Conference of NGOs

Don’t Steal My Childhood: Child Labor and Children in Migration

Don’t Steal My Childhood!
Child Labor and Children in Migration


Despite significant progress in reducing child labor in the past two decades, most recent data show that global progress has stalled since 2016. Forced child labor deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It is harmful to their physical and mental health and development, ultimately with severe consequences for the entire society. Therefore, it is crucial to address the problem, especially if we are to reach the ambitious 2025 target date for ending child labor (SDG 8.7).

At the beginning of 2020, the latest global estimates indicated that 1 in 10 children aged 5 and over were involved in child labor worldwide – equating to an estimated 160 million children. A further 8.9 million children will be in child labor by the end of 2022 as a result of rising poverty driven by the pandemic.

Within the already ‘at risk’ group of child laborers, recent analysis points to an even more vulnerable group, namely child migrants. Children in migration, mainly the youngest ones, are at particularly high risk of being exploited and trafficked along migration routes and in host countries.

Some of the literature refers to them as the ‘invisible group,” suggesting that amongst child laborers, migrant children receive less pay, work longer hours, attend school less often, and face higher death rates at work in comparison to local children.
Most governments have failed to develop effective policy responses to assist and protect child laborers despite the fact they are obliged to do so by multiple international acts.

Real progress, however, requires translating these commitments into national laws that are then actually used as tools for action. Nations must also protect and promote other child rights, including birth registration, strong social protection systems, quality education, health care and nutrition starting with mothers and infants. They must also extend protection from violence, abuse, neglect, dire poverty and exploitation, by supporting meaningful economic and livelihood opportunities for adult family members. These rights are guaranteed to all children, all child laborers, and those who need additional special protections, such as migrant children working in child labor.

In particular, measures to prevent and respond to child labor during a humanitarian crisis should link the humanitarian, development, and peace dimensions by using the transformative power of Early Childhood Education and Care Programs. All the measures should help build social cohesion, resilience and peace, and strengthen existing government, economic and social structures.
As an outcome we expect that Member States, UN agencies and NGOs will honor and renew pledges made at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor -Durban 2022 and most importantly, share their good practices and policies to end child labor, paving the way for a global strategic partnership committed to achieving SDG Targets 8.7 and 16.2 while recognizing synergies between progress on SDG 8 and SDGs 1 (end poverty), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 10 (reduced inequalities) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

Recommendations
• Recognize Child Labor as a serious violation of children’s rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in multiple international acts, and in SDGs 8.7 and SDGs 16.2;
• Promote birth registration;
• Stop hiring children below the minimum age and invest in eradicating all forms of slavery;
• Encourage businesses to prohibit child labor;
• Use the link between the labor inspection and workplace occupational safety and health committees to establish a monitoring system;
• Create and enforce policies for reducing the risk of child exploitation and trafficking along migration routes and in host countries;
• Address the special protection needs of smuggled and or trafficked children, those who are seeking asylum, unaccompanied and separated minors and refugees;
• Provide support to children found in child labor, ensuring that they and their families can benefit from all social protection measures;
• Listen to the voices of children currently in child labor, as well as those who survived the experience.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on CoNGO–the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, visit www.ngocongo.org. For specific information about how CoNGO and its substantive committees (also known as NGO Committees) work on matters related to the subject of the event on this page, visit NGO Committees. In particular, visit the NGO Committee on Migration and the NGO Committee on Social Development.

CoNGO Open Mic on UN-NGO Relations (For NGOs in Consultative Status Only)

Dear CoNGO members and NGO Committee leaders,
Greetings. I am sending this message to  members of NGOs listed as members of CoNGO (Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations) and/or members of related NGO committees.
By now, if your NGO is in consultative status with ECOSOC, you or someone in your organization would have received the email below which was sent by the NGO Branch of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). If you have not read the email, I encourage you to do so now, including the Concept Note available here.
In response to this UN DESA email–calling on NGOs to send written submissions in preparation for a December 2022 consultation between NGOs and the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs–CoNGO invites CoNGO members to an Open Mic to talk about the questions raised in the concept note.
This Open Mic will help CoNGO prepare its written submission, the deadline of which is August 31. It could also help your NGO prepare its response if you have not already done so.  But irrespective of the deadline, the open mic is a venue to talk about common concerns related to UN-NGO relations, not the least about accreditation and access to and at the UN.
Register in advance: us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArdOqurTIpG9VI2Jlu0yiuASaKG4wBRe4zAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
If you are a CoNGO member or NGO Committee officer and want to speak (no more than 3 minutes) during the Open Mic, please email the CoNGO President Liberato Bautista at president@ngocongo.org. Please let me know which NGO in our list you are a member of: ngocongo.org/congo-membership
For some background information about UN-NGO relations, visit:
I look forward to your participation.
Best regards,

