communication

World Press Freedom Global Conference

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April – 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges. The Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia and will be a digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Selected sessions will take place physically in Windhoek, respecting physical distancing and other precautions recommended by the health authorities.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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 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. 

Chinese Language Day

Language Days at the United Nations seek to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization. Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization’s six official languages.

Why April 20?

The date for the Chinese day was selected from Guyu (“Rain of Millet”), which is the 6th of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around April 20.

For more information about this UN observance, the five other official languages, and relevant events, please visit un.org/zh/observances/chinese-language-day/english.

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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 Education, Learning and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory Symposium

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our exchange with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will close the proceedings with a lecture on Saturday, May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

The symposium program can be found here.

Registration information can be found here. There will be one zoom link for the entire conference. (Panelists and chairs will also receive a special link for their sessions.)

Our primary sponsors are the Migration Lab of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Study Group for Language and the United Nations. We’d like to acknowledge additional support from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Esperantic Studies Foundation, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, and Birkbeck, University of London. At Princeton, generous support has also come from the Lewis Center, the Humanities Council, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Please direct questions to Sam Evans at same@princeton.edu

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is currently in the process of constituting an NGO Committee on Language and Languages and is calling for endorsement of the creation of this important committee. For information on this new committee, visit here. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language is a vital, but under-explored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021. Amid the disappointment of not being able to hold the symposium in person, we’ve managed to find two advantages to the virtual format: to enable participation by those without the means or time to attend, and to achieve a more satisfying exchange among humanists, social scientists, and people who work in the fields of education, language policy and language justice. We encourage you to attend as many sessions of the symposium as you can, which are spread out over two weeks to avoid zoom fatigue.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our symposium with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will give the closing lecture on Saturday May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa LahiriYiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

Access the full detailed program here: https://migration.princeton.edu/symposium/program

Learn more here: https://princeton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GNf33xbFR1O9wdsn38Hk6Q

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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 NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

UN Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19

Dear colleagues and members of the Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being,

Please consider yourselves invited to an event on Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19 being held on March 30th from 9:00 to 10:15 am EST. This event is co-organized by the World Health Organization, the Co-Chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-being, UNICEF, the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-being.

Presenting experience from professionals in the field and examples from member states, the event will share practical tools, best practices and resources, as well as self-care tools, to help navigate through this difficult time and to strengthen and support our mental health and psychosocial well-being.

We hope you will be able to join us for this important conversation. Please register here!

Best regards,

Pierre-David Jean
First Secretary (Political) | Premier Secrétaire (Politique)
pierre-david.jean@international.gc.ca

Tel. (212) 848-1136 
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations |
Mission Permanente du Canada auprès des Nations-Unies
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

Access to Justice at the Intersection of Disability and Older Age: A Moderated Discussion

Access to Justice at the Intersection of Disability and Older Age

This event includes a dynamic high-level moderated discussion between two UN experts, the UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, Ms. Claudia Mahler, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Gerard Quinn. Time will also be devoted to Q & A with registrants on Zoom.

Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law: a guarantee for people to exercise their rights, and hold perpetrators and decision-makers accountable. However, both older persons with or without disabilities, and persons with disabilities regardless of their age, are disproportionately impacted by abuses to their right to access to justice.

Register here!

Virtual Format Accessibility: The International Disability Alliance will support accessibility and inclusion of participants by providing International Sign (IS) and communication access real-time translation (CART).

Contact: Erin Hardin ehardin@ida-secretariat.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Girls and Women: Leading the Charge to Ensure #LearningNeverStops

This virtual event will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity in learning and their safe return to school.

This event will take place on Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. Register here to participate. The event will be livestreamed on the UNWebTV.

Background:

In April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries following nationwide closures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Today, a year into the crisis, over 800 million students are still out of school, students are on average losing two-thirds of an academic year and more than 20 million girls are projected to be at risk of dropping out.

This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

The priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) recognises the critical role girls and women play as leaders and decision-makers in all aspects of public life to achieve gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, and empower women and girls. This virtual event, held on the sidelines of CSW, will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue, and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity of learning during school closures and return to school.

On March 24, leaders will aim to speak on behalf of the millions of at-risk girls whose voices are going unheard. They will highlight the essential need to build back equal through gender-transformative education systems that end harmful gender norms, free girls and boys from narrow aspirations and enable them to work together in the classroom today for a more equal world tomorrow.

This CSW65 event is hosted by UNESCO, PLAN International, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations.

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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 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

Online discussion of Enslaved: Episode 1 – Cultures Left Behind

Over the next six months, the Outreach Programme is screening the six-part series Enslaved presented by Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Afua Hirsch and Mr. Simcha Jacobovici. On the 24 March, the Outreach Programme will hold an online panel discussion that will examine the series, and the first episode, “Cultures left behind.”

Please register to attend the discussion and to receive information of how to view Episode 1 before the discussion. The specific time on March 24 has not yet been announced – registrants will receive info when it becomes available.

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications.

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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.

World Down Syndrome Day

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra partial (or whole) copy of chromosome 21. It is not yet know why this syndrome occurs, but Down syndrome has always been a part of the human condition. It exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics and health.

Adequate access to health care, to early intervention programmes, and to inclusive education, as well as appropriate research, are vital to the growth and development of the individual.

In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year. In order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome, the General Assembly invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner.

To learn more about Down Syndrome Day and how to participate in 2021’s events, please visit worlddownsyndromeday.org.

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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