accountability

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

Informal Meeting of the GA Plenary on Syria with President of the GA

Dear Civil Society Partners,

The UN Human Rights Office in NY wishes to inform you about an upcoming informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters. The meeting will allow a high-level panel to brief on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic pursuant to A/RES/74/169. The meeting will be open and webcast on UN Web TV with interpretation in all official languages.

Further information, including with respect to the modalities for interested civil society representatives to submit questions to the high-level panel, is included in the correspondence below from the President of the General Assembly.

Sincerely,

UN Human Rights NY

 

Excellency,

I have the honour to inform you that I will convene an informal meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters. The meeting will allow a high-level panel to brief the General Assembly pursuant to A/RES/74/169, operative paragraph 37, in which the General Assembly,

“Urgently request[ed] the convening of a high-level panel discussion, funded by voluntary contributions, led by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, the Commission of Inquiry and Syrian civil society to brief the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and encourages United Nations monitoring and reporting to help this panel to further document violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, to provide recommendations to facilitate improvements in civilian protection and accountability measures, and to feature witness testimony of Syrian human rights defenders and other Syrian voices through appropriate and safe means”.

In addition to briefing on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic the panel will focus on:

(i) violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, in particular arbitrary detention, torture, the missing and disappeared, with a focus on women, peace and security; and,

(ii) recommendations to facilitate improvements in civilian protection and accountability measures.

The high-level panel will be moderated by Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant SecretaryGeneral for Human Rights and Head, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York. Ms. Brands Kehris will also present OHCHR’s role in documentation, accountability, and engagement with key counterparts including the United Nations, humanitarian partners and accountability mechanisms such as the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI), the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), the Syrian Government, and civil society. The high-level panel will be comprised of the following six panelists from the COI and civil society:

  • Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair, COI
  • Karen Koning AbuZayd, Commissioner, COI
  • Hanny Megally, Commissioner, COI
  • Mazen Darwish, President, Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression;
  • Sabah Hallaq, Syrian League for Citizenship
  • Wafa Moustafa, Families for Freedom.

The meeting will be open and webcast on UN Web TV with interpretation in all official languages. Each panelist will have up to 7 minutes to deliver his/her remarks. The floor will then be open for up to 3-minute interventions and/or questions. Please note that there will be no pre-established list of speakers for this meeting. For planning purposes only, delegations are encouraged to register their interest to speak by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, 26 February 2021 via e-mail to Mr. Igor Bondiuk (igor.bondiuk@un.org), Human Rights Adviser, copying Ms. Hila Wesa (wesa@un.org), Team Leader for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

Civil society representatives interested in submitting questions to the high-level panel are requested to do so by 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, 24 February 2021, via e-email to Ms. Giorgia Passarelli (passarellig@un.org), Human Rights Officer at OHCHR. The moderator will select some of the questions for the panelists to answer during the discussion.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Volkan BOZKIR

View this meeting via UN Web TV here on March 2, and read the full schedule of General Assembly Plenary and Related Meetings here.

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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.

[UN Observance] International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

The United Nations recognizes the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists every year on November 2.

Help keep the investigations of killed journalists alive and perpetuate their legacy by sharing their articles and their stories. Learn more about the #TruthNeverDies campaign, developed jointly by UNESCO and DDB Paris, here: https://unesco.exposure.co/truth-never-dies.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs and Crime, please visit nyngoc.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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Strengthening SDG 16/17 implementation in the context of COVID-19

2020 HLPF virtual side-event: How to strengthen the partnership between the government and civil society to accelerate the implementation of SDG 16/17 in the corona context?
Date:14 July 2020
 -1st session: CSO roundtable 07:00-08:00 EDT (20:00-21:00 in East Asia time)
 -2nd session: HLPF Side-event 08:00-09:00 EDT (21:00-22:00 in East Asia time)

Main Organizer: Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development (KCOC)

Co-organizers: Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs, Save the Children Japan, World Vision Japan, Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability

Best regards,
Aoi Horiuchi
Advocacy Coordinator,
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on CoNGO’s Regional Committee in Asia-Pacific, please visit  facebook.com/ngocongoRCAP.

[HLPF Webinar] “Digital with Purpose”

Digital with Purpose: Accelerating Action and Transformative Pathways for Delivering on the SDGs & Recovering from COVID-19

8 July 2020 (12 pm New York)
To join the webinar, please click on the Zoom link here

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is organizing this webinar as a side event at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2020.

This session will make the case for accelerating action for an inclusive digital transformation to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the SDGs and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The adoption of meaningful digital technologies and solutions, ICT infrastructure and leveraging South-South and triangular cooperation will be key to addressing the existing digital divides in developing countries.

Following the presentations from the panelists, there will be a Q&A session during which it will be possible to ask questions and further discuss lessons learned.

Moderator: Ms. Ursula Wynhoven, Head International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Liaison Office to the United Nations

Opening and Welcoming Remarks (20mins)

  • H.E Ms. Milica Pejanović Đurišić, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the United Nations
  • H.E Ms. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations
  • Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU
  • Mr. Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation

Presentations (15 mins)

  • Screening of video on Digital with Purpose
  • Mr. James Gowen, Chairman, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Chief Sustainability Officer, Verizon

Panel discussion on country experiences with country representatives: (30mins)

  • Mr. Ibrahima Guimba Saidou, Minister Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger, Directeur Général / CEO Agence Nationale pour la Société de l’Information (10 min)
  • Mr. Martin Olmos, Undersecretary of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Argentina (10 min)

Q & A interaction with audience (15 mins)

Wrap up and Closing (5 mins)

  • Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of UNOSSC

For more information, click here.

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.