Liberato C. Bautista | Levi

President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in 
Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO)

Draw up and enforce legal and moral redlines on crimes against the environment, NGOs urge ongoing CCPCJ session in Vienna

Photo: @CCPCJ Twitter

Vienna, Austria, 18 May 2022 (CoNGO InfoNews) – Close to 50 non-governmental organizations in consultative relationship with the United Nations Economic and Social Council have joined to endorse a statement that asserted “the imperative for the international community to strengthen the international legal framework and international cooperation in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice”.

The statement was drafted under the leadership of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in Vienna (NGO CSD Vienna). It was submitted to the thirty-first Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) now meeting in Vienna, Austria,  from 16th to 20th of May. Accredited NGOs participate in meetings of CCPCJ. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in person remains severely limited. Side events to the ongoing session are only online.

In the statement, civil society leaders asserted that “criminal law has a crucial role to play in drawing up and enforcing the legal and moral ‘red lines’ upon which the global population’s very ability to thrive and survive in its planetary home may well depend.”

Ingeborg Geyer, Chair of the NGO CSD Vienna, described the work of the committee, saying that “it started two years ago  on topics of crimes that affect the environment and followed up with resolutions which were tabled in previous sessions of UNTOC, Crime Congress and CCPCJ sessions.” This statement reinstates and spotlights once more the need to develop the international legal framework and cooperation in preventing what the statement calls “ecocide”.

The Conference of NGOs (CoNGO) and the NGO CSD Vienna collaborated in gathering endorsements of the statement by NGOs around the world. Many NGOs, including CoNGO members, engage the agenda of CCPCJ through the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. See their event here. To learn more about the work of CCPCJ, visit https://twitter.com/CCPCJ. Watch the 31st session live, here.

 

FULL STATEMENT

NGO Statement to the 31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Vienna, Austria, 16-20 May 2022)

Strengthening the international legal framework and international cooperation in the context of crimes that affect the environment

“If crime crosses borders, so must law enforcement. If the rule of law is undermined not only in one country, but in many, then those who defend it cannot limit themselves to purely national means.” (Kofi Annan, address to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000).

In the context of crime prevention and criminal justice as they pertain to the environment, the international community faces two major challenges. The first challenge relates to the urgent need to respond forcefully to the rapid rise in crimes affecting the environment. Eurojust,1 the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, ranks environmental crime as the fourth largest criminal activity in the world – on a par with drug-trafficking. Most regrettably, law enforcement in this sector remains pitifully low and out of all proportion to the threat it poses. The reasons are manifold. The most significant factors are: (i) the failure of the criteria set out in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime2 to categorize numerous environmental crimes as ‘serious’; and (ii) the inadequacy of training in the law enforcement agencies, whose staff frequently lack the all-essential investigation and prosecution capabilities.

The second challenge relates to the absence of legal provisions addressing the many and varied instances of severe widespread or long-term harm to the environment. All too frequently, the environmental damage caused is a deleterious side-effect of industrial practices which, though patently dangerous, are nonetheless permissible under law. Similarly, those outcomes represent all too common a breach of civil environmental regulations or are attributable to sheer negligence with regard to safety protocols. In many cases, the environmental damage qualifies as a transnational offence as set out in article 3.2 (a) (b) and (d) of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

An offence is transnational in nature if:

(a) It is committed in more than one State;

(b) It is committed in one State but a substantial part of its preparation, planning, direction or control takes place in another State;

(d) It is committed in one State but has substantial effects in another State.

