military spending

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

Women on the Front Line: Healing the Earth, Seeking Justice

Women are on the front line of the climate emergency so therefore they need to be at the forefront of the climate response. This is a critical year both for climate justice and for progressing a just recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. We must seize the opportunity to address these intersecting crises through transformational action to protect both the planet and the people who live upon it. We need a renewed global social contract that delivers on the Paris Agreement, human rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Christian Aid’s new report calls for a feminist and decolonial approach to climate change that shifts power and resources to women and the Global South, and delivers co-benefits for gender, climate and environmental justice. Please join our event and hear inspiring speakers who are making this change happen, including:

  • Amanda Mukwashi, CEO, Christian Aid
  • Kavita Naidu, human rights and feminist climate justice advocate
  • Ikal Angelei, politician and environmentalist
  • Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary

We will also be showing a short film about women’s climate activism in Kenya, and recorded messages from climate activists in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea

Please note, tickets for the live event are limited, but you can also join online. Links will be shared with people registered for the online event before the meeting.

Register here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-on-the-front-line-healing-the-earth-seeking-justice-tickets-194519772877

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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-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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP

The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

Sharing responsibilities as well as benefits? The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

The results of the G20 initiatives to relieve the debt of the Global South, which has been hard hit economically by the pandemic, are sobering. Many eligible countries are reluctant to enter into negotiations. They fear that debt relief will cut off their long-term access to private capital markets and cause them to lose the confidence of private investors. These concerns have been reinforced by creditors, especially from the private sector. And the G20? Despite its commitment to private sector participation in the Common Framework for Debt Treatments, it has so far not found the political will to make such participation mandatory. However, this would be a key step to shield debtor countries from uncooperative creditors and achieve substantial debt relief.

In the run-up to the joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers this October we have invited international experts from academia, government, and financial institutions to discuss the following questions among others:

  • Is there empirical evidence that debt relief excludes countries from much-needed development finance?
  • On what grounds could the participation from the private sector in official debt relief initiatives, comparable to other creditors, be expected?
  • In what ways can the G20 compel private sector participation and equal burden-sharing?

Further event details will be forthcoming, but please stay apprised of updates here: https://ny.fes.de/

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

Future Directions for Gender-sensitive Ammunition Management Processes

As the UN General Assembly receives the Final Report of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, Member States will consider developing a more comprehensive approach to conventional ammunition management processes, one that addresses not only safety but security. One aspect that the GGE highlighted was the “value of considering ammunition management throughout its life cycle, using a gender analysis, in order to identify relevant entry points for gender mainstreaming” (A/76/324, para 81).

While gender analysis has been introduced to address a variety of aspects of small arms control, it has received less attention in the ammunition-specific domain, especially outside of stockpile management concerns. In response to this knowledge gap, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is implementing a project to promote effective, safe and secure ammunition management through the development of gender-responsive guidance, including in the framework of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) and the UN SaferGuard Programme.

Following the release of a briefing paper last year, UNODA and the Small Arms Survey are hosting a virtual event to launch a report that highlights gender considerations throughout the life-cycle management of ammunition, “Gender-sensitive Ammunition Management Processes: Considerations for National Authorities,” on the margins of the First Committee of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

The event will highlight the main elements from the publication, as well as provide a brief overview of the life-cycle management of ammunition.

Register here!

The event will be moderated by Takuma Haga, Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. For more information, please contact Takuma Haga at takuma.haga@un.org.

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. – China Relations

The U.S. and China

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations

The prophetic historian Howard Zinn taught that if we don’t know our history, we can’t be free.  Without that knowledge, he warned, whenever a president comes on TV and says that we are in danger from here or there, we lack the framework needed to critically judge its truth.  Today the near unanimous Washington, media, and even scholarly and expert consensus is that China poses a dire threat to democracy and freedom around the world, and that our freedom requires defend them by challenging and containing China militarily, economically, technologically, diplomatically, and politically.  Provocative military operations near Taiwan or in the South China Sea carry the danger of an accident or miscalculation escalating to war, even a nuclear war.  Demonization of China also drives anti-Asian racism and violence across the United States, which must immediately be ended.

