children’s rights

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Due to COVID-19, it is expected that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have otherwise. Families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.

In turn, the fight to end obstetric fistula, one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth, could be threatened by COVID-19.

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care. Unfortunately, the current pandemic affects all these preventive measures in developing countries where obstetric fistula still exists – countries in which health care systems, even before the coronavirus outbreak, failed to provide accessible, quality maternal health care.

The pandemic is also expected to cause significant delays in programmes to end female genital mutilation (FGM) – something that could lead to a spike in FGM cases, according to UNFPA, which is a contributing factor for obstetric fistula.

As the virus advances in these countries, health services become overloaded, or provide a limited set of the services that women need. At the same time, many women and girls also skip important medical check-ups for fear of contracting the virus.

With this possible future scenario of preventive measures in danger, now more than ever, it is important to call on the international community to use the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.

To read personal testimonials and learn more about how the UN commemorates this day, visit un.org/en/observances/end-fistula-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. 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 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. ngocsw-geneva.ch.

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.

Dialogue on Education: Meeting New Challenges

Education at all levels faced unforeseen challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic in communities, globally impacting students and educators along with their families.  Every aspect of education adjusted to ensure inclusive quality learning continued to be experienced by students with curriculums via virtual engagement which highlighted the importance of digital connectivity for all students. Education is covered in the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is key to the success of the UN2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to “Leave No One Behind.” Our panel will share their reflections and innovative solutions in response to this global crisis. In addition, we will share an overview of our UN75 People’s Declaration for the UN We Need.

RSVP here

Welcome & Moderator

  • Ms. Margo LaZaro, President and Chair of the NGOCSD-NY; Co-Founder/CSO of the SDG Impact Awards Community, Director of UN Relations-Global Family, Coalition Partner of C4UNWN

Opening Address

  • H.E. Dr. Michal Mlynar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations

Keynote Address

  • Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Global Communications

Meeting New Challenges

  • Dr. Miriam Westheimer, Chief Program Officer of HIPPY International
  • Ms. Carolina Andueza, Executive Director of CMPC Foundation & Director of HIPPY Chile
  • Ms. Judith Cunningham, Founder and CSO of Youth for a Better World-Montessori Model UN and Youth Impact Forum
  • Ms. Daria Kimuli, Co-Founder of the St. Philip Neri Primary School, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Mr. Steven Aiello, Founder and Director of Debate for Peace, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Mr. Ameen Agbaria, 16 year-old, Youth Delegate of Debate for Peace, Palestinian citizen of Israel
  • Dr. Carrie Pemberton Ford, Executive Director CCARHT. Senior Fellow of Ethics and Public Life, Margaret Beaufort Institute,   University of Cambridge, UK
  • Ms. Marija Marinovic, Graduate Student of Criminology from the University of Cambridge, UK

Closing Reflections

  • Dr. Andrea Mlynarova, Lecturer of Mathematics at CUNY Baruch & Hunter College and President of the UN Delegations’ Women’s Club

C4UNWN & the UN75 People’s Declaration

  • Mr. Jeffery Huffines, Senior Advisor of the Coalition for the UN We Need and Together First

Interactive Dialogue Exchange

Special Student Greeting

  • Mr. Desderio Njiru, is the Head Teacher of St. Philip Neri Primary School, Nairobi, Kenya

Our Partners:

NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Coalition for the UN We Need, SDG Relief Fund, Together First, SDG Impact Awards Community, HIPPY International, Global Family, Soroptimist International, World Federalist Movement-Canada, Humanitarian Focus Foundation, Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, COVIDxNOW, Empower a Billion Women-EBW, Debate for Peace, Huairou Commission, Youth for a Better World:/Montessori Model UN, Youth Impact! Forum, General Assembly of Partners, NGO Major Group Urban Cluster, Global Family for Love & Peace, ICW, CoNGO, and UNA-USA Council of Organizations

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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 Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.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 Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

ASPBAE Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Education Financing

Dear ASPBAE Members and Friends,
We cordially  invite you to join the ASPBAE Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Education Financing which will be held on Monday, 26 April 2021, at 1:00 pm Manila time (Philippine Standard Time).
This is a key Asia Pacific event as part of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) held from 26-30 April and the One Billion Voices Campaign, both coordinated by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and supported by ASPBAE. Each regional network member of GCE is holding an event on a different day of GAWE, and the Asia Pacific event by ASPBAE is the first one to start the week on Monday 26 April.
We hope you can join us in this event and encourage your colleagues to participate as well. There is no registration process required. Join the Zoom Meeting here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86001255005?pwd=M0h2ZVV3ZGY5VG51Zzl5OUZORDBlQT09
Meeting ID: 860 0125 5005; Passcode: 850131

The event will be attended by three senior government officials, one each from Timor Leste, the Philippines and Bangladesh speaking, along with a presentation from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), as well as a presentation from ASPBAE and a youth representative from NCE Nepal. There will be space at the end of the speeches and inputs for a number of questions to the speakers.

Objective:

The objective of the Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue on Education Financing is to encourage governments to mobilise national resources that can ensure inclusive education systems and programmes that prioritise the most marginalised.