Both of the above challenges arise in the highly perturbing context of the critical global interlinkage between climate change, pollution and nature (biodiversity) loss. Furthermore, recent international reportstell us that these crises must be addressed with immediate urgency if we are to maintain the ability to support human civilization without severe, even irreversible loss and damage, mass migration and food crises.4

Moreover, the two challenges above relate both directly and causally to the current global crisis. The destruction or removal of carbon sinks and keystone species (e.g. via deforestation, poaching and trafficking), as well as severe soil, water and atmospheric pollution are all factors that inevitably exacerbate ecosystem collapse and climate change.

In the light of the foregoing, the imperative for the international community to strengthen the international legal framework and international cooperation in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice could not be clearer. Criminal law has a crucial role to play in drawing up and enforcing the legal and moral ‘red lines’ upon which the global population’s very ability to thrive and survive in its planetary home may well depend.

What form should this strengthening of frameworks and cooperation take? Recent meetings of this Commission have pointed in some useful directions, as indicated in the Chair’s summary documents of November 2021 and February 20225. Themes that emerged from those meetings included: ‘a robust legislative framework’; ‘measuring the impact of crime prevention’; and ‘treating environmental crimes as serious crimes.

The types of cooperation suggested are noteworthy in that they involve both international and cross-sector cooperation. They include the need for: ‘alternative sustainable livelihoods’, ‘the involvement of the private sector’; and ‘consideration of a crime prevention and criminal justice perspective within the broader “nature agenda”’.

Public perception and understanding are acknowledged as key elements in the successful enactment of criminal law: impunity was mentioned as a factor that undermined trust and perception of security, while a number of speakers noted that a culture of integrity was of crucial importance to crime prevention.

Inclusion was also a recurrent theme. Emphasis was placed on the importance that ‘governments and the international community as a whole, including the UN, listen [to] and support youth voices and recommendations.’

In this context it is worth focusing on the consistent demand for the recognition of ecocide as a crime before the International Criminal Court that the young as well as citizens’ assemblieshave voiced in recent years. Criminalizing ecocide would serve several purposes: to hold to account the leaders of criminal organisations and key decision-makers in government and industry alike; remove impunity; and to deter dangerous practices that incur environmental damage, thus strengthening the efficacy of current civil regulations.

We note that an independent expert panel convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation reached consensus on the legal definition of ‘ecocide’ in 20217. The definition has since gained significant political traction around the world, while the European Law Institute, for its part, is moving ahead on a related EU- specific definition8.

In the light of the foregoing, the undersigned non-governmental organizations in consultative relationship with the United Nations urge the participants in the 31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, in particular the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, to strengthen the international legal framework and international cooperation in the context of crimes that affect the environment.

We call on Member States to:

(a) strengthen the sanctioning of crimes incurring severe environmental effects, especially transborder effects, and treating them as ‘serious’ crimes as defined in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;

(b) encourage international cooperation between law enforcement agencies so as to improve awareness-building and training related to investigation into and prosecution of transnational offences that affect the environment;

(c) encourage consideration of criminal law frameworks in the context of the broader ‘nature agenda’;

(d) assess current international legal frameworks in the context of the global ‘triple crisis’ and their impact on climate change, pollution and nature loss;

(e) acknowledge and support the recommendations of civil society, in particular the voices of the young, with respect to the international legal framework in the context of the ‘triple crisis’;

(f) ensure participation of local populations and stakeholders in the scope of the Aarhus Convention and Escazú Agreement;

(g) support expansion of existing international legal frameworks for combating crimes affecting the environment, including hazardous legacies, abandoned sites and zones afflicted by war and other belligerent activities;

(h) recognize ‘ecocide’ as a new international crime;

(i) enact policies and enforce legislation with the highest integrity, as well as investigate and punish corruption with respect to crimes that affect the environment;

(j) encourage consideration of the relationship between economic factors and environmental neglect, and its impact on criminal activities;

(k) secure the support of the private sector by providing a reliable framework for combating the destruction of nature and the persistence of corruption, thus enabling those concerned to proceed without incurring existential risks;

(l) strengthen communication with and cooperation between secretariats of the relevant UN agencies so as to sharpen the focus on crimes affecting the environment; and

(m) cooperate with the relevant UN agencies in the implementation of reporting systems so as to facilitate assessment of the impact of crime prevention measures.