Understanding Chinese history and the history of U.S.-China relations provides us what we need to advocate for mutually beneficial policies and diplomacy, bringing the world back from the brink and opening the way for collaborations to address the existential threat of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. Professors Mark Seldon and Zhiqun Zhu are uniquely qualified to share the essential histories of China and of U.S.–Chinese cooperation and competition.

Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModOmorz4rHtwRKZ9w0MwVaDenIP6Hy8GI

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

UNCTAD15 civil society discussion on frontier technologies, the digital economy and development

Join us for a pre-event on the road to UNCTAD15. This discussion is the second part of a series of online discussions with civil society held in preparation for the UNCTAD15 ministerial conference.

The dialogue aims to raise awareness of civil society representatives on the issues of technology transfer, e-commerce and the digital economy. The outcome of the session will be presented to member states as part of the intergovernmental preparatory process for UNCTAD15. Find out more here.

The event is open to the public, but registration is mandatory. Register here!

Questions for discussion

Technology transfer

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for technology transfer that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate technology transfer and ensure that it benefits the most disadvantaged communities?

E-commerce and digital economy

  • What would be the elements of an agenda for the deployment of e-commerce and digital economy in developing countries that include civil society’s concerns and aspirations?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities that frontier technologies can bring?
  • What are the mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-.commerce and digital economy, ensuring that they benefit the most disadvantaged communities?

Programme

Opening remarks:

  • Ms. Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD

Keynote address on the agenda for technology transfer that includes civil society’s concerns and aspirations:

  • Ms. Neth Daño, Coordinator and Asia Director ETC Group, the Philippines

Keynote address on mechanisms to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce and the digital economy leaning no one behind:

  • Mr. Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director, IT for Change

Followed by an Interactive dialogue with civil society representatives:

  • Moderated by Ms. Chee Yoke Ling, Third World Network

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

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

In this first of two webinars exploring existing efforts to improve the safety of civilians during armed conflict, we at PHAP will be discussing “primary” prevention programs, which focus on advocacy, armed actor behavior change, and direct engagement with armed actors, either by the humanitarian organization or by facilitating this engagement by communities. We will hear from civil society organizations and UN agencies about their approaches to primary prevention – what the main considerations are and in which situations they are effective. We will also discuss what other organizations can learn from their approach and the implications this has for the humanitarian community as a whole.

The event will be held virtually, and participants will need to connect via Zoom. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Spanish, English, and French. Register here!

Background:

In armed conflict, the humanitarian community continues to witness highly disturbing situations where the safety of civilians is ignored or not addressed, or where civilians are purposely targeted by parties to a conflict. While protection services continue to provide much-needed support to vulnerable and marginalized groups and individuals and respond to protection concerns with remedial service provision, limited progress has been made on contributing to civilians’ safety in armed conflict. As Hugo Slim expressed it in the recent Oxford Lecture Series on Protection: “When you look at protection’s track record through wars, protection is at its weakest here, in this challenge in protecting people from physical harm and unlawful devastating attacks on their persons and homes.”

In the last few years, there has been a push by both humanitarian agencies and donors to examine how we can prevent and protect civilians from physical harm during conflict. Key questions remain: what does prevention mean and look like within our protection of civilians programming? Where does civilian safety “fit” within the humanitarian architecture?

There are, however, several existing approaches to mitigate and reduce risk in armed conflict for the civilian population, including how to prevent violence from happening in the first place and how to strengthen civilian self-protection strategies through community-based initiatives. This two-part webinar series aims to provide an overview of the range of strategies currently undertaken by national and international civil society organizations, UN agencies, and donors, providing examples of good practice, and discuss how such efforts can be advanced and systematized in the wider humanitarian community.

