violence

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

World Humanitarian Day

Dear NGO Representatives,

Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, UNOG Director-General, is pleased to invite you to take part in the annual observance of World Humanitarian Day at the Palais des Nations, which will take place on Thursday, 19 August 2020 at 3.00 p.m., outside the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (Room XX). 

Designated by the General Assembly to be observed on 19 August – the day when 22 colleagues were killed at the United Nations Office in Baghdad, World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to colleagues who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to honour the thousands of aid workers who continue to provide much needed support to people suffering from conflicts or disasters across the world.  As the world’s humanitarian capital, Geneva plays a central role in bringing together the partners to ensure an effective humanitarian response.

The Geneva World Humanitarian Day commemoration is organized in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Due to COVID-19, the solemn ceremony will be organized in a hybrid format, with a limited physical presence outside Room XX. Due to the setup, no interpretation will be provided, however the speakers will address the event in either English or French. For any queries, please contact unog.political@un.org. 

We also take this opportunity to encourage you to be part of the 2021 World Humanitarian Day global campaign #TheHumanRace, which aims to get the world racing against the climate crisis clock ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November. Together with some famous persons in sport, the United Nations is encouraging people across the world to run, walk, swim, row or cycle for climate action. Learn more at https://www.unocha.org/world-humanitarian-day-2021.

The commemoration of World Humanitarian Day is a highlight in the agenda of International Geneva. Ms. Tatiana Valovaya looks forward to your participation which will send a strong signal of support, demonstrating our collective commitment to the humanitarian cause.

Program:

Wreath laying and candle lighting ceremony with Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva and Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva

Minute of silence

  • Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Ms. Laura Dolci, Family of the victim of the attacks against the United Nations Office in Baghdad on 19 August 2003
  • H.E. Mr. Abdul-Karim HASHIM MOSTAFA, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
  • Ms. Prisca Chaoui, Executive Secretary, UNOG Staff Coordinating Council
  • Ms. Wafaa Saeed, Acting Director of the Coordination Division, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Laying of floral arrangements by participants

Master of ceremonies: Ms. Alessandra Vellucci, Director, United Nations Information Service

Join the World Humanitarian Day global campaign on the climate crisis. Sign up or pledge your part to the #TheHumanRace now.

To attend in person, register here. The event will also be webcast live at webtv.un.org.

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

World Population Day

The COVID-19 crisis has taken a staggering toll on people, communities and economies everywhere. But not everyone is affected equally. Women, who account for the largest share of front-line health workers, for example, are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus. Supply chains around the world are being disrupted, impacting the availability of contraceptives and heightening the risk of unintended pregnancy. As countries are on lockdown and health systems struggle to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise.

Recent UNFPA research highlighted that if the lockdown continues for 6 months with major disruptions to health services, then 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives resulting in 7 million unintended pregnancies. 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can also be expected. The disruption of UNFPA’s programmes on the ground could result in 2 million cases of female genital mutilation and 13 million child marriages between 2020 and 2030 that could have been averted.

Moreover, women disproportionately work in insecure labour markets and are harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. Nearly 60 percent of women worldwide work in the informal economy, at greater risk of falling into poverty. Women’s unpaid care work has increased as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people.

The pandemic is hitting marginalized communities particularly hard, deepening inequalities and threatening to set us back in our efforts to leave no one behind. Our response to COVID-19 in every country is critical and will determine how fast the world recovers and whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or not.

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, check out un.org/en/observances/world-population-day.

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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.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention has been ratified by 162 countries.

Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persist in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual; and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.

The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

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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@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org/about.

National Dialogue on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in Nepal

As part of Global Action Week to promote the ratification of the Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment, and on the occasion of two-year anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention 190 (C190) on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, a National Dialogue on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in Nepal will be organized on 25 June 2021.

At the event, key findings from a study on violence and harassment in the world of work in the health sector in Nepal will be presented, followed by experience sharing from the key stakeholders in the health sector which has been overburdened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also feature key speakers working to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work to share their efforts around raising awareness on C190 and for its ratification in Nepal.