Rationale:

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a huge gap between education spending, and what was actually needed to achieve SDG4. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated this gap, and has led to a curtailment of funding by donors and governments for the education of its people. More than ever, it is important for governments to step up and protect national education budgets, and even better, to increase them, especially to enable education access to rural and remote communities, people with disabilities, those that are missing out on school, unemployed youth, and those that have no access to online learning opportunities.

This online event is part of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), an annual international week of campaigning for improved national education policies and increased national education budgets. The theme of GAWE this year is education financing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4). GAWE is part of a year-long campaign organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) called One Billion Voices.

Rallying Call: ‘Protect Education Budgets: reach the most marginalised’

Main speakers:

  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair, Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture
  • Dr. António Guterres, Vice Minister for Education, Youth and Sport, Timor-Leste
  • Mr. Md. Mahbub Hossain, Secretary, Secondary and Higher Education Division, Ministry of Education in Bangladesh
  • GPE presentation: recorded message from Ms Margarita Focas Licht, Chief, Effective Partnerships
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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Hybrid Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Dear NGO representatives,

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda and the United Nations Office at Geneva will mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda during a hybrid ceremony to be held on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include the message of Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director‑General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by her own remarks and the statements of Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, of H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva, of Mrs. Nadia Galinier, survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and of Mr. Cesar Murangira, President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section). This year’s ceremony will also include a poem read by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt. Interpretation will be provided in English and French.      

You are cordially invited to this important event through this link. You can also watch live at webtv.un.org.

Provisional Program:

  • Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Alessandra Vellucci Director, United Nations Information Service
  • Lighting of candles
  • Observance of a minute of silence
  • Message of Mr. António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by the Director-General’s remarks
  • Remarks by Ms. Ghada Waly Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Remarks by Mr. César Murangira President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section)
  • Testimony by Mrs. Nadia Galinier Survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
  • Reading of a poem by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt
  • Remarks by H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva

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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.

ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021 [10th Anniversary]

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum will be held on 7 and 8 April 2021. The modalities of participation will depend on the evolving spread of COVID-19 and its impact on travel restrictions as well as considerations on the safety, health and wellbeing of participants.

The Forum provides a global platform for a candid dialogue among Member States and young leaders from around the world on solutions to challenges affecting youth wellbeing. It also serves as a unique space for young people to share their vision and actions as well as to provide youth perspectives on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The 2021 Forum’s discussions will be guided by the overall theme of the 2021 ECOSOC and HLPF: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. Consideration will also be given to the group of SDGs decided by Member States for in-depth discussions at the 2021 HLPF, namely, SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

As more specific information becomes available, it will be available here: https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/content/ecosoc-youth-forum-2021

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please email the co-chair at  . For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

GCM Objectives Review Series: Establish Mechanisms for the Portability of Social Security Entitlements & Earned Benefits

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), the Cross Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants (CCRM) with the Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT) and the Civil Society Action Committee  invite you to join another round of discussions on the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration’s Objectives.

On February 23, we’ll focus on GCM Objective 22: Establish mechanisms for the portability of social security entitlements and earned benefits. Watch the livestream on YouTube here!

Read more about the series and view past sessions here.

Read the Civil Society Action Committee’s papers here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

[CSocD59 Side Event] The Role of Digital Technologies to Stop Online Sexual Exploitation of Children

59th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development Virtual Side Event February 15, 2021 8:30AM EST – please register by February 13!

Priority Theme “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”

Event Title: The role of digital technologies to stop online sexual exploitation of children

Objectives:

1. To protect our youth from cyber exploitation, especially livestreamed sexual abuse.

2. To call on Member States to prioritize setting-up legally binding internet governance that will ensure respect of human rights, child protection, and equality for all.

3. To share creative and systemic good practices from the government, private technology industries and different stakeholders.

Speakers:

  • H.E. Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative, Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN
  • Ambassador Per-Anders Sunesson, Deputy Director-General- Swedish Ministry for Health and Social Affairs, Former Ambassador at Large for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Swedish MFF
  • Abbie Gillgan, Policy Manager, Tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA), United Kingdom Home Office Role of Digital Technologies: Stop Online Exploitation of Children
  • Richard Pursey, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, SafeToNet Jaqueline Beauchere Global Digital Safety Advocate, Microsoft
  • Madeline and Jamie Gall, Youth Advocates
  • Marvie L. Misolas, MM Winifred Doherty, RGS, & Fred Sullivan, Co-Moderators

Register here!

Contact mmisolas@mksisters.org with questions.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

[UN Observance] International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Annually on February 11, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To learn more about why inclusion and gender equity are important in STEM, and to stay apprised of this year’s events, visit un.org/en/observances/women-and-girls-in-science-day.

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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.

[UN Observance] International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Each year on February 6, the United Nations Commemorates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Over 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced FGM. In 2019, an estimated 4.1 million girls were at risk of being cut. In 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and data are available, an estimated 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 unless concerted and accelerated action is taken.

To learn more about UNFPA & UNICEF’s Joint Programme to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation, currently in Phase III, click here.

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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.

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