social services

2021 ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum

DCF HIGH-LEVEL MEETING (6-7 MAY 2021)

Preliminary programme (forthcoming) will be available here as it becomes available: https://www.un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/development-cooperation-forum/2020-DCF

About the DCF:

WHY —The 2021 Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) will advance international development cooperation that reduces risk, enables recovery and builds resilience in the COVID-19 period and beyond.

WHEN — The 2021 DCF will be the DCF’s 7th biennial high-level meeting since its creation by world leaders in 2005.

HOW — The DCF is the principal global platform for policy dialogue on development cooperation. Discussions are reality-based, action-oriented and results-focused.

WHO — Convened by the President of ECOSOC, the Forum is open to all Member States and engages all stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, Parliamentarians, local authorities, international and regional organizations and development banks.

Background:

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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  ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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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 ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Lessons and Actions From the 11th Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing

IFA Global Cafe: In Conversation with Ms. Margaret Gillis “The Lessons and Actions From the 11th Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing”

As part of the 11th Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, the important side-event entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue will unite UN officials and global leaders in the fields of ageing and beyond to address the need for a UN Convention on the rights of older peoples.

As an award-winning executive and innovative leader of the ILC Canada, Ms Gillis has contributed to a range of issues affecting all ages through a human rights lens. The IFA would be grateful to have Ms Gillis discuss how to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older peoples post-OEWG.

This Global Cafe takes place at 07:00 am (Eastern Standard Time) on Friday 9 April 2021 (additional time zones below):

Geneva, Switzerland: 12:00
Lagos, Nigeria: 12:00
New Delhi, India: 16:30
Perth, Australia: 19:00

This Global Cafe will be recorded and streamed live on Facebook. Should you be unable to participate, a recording will be available on the IFA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/intfedageing/ and resources will be available at: https://ifa.ngo/ifa-virtual-town-hall-resources/

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org.

COVID-19, Youth Livelihood, and Mental Health: A Global Youth Voice for Resilience and Recovery

COVID-19, Youth Livelihood, and Mental Health: A Global Youth Voice for Resilience and Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted young people across the world. From decreased access to quality education to sudden loss of employment, young people are at greater risk of distress now. Urgent actions need to be taken immediately with better policies and practices.

Prior to COVID-19, mental health conditions already took the lives of young people worldwide. If necessary actions are not taken with better policy and practice, this public health crisis will put youth further into severe and prolonged psychological, social, and economic distress. Let’s learn from global experts and practitioners how we could address this issue best!

Register for our side event at the United Nations #ECOSOCYouthForum2021 now. Let’s together promote the positive mental health of young people!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. 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

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue

As part of the 11th Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, this official side-event entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Rights of Older Persons: An International Dialogue” is hosted by the International Longevity Centre Canada with the support of our funders, the Canadian Medical Association, Home Instead and our partner, the International Federation of Ageing, with the support of UN DESA, UN OHCHR and the Government of Canada.

This important event unites UN officials and global leaders in the fields of ageing and beyond to address the need for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People. Register here!

This webinar will feature interventions from global leaders of the highest calibre, including:

  • The. Hon. Patricia Bovey, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Dr. Ann Collins, President of the Canadian Medical Association
  • H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco to the United Nations
  • Dr. Alexandre Kalache, President of the International Longevity Centre Brazil
  • Dr. Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • H. E. Mr. Bob Rae, Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations
  • H.E. Ms. Maria del Carmen Squeff, Ambassador of Argentina to the United Nations

This event is free of charge and will be recorded and broadcast live on UN WebTV (webtv.un.org) and IFA’s Facebook channel (facebook.com/intfedageing).

Live interpretation will be available in French, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

UN Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19

Dear colleagues and members of the Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being,

Please consider yourselves invited to an event on Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19 being held on March 30th from 9:00 to 10:15 am EST. This event is co-organized by the World Health Organization, the Co-Chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-being, UNICEF, the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-being.

Presenting experience from professionals in the field and examples from member states, the event will share practical tools, best practices and resources, as well as self-care tools, to help navigate through this difficult time and to strengthen and support our mental health and psychosocial well-being.

We hope you will be able to join us for this important conversation. Please register here!

Best regards,

Pierre-David Jean
First Secretary (Political) | Premier Secrétaire (Politique)
pierre-david.jean@international.gc.ca

Tel. (212) 848-1136 
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations |
Mission Permanente du Canada auprès des Nations-Unies
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

International Day of Happiness

The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.

The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country which recognized the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

To learn more and stay apprised of planned events, please visit un.org/en/observances/happiness-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.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.

Pan-African Psychology Union Leadership Summit

On March 16, join global and continental leaders on Zoom to discuss psychology in your country, Africa, and the rest of the world.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpdO6trTsrGdT7YjBQusmmGwMRKnaUywr3

PAPU’s mission is to be a collaborative union of psychological societies and psychologists in Africa committed to scholarship and human development in our communities, countries, Africa and the World. Learn more about the Pan-African Psychology Union 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 Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org.

2021 Shine the Light Human Trafficking Conference: Root Causes & Intersections on Human Trafficking

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to our VIRTUAL 2021 Shine the Light Human Trafficking Conference: Root Causes and Intersections on Human Trafficking.  The conference, which is free of charge, will be held over two afternoons, March 8 (12noon to 3:00 pm EST), and March 9 (12noon to 1:30 pm EST).  We also are organizing a Call to Action Day on Trafficking for March 9.

Register at http://bit.ly/2021traffickingconference

Building on the success of our previous in-person Human Trafficking Conferences in 2018 and 2019, this year’s participants will hear from survivors, service providers and other experts.  An additional advocacy panel will share easy and ongoing actions that can be taken to combat trafficking.

Our co-sponsors this year are the Columbian Center for Advocacy and Outreach, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team, the U.S. Coalition of Sisters Against Human Trafficking, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of Migration and Refugee Services.

Monday, March 8, 12:00 – 3:00 pm EST & Tuesday, March 9, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Advance registration required. Register online here or call 301-622-6838

On Day 1, we will begin with an overview of human trafficking that speaks to the various root causes. Panel presentations on both sex and labor trafficking with domestic and international components will follow.  On Day 2, we will focus on advocacy campaigns and how all of us can make a difference.  Additional details are available on our Conference webpage.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to engage in Q&A with panelists both days.

Speakers confirmed to date include:

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; Sr. Winifred Doherty, RGS, United Nations Representative for the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd; Diana Fimbres, Program Manager for Strategic Initiatives on Labor Trafficking, Polaris; Hilary Chester, PhD, Associate Director, Anti-Trafficking Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Lawrence Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; Sr. Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD, Associate Director for Social Mission Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach; and current Members of Congress. As in previous conferences, trafficking survivors with their powerful stories will be pivotal contributors to the day.

We also encourage you to spread the word – share this invitation with your colleagues and networks and share this postcard on social media. If you would like further information, please reach out to Fran Eskin-Royer (associatedirector@gsadvocacy.org) or me (nacdirector@gsadvocacy.org).  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Lawrence E. Couch, Director

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

301-622-6838 (o) | 240-463-0660 (c) | www.gsadvocacy.org

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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 Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org.

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