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ENDNOTES

1   Eurojust, Report on Eurojust’s Casework on Environmental Crime, January 2021
UNCTOC Article 2 (b)
3 IPCC WGII & WGIII, 2022
4 In the context of preparations for Stockholm+50 conference, there have even been references to the current mindset of humanity as “war on nature”.
5 https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CCPCJ/session/31_Session_2022/docu mentation.html
6 Citizens Climate Assembly, France 2020; Global Citizens Assembly, Glasgow 2022
7  See https://ecocidelaw.com/legal-definition-and-commentary-2021/
8  See https://www.europeanlawinstitute.eu/projectspublications/current- projects/current- projects/ecocide

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Endorsing organizations as of 11 May 2022 were gathered under the auspices of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) and its NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna which drafted this statement. Endorsements for purposes of showing continued collaboration among NGOs on the issues raised in this statement are still welcome. To endorse the statement, send an email to the CoNGO President at president@ngocongo.org.

  1. African Action on Aids (AAA)
  2. American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (AAPR)
  3. Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP)
  4. CGFNS International, Inc.
  5. Credo-Action (Lomé, Togo)
  6. Criminologists Without Borders
  7. Fracarita International
  8. Graduate Women International (GWI)
  9. Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya (I.M.A.M.)
  10. International Alliance of Women (IAW)
  11. International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
  12. International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
  13. International Council of Psychologists (ICP)
  14. International Council of Women (ICW)
  15. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
  16. International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFWL)
  17. International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (IFWLC)
  18. International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
  19. International Inner Wheel (IIW)
  20. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
  21. International Progress Organization (IPO)
  22. International Women’s Year Liaison Group, Japan (IWYLG)
  23. Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
  24. Japan Asia Cultural Exchanges, Inc. (JACE)
  25. Le  Comite Francais des ONG pour la Liaison et l’ Information des Nations
  26. New Humanity
  27. Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV).
  28. Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)
  29. Pax Romana | ICMICA
  30. Servas International
  31. Sisters of Charity Federation (SCF)
  32. Socialist International Women (SIW)
  33. Soroptimist International
  34. Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH)
  35. Teresian Association
  36. United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
  37. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
  38. Universal Peace Federation International (UPFI)
  39. Verein zur Förderung der Völkerverständigung
  40. VIVAT International
  41. WUZDA Ghana
  42. Women’s Federation for World Peace International  (WFWPI)
  43. Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO)
  44. World Circle of the Consensus (CMDC-SPOC)
  45. World Society of Victimology  (WSV)
  46. Zonta International

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For information about this statement and the work of the  NGO Committee on Sustainable Development–Vienna, email its Chair, Dr. Ingeborg Geyer (http://ingeb.geyer@gmail.com) and visit the Committee’s website (https://ngocsdvienna.org/). Visit www.ngocongo.org to learn more about the work of CoNGO and its substantive committees.

UNESCO and Multilingualism: A Dialogue Forum

The NGO Committee on Language and Languages presents

UNESCO and Multilingualism: A Dialogue Forum

18 May 2022

REGISTER HERE

For over 70 years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been a leading voice on multilingualism.  Today, it engages in numerous initiatives to advance linguistic diversity.  In this forum, UNESCO staff members working on multilingual education, the World Atlas of Languages (WAL), and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL) discuss ongoing initiatives and forthcoming developments.  The session follows a show-and-tell and conversation format to facilitate dialogue.  Representatives of NGOs, Secretariat and UN agency staff, and colleagues from Member States are welcome to attend.  A business meeting of the NGO Committee on Language and Languages will take place during the final 40 minutes.

Event Details

The NGO Committee on Language and Languages (CoLL) is hosting the dialogue forum virtually on 18 May 2022.

08:45-11:00 – New York
14:45-17:00 – Geneva
15:45-18:00 – Nairobi
19:45-22:00 – Bangkok

Registration

Representatives of NGOs, Secretariat and UN agency staff, and colleagues from Member States are welcome to attend.   There is no fee, but preregistration is required.  Register here as soon as possible, but no later than 16 May.

