, inspire commitments to create change and mobilize knowledge and resources to advance child rights to meet the SDGs by 2030. We encourage all our partners to follow the forum online.  Ahead of the event, we would like to request you to please share the CY21 teaser video on your platforms. The video assets (with editable files) and suggested post copy are available to download here. The daily agenda during the event are found on these links:7 December8 December9 December The Global Forum for Children and Youth convenes children and young people themselves, along with leaders across the United Nations, government, business, philanthropy, and civil society, as well as authors, artists, and influencers. You can find the list of speakers here. You may also find other available resources to support you on the links below.

Here is the link to stream the forum online.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People

As customary, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (Solidarity Day) will be marked by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) with a Special Meeting of the Committee where UN Members States express their solidarity with the Palestinian people through messages by Heads of States and Government. Similar events are held at UNOG, UNON, UNOV and UNICs around the world.

This year, the Special Meeting will be held on Monday, 29 November from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (New York time) and will be livestreamed on UN WebTV.

The International Day of Solidarity provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the right to return.

The Special Meeting will be presided by the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Cheikh Niang, who will deliver the opening statement, followed by remarks by the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Security Council, and by the Chef de Cabinet, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General.

The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine will deliver a statement on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine. Video messages of solidarity by H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen, Former President of Finland, Ms. Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International Secretary-General, and Ms. Hanan Hroub, Palestinian winner of “Global Teacher Prize,” will be broadcast.  Mr. Mohammed El-Kurd, Palestinian activist from Sheikh Jarrah and Representative of civil society, will also deliver a statement.

The Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and representatives of regional organizations (AU, LAS, OIC, NAM) will deliver statements in the second part of the Meeting.

This year, the Special Meeting will be held in-person, in the General Assembly Hall, with some of the COVID-19 restrictions and limits to access to the UN compound.

The Special Meeting will be open to the media. The Special Meeting will be conducted in the six official languages.The meeting will be broadcast on UN Web TV

Updates, including on the programme of the event and press releases, will be posted online at Home – Question of Palestine (un.org).

There will be live updates from the Committee Twitter account and Facebook page.

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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 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

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