police brutality

Geneva Peace Talks: End Racism. Build Peace.

Dear NGO Representatives,

The United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace, and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform are pleased to invite you and your staff to attend the 10th anniversary edition of the Geneva PeaceTalks. Marking the International Day of Peace, the Geneva PeaceTalks will take place on Wednesday, 21 September 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room XVIII at the Palais des Nations and online. The event will be followed by a reception at the Bar Serpent.

The 2022 edition revisits the original theme of the first Geneva PeaceTalks in 2013 to ask again: “What does peace mean to you?” The meaning of the word “peace” can indeed vary according to the context, and its significance is different according to people and their experiences. This event will be an opportunity to explore this question. In addition, for International Day of Peace 2022, the theme is “End Racism. Build Peace.”

The event will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, from the media to peacebuilding, the creative sector and the police service. We will hear from Commissioner Ann-Marie Orler from the UN’s Standing Police Capacity; Ibaa Abusin, a Horn of Africa Social Media Expert at the Centre of Humanitarian Dialogue; Amad Mian, the co-founder of Pakistani creative platform Dastaangoi; Wasim Almasri and Eran Nissan, a peacebuilding duo from Palestine and Israel; Maged Al-Kholidy, a Yemeni activist and founder of a peacebuilding NGO; Amadou Dabitao, founder of the media platform Banlieusard Nouveau; and Ukrainian opera singer, Daria Mykolenko.

Due to COVID-19, the wearing of masks is mandatory in conference rooms and strongly recommended in all public areas at the Palais des Nations. Early registration for in-person participation is recommended as it will be closed once the maximum capacity is reached. To follow the event online or to register, please use the following link: www.peacetalks.net/pt/geneva-2022.

This year’s Geneva PeaceTalks are co-organized, once again, by the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. This year’s edition is made possible in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, and with the generous support of B8 of Hope, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Mirabaud, Salesforce and Second Peninsula.

With best regards,

NGO Liaison Unit

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Cher(e)s représentant(e)s d’ONG,

L’Office des Nations Unies à Genève, Interpeace et la Plateforme de Genève pour la consolidation de la paix ont le plaisir de vous inviter, ainsi que votre personnel, à participer à l’édition du 10e anniversaire des Pourparlers de Genève pour la paix. Marquant la Journée internationale de la paix, les Pourparlers de Genève pour la paix auront lieu le mercredi 21 septembre 2022, de 16h00 à 17h15, dans la salle XVIII du Palais des Nations et en ligne. L’événement sera suivi d’une réception au Bar Serpent.

L’édition 2022 revisite le thème original des premiers Pourparlers de Genève pour la paix en 2013 pour demander à nouveau : “Que signifie la paix pour vous ?”. Le sens du mot “paix” peut en effet varier en fonction du contexte, et sa signification est différente selon les personnes et leurs expériences. Cet événement sera l’occasion d’explorer cette question. En outre, pour la Journée internationale de la paix 2022, le thème est “Mettre fin au racisme. Construire la paix“.

L’événement accueillera des intervenants issus d’horizons très divers, des médias à la consolidation de la paix, en passant par le secteur créatif et le service de police. Nous entendrons Ann-Marie Orler, commissaire de la Force de police permanente des Nations Unies; Ibaa Abusin, experte en réseaux sociaux de la Corne de l’Afrique au Centre pour le dialogue humanitaire; Amad Mian, cofondateur de la plateforme créative pakistanaise Dastaangoi ; Wasim Almasri et Eran Nissan, un duo de construction de la paix venus de Palestine et d’Israël ; Maged Al-Kholidy, un activiste yéménite et fondateur d’une ONG de construction de la paix ; Amadou Dabitao, fondateur de la plateforme médiatique Banlieusard Nouveau ; et la chanteuse d’opéra ukrainienne, Daria Mykolenko.

En raison du COVID-19, le port du masque est obligatoire dans les salles de conférence et fortement recommandé dans tous les espaces publics du Palais des Nations. Il est recommandé de s’inscrire rapidement pour participer en personne, car les inscriptions seront closes lorsque la capacité maximale sera atteinte. Pour suivre l’événement en ligne ou pour vous inscrire, veuillez utiliser le lien suivant : www.peacetalks.net/pt/geneva-2022.

Cette année encore, les Pourparlers de Genève pour la paix sont co-organisés par l’Office des Nations Unies à Genève, Interpeace et la Plateforme de Genève pour la consolidation de la paix. L’édition de cette année est rendue possible en partenariat avec la Mission permanente de la Suisse auprès de l’Office des Nations Unies et des autres organisations internationales à Genève, et grâce au généreux soutien de B8 of Hope, du Centre pour le dialogue humanitaire, de Mirabaud, de Salesforce et de Second Peninsula.

Bien cordialement, 

Le bureau de Liaison avec les ONG

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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 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 on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu.

