armed conflict

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slaverythe Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.

Join us for the 5th installment of this Live Discussion Series:

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public.

In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.

Register here: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R2NKoD1CR2aIVHXygJKYVA

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CoNGO Notes: 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Abolition 2000, global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons

PNND members, partners and supporters are invited to participate in the annual meeting of Abolition 2000, the global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Abolition 2000 was established in 1995 during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Over 2000 organizations from around the world have endorsed the Abolition 2000 founding statement which outlines a mix of incremental and comprehensive measures to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Abolition 2000 builds cooperation between civil society and legislators through its partnership with PNND. The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to share ideas and initiatives, discuss strategy and build cooperation for more effective campaigns and policy actions.

See below for details about the program. Click here to register for the meeting. We invite you to read the PNND Report for the Abolition 2000 meeting. Additionally, in preparation for the annual meeting, Abolition 2000 has interviewed 6 people, from a range of backgrounds in peace and disarmament. They address the theme of the 2021 annual meeting: How do we move from a dysfunctional world to a world free of nuclear weapons? Click here see the interviews: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNLSpPdpFraCBUmKLTTxP9qTX1vviq3jN

The meeting will be held in two sessions of 90 minutes each:

Session 1: Campaign updates and reports. Strategy discussion on challenges and opportunities to advance nuclear abolition. Introduction of proposals.

Session 2:Discussion of proposals. Abolition 2000 Secretariat report. Fundraising. Affirmation of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee and Global Council. Calendar of upcoming events.

In order to enable participation by organisations and activists around the world, Session 1 will be held twice:
Session 1 (a) is timed to suit participation by those from Asia/Pacific.
Session 1 (b) is timed to suit participation by those from the Americas and Europe.

Click here for more information including the Session times for your location. Click here to register for the meeting.

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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 bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

2021 observance: “Building back better: Supporting survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in the context of pandemic recovery”

Join us from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT on Thursday, 17 June 2021 via UN WebTV live webcast

Commemorating the 7th official observance, this year’s virtual event is co-hosted by the Office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Office of the SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict and the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations.

The purpose of the event is to stand in solidarity with the survivors and those working to support them on the frontlines, often at great personal risk, particularly in the current climate of intersecting crises. The event will provide a platform for strategic reflection on ways to integrate the specific rights, needs and perspectives of survivors of CRSV into national and regional COVID-19 response and recovery plans, to ensure they are not forgotten in a climate of intersecting crises and constrained resources.

The impact of COVID-19 on survivors of conflict-related sexual violence

The chronic underreporting of conflict-related sexual violence, due to stigma, insecurity, fear of reprisals, and lack of services, has been compounded by COVID-19 containment measures. Lockdowns, curfews, quarantines, fears of contracting or transmitting the virus, mobility restrictions, and limited access to services and safe spaces, as shelters closed and clinics were repurposed for the pandemic response, added a layer of complexity to existing structural, institutional and sociocultural barriers to reporting.

Proactive measures to foster an enabling environment for survivors to safely come forward and seek redress have become more urgent than ever. The pandemic has laid bare the intersecting inequalities that plague our societies, as compounded by conflict, displacement, and institutional fragility. The only solution for these overlapping ills is an injection of political resolve and resources equal to the scale of the challenge.

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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-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.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 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 bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

It is a sad reality that in situations where armed conflict breaks out, it is the most vulnerable members of societies – namely children, who are most affected by the consequences of war. The six most common violations are recruitment and use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression”, decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.

Following the ground-breaking Graça Machel report, which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children, in 1997 the General Assembly adopted 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child. To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, visit un.org/en/observances/child-victim-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

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 of UN Peacekeepers

2021 Theme

The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 130 last year

This year, the challenges and threats faced by our peacekeepers are even greater than ever as they, like people around the world, are having to cope not only with the COVID-19 pandemic but also the continued requirement to support and protect the people in the countries in which they are based.

The theme for this year’s Day is “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security.”

Today, tens of thousands of young peacekeepers (between the ages of 18 and 29 years) are deployed around the world and play a major role in helping the missions implement their mandated activities including the protection of civilians.  And UN peace operations — in line with a series of Security Council resolutions (22502419 and 2535) — are increasing their collaboration with youth and youth groups to help build sustainable peace and implement their mandates on the ground.

The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29 May 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Since then, more than 1 million women and men have served in 72 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions of people and saving countless lives. Today, UN Peacekeeping deploys more than 89,000 military, police and civilian personnel in ;12 operations.

To mark the Day at the UN Headquarters in New York on 27 May, the Secretary-General will lay a wreath in honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades. And a virtual ceremony will be held at which the Dag Hammarskjold medal will be awarded posthumously to peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2020 and in January 2021. The Military Gender Advocate of the Year award will also be presented at the virtual ceremony.

To keep apprised of this year’s events and learn more about the origins of this observance, visit  un.org/en/observances/peacekeepers-day.

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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 Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

International Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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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 Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

The Human Face of the Migration Crisis: A Faith-Based Response

The scale of human migration can be overwhelming—estimates are that more people are on the move in our time than at any time in human history. To each “number” there is a human face, a person made in the image of God.

How can people of faith respond to this crisis in tangible ways? How can the Bible inform our response? To look at these and other questions related to the migration crisis we will be joined by a panel from across North America with a variety of experiences and perspectives on migration.

Register here!

Speakers:

vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D., is the author of the new book What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees?. Nguyễn came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and he is today Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union.

Dannia and Aida Pena were born in San Salvador, El Salvador. In the 1990s they fled the Civil War in El Salvador and came to Los Angeles, California. Today, Dannia serves as an Accounting Manager at a Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Aida works just outside San Antonio in Bilingual Education. Both sisters are married with children and are active in the Focolare Movement.

Sean Ryan and Monica Nugent are university students living in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an outgrowth of their Catholic faith, both are both active in Dignity Inherent, a group working to raise awareness about human trafficking and Canada’s laws on prostitution.

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

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on 12 December, 2018 through resolution A/RES/73/127 and was first observed on April 24, 2019.

Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promote and support the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development and human rights.

The international norms and rules-based system that have steered nations through seven decades must rise to meet the mounting challenges of protectionism and isolationism. Global issues such as climate change, geopolitical tensions, humanitarian and migratory crises are cross-cutting, implicating the values and interests of nations and necessitate collective attention and action. Technological advancement has also impacted the political and socio-economic landscape and inter-state relations.

As emphasized in the resolution, the International Day is a reaffirmation of the UN Charter and its principles of resolving disputes among countries through peaceful means. It acknowledges the use of multilateral decision-making and diplomacy in achieving peaceful resolutions to conflicts among nations.

To learn more about how we commemorate this observance and read the UN Secretary-General’s comments on it, click here: un.org/en/observances/Multilateralism-for-Peace-day.

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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 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. 

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