The event will elicit a call for a renewed commitment and ambitious actions to accelerating progress to prevent, address and end violence and harassment in the world of work for all.

Watch live here: youtube.com/watch?v=ACWzBbnT1qg&ab_channel=InternationalLabourOrganization

Learn more here: ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit  ngosocdev.org.

From commitment to reality: Building forward a world of work free from violence and harassment

The ILO is pleased to invite you to join the launching event of the ‘ILO Action Week on Convention No. 190. This high-level dialogue will mark the momentous entering into force of Convention No. 190 and elicit a call for a renewed commitment and ambitious actions to accelerating progress to prevent, address and end violence and harassment in the world of work for all.

Register here: ilo-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2SXaXNDGSleGIKsMCB7bZQ

Speakers:

  • Mr. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
  • Ms. Gisèle Ranampy, Minister of Labour, Employment, Public Services and Social Legislation, Madagascar
  • Mr. Claudio Moroni, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina
  • Mr. Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
  • Ms. Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Ms. Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, European Commission
  • Ms. Susan Kihika, Senator in the Kenyan Parliament and Member of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Live Captioning, International Sign, EN, FR, ES Interpretation available.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 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

Combating Corruption: The Relevance & Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations

Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS)

Side meeting: “Combating Corruption: The Relevance and Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations”

Representatives from diverse faith traditions, along with UN officials with direct experience in combating and proposing solutions to corruption—trafficking, public corruption, organized crime—will discuss the role of FBOs in corruption prevention and intervention efforts to improve ethics, justice, rule of law, good governance, and sustainable development.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman, Universal Peace Federation; Co-Chair, Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, USA

Panelists:

  • Amb. Thomas Stelzer, Dean, International Anti-Corruption Center, Vienna
  • Mrs. Livia Krings, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer in the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Austria
  • Dr. Liberato “Levi” Bautista, President of The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (CoNGO) in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations and Main Representative to the UN for the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
  • Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail, The Muslim Chaplain, The University of Sheffield, The Octagon Centre, Sheffield, UK
  • Bishop Munib Younan, Former President, Lutheran World Federation; Honorary President, Religions for Peace, State of Palestine

Question and Answer:

For Q&A, please email questions to coalitionfbo@gmail.com Thank you!

This webinar is sponsored by:

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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 Drugs & Crime-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

Remembering and Honoring Past Massacres: The Legacy and Resilience of the Victims

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

This webinar conversation will start by marking the 100th year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot, and will broaden its scope on other similar tragic events the English-speaking Americas (USA, Canada and the Caribbean).

This webinar will be a conversation (not a lecture) and remembrance, punctuated with moments of art (poetry, drums). A moment to lament, but also to recognize these fallen heroes. Other webinars focussing on the same issue of past massacres will be organized throughout the year and will focus on other regions.

We invite you to register here for this event:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qsguoT97Th2e76YIYcmNvw

Moderator: Bishop Mary-Ann Swenson, WCC Central Committee

Co-facilitator: Rev. Dr. Mikie A. Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life

Panellists:

  • Rev. Dr. Robert Turner, pastor of Historic Vernon chapel A.M.E. church, Tulsa, Oklahoma and academic dean for Jackson Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Michael McEachrane, co-founder and consultative member of the European Network of People of African Descent
  • Mrs. Jennifer P. Martin, Education in Mission Secretary, Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM)
  • Dr. Daniel D. Lee, academic dean of the Centre for Asian American Theology and Ministry, assistant professor of theology and Asian American ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Mr. Russel Burns, member of the National Indigenous Ministries and Justice Council (NIC), of the Indigenous caucus of Western Mining Action Network (WMAN), and of the Comprehensive Review Task Group (CRTG) of the United Church of Canada.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information 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.

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations

Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed.

This annual observance pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador.

The right to the truth is often invoked in the context of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law. The relatives of victims of summary executions, enforced disappearance, missing persons, abducted children, torture, require to know what happened to them. The right to the truth implies knowing the full and complete truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.

To learn more about how and why we honor the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, visit un.org/en/observances/right-to-truth-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

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

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