Programme

8:45-9:00am Sign In

9:00-9:05am   Francis M. Hult – Introduction

Interim Vice-Chair, NGO Committee on Language and Languages

9:05-9:10am   Eliot Minchenberg – Welcome

Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the United Nations in New York

9:10-9:30am   Noro Andriamiseza Ingarao – Multilingual Education

Programme Specialist in Education, UNESCO

9:30-9:50am   Irmgarda Kasinskaite – International Decade of Indigenous Languages

Advisor, Communication and Information, UNESCO

9:50-10:10am Bhanu Neupane – World Atlas of Languages

Advisor, Open Access to Scientific Information and ICT & Sciences, UNESCO

10:10-10:20am General Discussion about the Multilingual Initiatives of UNESCO

10:20-11:00am CoLL Business Meeting

Humphrey Tonkin, presiding

Interim Chair, NGO Committee on Language and Languages

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CoNGO Notes: This event is held the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, a substantive committee of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). Learn more about this Committee and how you may collaborate with it by visiting substantive committees.

Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Tuesday, April 26, from 8 – 9:30am EST for an official side event of the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum on Financing for Universal and Crisis-Responsive Social Protection and Decent Work: Proposals of 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Phillippe Kridelka, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations
  • Mr. Helmut Schwarzner, Senior Social Security Specialist for the Americas, Social Protection Department, ILO Geneva
  • Mr. David Stewart, Chief of Child Strategy and Social Protection, UNICEF
  • Dr. Santosh Mehrotra, Research Fellow, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany
  • Ms. Tikhala Itaye, Director, Global Movement Building, Women in Global Health

Moderator: Dr. Barry Herman, Member Advisory Board, Social Justice in Global Development

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsfuqqrjwiHtLVutntuRo0xgsa9K_vEKxP

Co-sponsors: Vivat International, Women First International Fund, Salesian Missions, International Labour Organization, World Vision, Social Justice in Global Development

Background: Social protection refers to assuring a basic income floor and access to basic healthcare throughout the life cycle. It should be provided universally to all people in need, but that is far from current practice. While decent jobs, including self-employment, are mainly in the private economy, meeting the qualifications for most jobs usually requires education and good health, which are primarily public service functions. Thus, programs to promote social protection and decent jobs entail adequate, effective, and fair national systems of taxation, complemented by international assistance, often in the form of technical assistance but also sometimes in aid-financed budget support, as for low-income countries.

The experience of the pandemic laid bare inadequate systems to deliver cash transfers to compensate for the economic costs of the crisis and inadequate public health systems to deliver vaccines, tests, and protective equipment, along with the very limited capacity, especially in developing countries, to maintain employment during the crisis-induced economic contraction. The pandemic experience requires us to think about preparing better “shock responsive” social protection and health systems and stronger counter-cyclical policies. Preparation, in turn, requires consideration of ways to mobilize the necessary domestic and international financial resources on an ongoing basis and with the capacity to meet the higher expenditure needs at times of crisis.

While the inter-agency report concluded with 21 separate proposals, speakers in the side event will be asked to discuss one or more of the proposals. There is no expectation that all 21 proposals would be covered, nor is that necessary. What is necessary is to bring the attention of the FfD Follow-up Forum for consideration by policymakers the work of the 16 cooperating agencies in the task force and the civil society, labor, employer, and youth stakeholders that were consulted in preparing the report.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EDT for this official side event to the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qc-6orjsuGdFhyWHfljp7ZNxV526Onoc7

Speakers:

  • Ms. Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation of the Republic of Togo (TBC)
  • Dr. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Mr. Johannes Ehrentraud, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute, Bank for International Settlements
  • Ms. Sofie Blakstad, CEO of hiveonline and author of Fintech Revolution: Universal Inclusion in the New Financial Ecosystem
  • Ms. Anneleen Vos, Seionr Economic Policy Officer, International Rescue Committee
  • Mr. Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India
  • Ms. Mercy Buku, Program Leader, Toronto Center

Moderator: Mx. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on FfD, Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund

Co-sponsors: ManUp Campaign, Change Management Solutions, Sisters of Charity Foundation, African Development Interchange Network, IBVM

Background:

The UN Secretary General’s task force on digital finance in its report titled “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future,” spells out the transformational impact digital finance can have on sustainable development. Providing relief for millions around the world, supporting businesses, and protecting jobs and livelihoods, digital finance served as a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. A World Bank tally of policy responses to the pandemic finds that at least 58 governments in developing countries used digital payments to deliver COVID-19 relief, of which 36 countries made payments into fully transactional accounts that were being used for saving beyond simply withdrawing cash. According to the GSMA, international remittances processed via mobile money increased by 65 percent in 2020.

