persecution

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

On the occasion of the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief (established by the United Nations General Assembly), the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York will be hosting an online event highlighting the continued need for action and advocacy aimed at preventing, condemning, and seeking accountability for violence against individuals on the basis of their religion or belief.

Time: 2:15pm – 3:30pm EDT

Location: Zoom (link to be sent out to registrants the day of the event)

To register, please email INFO@UNFORB.ORG for the link by Friday, 19 August 2022.

Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the UN Bani Dugal and UN NGO Committee on FoRB President Kelsey Zorzi and will provide overviews of several recent freedom of religion or belief initiatives, including the Washington D.C.-based Summit on International Religious Freedom and the London-based Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, and related future avenues for advocacy.

Dr. Thang Nguyen, founder and President of Boat People SOS (BPSOS) will provide an overview of the violence carried out against religious minorities in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia and will detail the Vietnamese government’s efforts to hide and punish advocacy efforts aimed at shedding light on this violence or commemorating this International Day.

Participants are invited during the Q+A portion of the meeting to commemorate victims of religiously-based violence and share information about recent violent persecution of religion or belief minorities around the world.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations – for more info, please visit unforb.org. Likewise, 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, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2021 focuses on the power of inclusion.

The shared experience of COVID-19 has showed us that we only succeed if we stand together. We have all had to do our part to keep each other safe and despite the challenges, refugees and displaced people have stepped up.

Given the chance, refugees will continue to contribute to a stronger, safer and more vibrant world. Therefore UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s World Refugee Day campaign this year is calling for the greater inclusion of refugees in health systems, schools and sport. Only by working together can we recover from the pandemic. Together we heal, learn and shine.

Background

Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several types of forcibly displaced persons:

Refugees

  • A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

Asylum Seekers

  • Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

Internally Displaced Persons

  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Stateless Persons

  • Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.

Returnees

  • Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

To learn more about how/why the UN commemorates this observance, including how the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol helps protect refugees, explore un.org/en/observances/refugee-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. 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. 

Hybrid Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Dear NGO representatives,

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda and the United Nations Office at Geneva will mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda during a hybrid ceremony to be held on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include the message of Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director‑General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by her own remarks and the statements of Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, of H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva, of Mrs. Nadia Galinier, survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and of Mr. Cesar Murangira, President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section). This year’s ceremony will also include a poem read by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt. Interpretation will be provided in English and French.      

You are cordially invited to this important event through this link. You can also watch live at webtv.un.org.

Provisional Program:

  • Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Alessandra Vellucci Director, United Nations Information Service
  • Lighting of candles
  • Observance of a minute of silence
  • Message of Mr. António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by the Director-General’s remarks
  • Remarks by Ms. Ghada Waly Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Remarks by Mr. César Murangira President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section)
  • Testimony by Mrs. Nadia Galinier Survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
  • Reading of a poem by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt
  • Remarks by H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva

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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.

General Assembly meeting to commemorate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The Commemorative meeting of the General Assembly, mandated by Resolution 62/122 is chaired by the President of the General Assembly. The Commemorative meeting will be held in person in the United Nations General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York. Dr. Lisa M. Coleman, senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation at New York University (NYU) will deliver the keynote address.
The commemorative meeting will be live-streamed on UN Web TV at: http://webtv.un.org

View the full calendar of events for the 2021 Commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade here.

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

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 1 – Cultures Left Behind

Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. On the 24 March, the Outreach Programme will hold an online panel discussion that will examine the series, and the first episode, “Cultures left behind.”

Please register to attend the discussion and to receive information of how to view Episode 1 before the discussion. The specific time on March 24 has not yet been announced – registrants will receive info when it becomes available.

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.