victim recognition

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy & Resilience of the Victims

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Against Nuclear Tests

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, over 2,000 have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorating the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. In each subsequent year, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment that strongly advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Unfortunately, this has yet to enter into force.

As the Secretary-General recognized in his disarmament agenda “Securing our Common Future” launched on 24 May 2018, the norm against testing is an example of a measure that serves both disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. By constraining the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, the CTBT puts a brake on the arms race. It also serves as a powerful normative barrier against potential States that might seek to develop, manufacture and subsequently acquire nuclear weapons in violation of their non-proliferation commitments.

Every effort needs to be made to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and to preserve its place in the international architecture. In this regard, the Secretary-General appeals to all remaining States whose ratifications are required for the CTBT to enter into force to commit to sign the Treaty at an early date if they have not already done so, and to accelerate the completion of their ratification processes.

It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as the world works towards promoting peace and security.

To learn more about the background and significance of this observance, please visit un.org/en/observances/end-nuclear-tests-day.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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 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. 

[UN Observance] International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust

Each year on January 27, the United Nations officially recognizes the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The UN Charter endeavors that the human rights violations that occurred throughout World War II and the Holocaust must never be repeated, yet we know that they continue to be perpetrated today all over the world. Stay apprised of 2021 events to join us in honoring the memory of victims lost to the Holocaust and lifting up the critical message of peace, security, and human rights for all people here.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit  facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.