Racial discrimination and the right to health, Day of General Discussion 2022

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is starting the elaboration of its General Recommendation n°37 on racial discrimination and the right to health under Article 5 (e)(iv) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

To start this process, the Committee will convene a day of general discussion at its 107th session, on 23 August 2022 and is inviting State parties, national human rights institutions, civil society and grassroots organisations, academia, other relevant stakeholders (i.e., health-related entities or laboratories) and international organisations to provide relevant information to participate in this consultation process by providing information on any of the issues raised in this questionnaire [العربية | English | Français | Español] or by making submissions on any other aspects of article 5 (e)(iv) that they deem relevant.

Written submissions must be submitted to ohchr-cerd-gr37@un.org, before 1 July 2022 in one of the official working languages of the Committee: English, French or Spanish and should be limited to a maximum of 10 pages. Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other background materials may be annexed to the submission.

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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 Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org.

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. 

1st Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human Rights Conference

Join us for the First Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human Rights Conference, sponsored by the Fannie Lou Hamer branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF US)!

Saturday, December 11th, 10AM -2PM Pacific, 1PM – 5PM Eastern

WILPF US awarded a mini grant of $1,500 to the Fannie Lou Hamer branch for this conference.

The conference will consist of an opening plenary, breakout sessions, and discussion.
Topics will be: Ending Mass Incarceration, Abolishing the Death Penalty, Immigration Justice, the UN International Decade for People of African Descent / Reparations, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

For more information contact Theresa El-Amin at theresa@projectsarn.org or 919-824-0659.

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

RE-JUST Towards a victim-centered criminal justice system: talking about trauma

The final conference of the RE-JUST project is a forum for discussion criminal justice systems and improving victims’ access to justice. Join our online event on 17th September to be inspired by knowledge and ideas from experienced professionals in the fields of law, criminology, and psychology.

We will first discuss structural issues for developing more victim-centered criminal justice systems, such as legislation, multidisciplinary cooperation, and how to provide victims with information on their rights. Then, we move on to understand how trauma can manifest in the criminal justice system and how criminal justice actors can in practice provide justice in a trauma-informed manner.

The event will be participated by a variety of speakers: Prosecutor General of Finland, Raija Toiviainen, President of Association Pro Refugiu, Silvia Antoaneta Berbec, Adjunct professor, and co-leader of a research group in legal psychology at Åbo Akademi University, Dr. Julia Korkman, Professor of procedural law at University of Turku, Johanna Niemi, and many more. View the full program here.

Register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice , please visit crimealliance.org. 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@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

International Day for People of African Descent

The International Day for People of African Descent will be celebrated for the first time on 31 August 2021. Through this Observance the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.

International days reflect the values that society shares. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.

The United Nations strongly condemns the continuing violent practices and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent and condemns structural racism in criminal justice systems around the world. The Organization further acknowledges the Transatlantic Slave Trade as one of the darkest chapters in our human history and upholds human dignity and equality for the victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, in particular people of African descent in the African diaspora.

Learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance at un.org/en/observances/african-descent-day.

For further information on the International Decade for “People of African Descent: recognition, justice and development” (2015-2024), please visit un.org/en/observances/decade-people-african-descent.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Briefing to Civil Society on UNODC Strategy

UNODC has recently launched its new five-year strategy, covering 2021-25. Recognizing that a key to successful implementation of this Strategy will be the expanded use of partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, the online meeting on February 25th will provide a briefing to Civil Society partners. The briefing will include a presentation of the Strategy by Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), UNODC and Bo Mathiassen, Deputy Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), UNODC. The presentation will be followed by a Question & Answer session for the civil society participants.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Urgent Debate: UN Human Rights Council — “Race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests”

THE DEBATE CAN BE VIEWED AT UNTV: webtv.un.org

The UN Human Rights Council will be holding an urgent debate on “race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests.” This unprecedented meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:00pm Geneva time (9:00am New York time).

Last Friday, the African Group (which represents the 54 African countries in the United Nations) submitted a request for an Urgent Debate during this week’s Council session which resumed after it was suspended in March due to COVID-19. While the request for an “Urgent Debate” (which is technically equivalent to a special session) is not specific to the U.S., it is very clear that racism and impunity for police killings of people of African descent in the United States including recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were the impetus for the request.

George Floyd’s tragic murder has sparked what appears to be an unstoppable global movement demanding concrete and bold actions to end racist policing practices and impunity for police violence.

While there is a  recognition that the global nature of racism and police violence, there is now an invitation to encourage governments, especially members of the UN Human Rights Council, to ensure that the Urgent Debate and its outcome, are focused on efforts to hold the United States accountable. The recommendation is the creation of an independent international accountability mechanism to document and investigate extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black men and women, and police violence against protesters and journalists.

We are encouraged to contact foreign embassies in Washington D.C. that are members of the UNHRC (see list here) especially U.S. allies and urge them to support international accountability for police killings in the U.S. This is a call made by families of victims of police killings in the United States and over 660 groups from 66 countries to mandate an independent Commission of Inquiry.