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

An NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security Discussion: Spending to Increase Nuclear Danger

Join the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security as we discuss how in the midst of an economic and public health crisis, the US is set to spend hundreds of billions on new nuclear weapons which could never be used, add nothing to national security, and actually increase the risk of nuclear war. Funding for these extremely dangerous weapons systems will come up soon in Congress. The NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security presents three leaders to clarify the key issues and discuss possible plans of action.

Register here!

Speakers:

Bruce Knotts has directed the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations since 2008. Before that, he served as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State with notable service during the Nairobi Embassy bombing 1998, Embassy Khartoum, Sudan, Regional Refugee Coordinator for West Africa and Deputy Chief of Mission in The Gambia. His final tour was in the Bureau of International Organization at the Department of State.

Dr. John Burroughs is Senior Analyst for the New York City-based Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy. He has represented LCNP in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meetings and negotiations on the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. His articles and op-eds have appeared in publications including Fordham International Law Journal, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Arms Control Today, Newsweek, and Newsday.

Jackie Cabasso has been Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, based in Oakland, California, since 1984. In 1995 she was a “founding mother” of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, and she continues to serve on its Coordinating Committee. Since 2007 she has served as an Executive Advisor to Mayors for Peace. In the U.S., she is a National Co-convener of United for Peace and Justice. Jackie was the 2008 recipient of the International Peace Bureau’s Sean MacBride Peace Award.

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Peace (Vienna), email its Chair,  Helga Kerschbaum at helga.kerschbaum@aon.at

Intergenerational Dialogue on Gender, Peace and Disarmament

UNFOLD ZEROYouth Fusion and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) cordially invite you to join an inter-generational dialogue on March 8 highlighting the roles of women in the peace, disarmament and security fields, and the importance of including gender approaches to these issues in order to build more effective and sustainable security for all.

The dialogue will be conducted in four mini-panels, each one with a highly experienced woman leader and a youth advocate introducing the sub-topics: Women in disarmament, Shifting security frameworks from nuclear deterrence to common security, Disarmament and sustainability, Nuclear disarmament and a feminist foreign policy, and Nuclear disarmament & grassroots/interfaith action.

The event will also include the launch of the PNND Gender, Peace and Security program, which consolidates and builds upon the work PNND has been doing on gender and nuclear disarmament since their establishment in 2003.

We welcome both women and men to the event. A gender approach is about inclusivity, cooperation and expanding our notions of security. It is not about setting women against, or in competition with, men.

The dialogue will be held by zoom on International Women’s Day, Monday March 8 at 18:30 CET (12:30 Eastern Time USA/Canada). Click here to register.

Speakers

Moderator: Michaela Sorensen (Denmark), UN Youth Association of Denmark. PNND Program Officer on Gender, Peace and Security.

Introduction to the PNND Gender, Peace and Security Program: Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic). Vice-Chair, PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security. PNND Program Officer on Gender, Peace and Security.

Closing Comments: Alyn Ware (Czech Republic/New Zealand), PNND Global Coordinator.

 

Youth speakers

  • Kehkashan Basu, (UAE/Canada) Founder of Green Hope Foundation, UN Human Rights Champion, Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize & Winner of the First-Ever Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for Nuclear Disarmament 
  • Vanessa Lanteigne, (Canada) National Coordinator of Voice of Women, One of the winners in the 2020 UN #75Words4Disarmament Youth Challenge
  • Lejla Hasandedic-Dapo, (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Europe Liaison Officer for United Religions Initiative. Board member of European Interfaith Youth Network
  • Yasmeen Silva, (USA) Partnerships Manager for Beyond the Bomb, Team member of the 2020 Count the Nuclear Weapons Money action in New York
  • Nico Edwards, (Sweden/UK) PNND Gender, Peace and Security Program Officer

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For information on the NGO Committee on Peace (Vienna), contact the Chair: Helga Kerschbaum | Pax Romana | helga.kerschbaum@aon.at

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