Proponents of digital finance highlight its strong capabilities to reduce transaction costs, the potential of Artificial Intelligence to provide fair and equitable treatment of credit applicants, and the scalability of cloud technology, through the use of blockchain technology, to allow consumers to transact remotely and seamlessly across multiple platforms.

While the experience of COVID-19 has proven that digitalization can transform economies and lives, it needs to be shaped with both its advantages and potential risks in mind in order to bring everyone into the digital age. For technology to benefit everyone, private sector innovation must be supported by the appropriate public goods such as the public provision of foundational infrastructure, access to electricity, mobile and internet coverage.

As in the case of any disruptive technology, without combining technological advances with sound policy measures, digital technology cannot deliver on its potential to meaningfully advance financial inclusion for everyone, including the more than 2 billion unbanked people globally. Delivering on promises to advance financial inclusion can only be considered meaningful when the account holder has a fully functional account that they utilize to save, make payments, obtain manageable credit, and mitigate economic risks and is simply not utilized to withdraw cash from cash transfers from the government, which is overwhelmingly the case at this time.

By examining successful strategies that maximize digital finance’s potential while minimizing risks to the financial sector, government revenues, and at-risk populations, attendees will gain a better understanding of how digital finance can sustainably advance development objectives.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

Sixth Annual SDG Business Forum

The sixth annual SDG Business Forum will take place virtually on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM, EDT in conjunction with Uniting Business LIVE, during the High-Level week of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the UN Global Compact, SDG Business Forum is one of the largest annual gatherings of business leaders at the United Nations.

It offers a unique opportunity to drive pivotal momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leveraging the power of the private sector in co-creating lasting solutions for some of the most critical issues of our times, such as sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change and nature loss; social inequality and economic exclusion. This year’s event will be closely related to the themes of several United Nations conferences in 2021, including the High-Level Dialogue on Energy, the United Nations Food Systems Summit, the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, while building momentum for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Confirmed speakers for the 2021 programme include the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit Dr. Agnes Kalibata, HRH Princess Noura Turki Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji Mr. Commodore Josaia V. Bainimarama and several senior ministers from Member States, as well as prominent business leaders such as Executive Chairman of Mastercard Mr. Ajay Banga, Executive Director of ITC Ms. Pamela Coke Hamilton, CEO of Alecta Mr. Magnus Billing, Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Ms. Sandra Wu, CEO of GIST Advisory Mr. Pavan Sukhdev, among others.

Registration

Registration for the SDG Business Forum can be accessed through the Uniting Business Live digital venue. One day access to the SDG Business Forum is complimentary. Participants from Governments, UN System, civil society organizations and other stakeholder groups also have the option to sign up for complimentary access to all three days of Uniting Business Live with the code DESAGUEST.

For more information on the event, topics, and confirmed speakers, please visit the SDG Business Forum webpage: http://sdgbusinessforum.org

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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 congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition

Convened by the Government of Italy and building on the success of the 2019 UN Youth Climate Summit, the event will take place from 28 to 30 September and provide young delegates an unprecedented opportunity to put forward ideas and concrete proposals on some of the most pressing issues on the climate agenda. The first two days will be dedicated to working groups, while the last day will feature a discussion between young delegates and the Ministers attending pre-COP 26.

Interested young people can either:

  • Submit an application by 14 March, detailing the ways they are working with and leading other young people to advance climate action. Experienced young climate leaders are encouraged to submit their application for a chance to be one of two young people representing their country in Milan.
  • Enter the #SumItUp Competition, by submitting a creative sum-up of their favorite #Youth4ClimateLive episode before the 31 March deadline. Youth with creative communication skills and digital storytelling experience are invited to enter the #SumItUp Competition, where one winner will be chosen to travel to Milan and participate in the Youth4Climate event.

The application and the competition provide young people two opportunities to be part of this historic event, whether they are experienced climate activists or just starting their climate advocacy journey. To be eligible to attend, applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 29 and, if selected, all applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied to the event by a chaperone.

For more information about the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition event and other ways to get involved in advance of COP26, please visit the Government of Italy’s webpage. Or, catch up on past episodes of the Youth4ClimateLive virtual event series at Youth4Climate.Live. Please direct any questions to youthenvoy@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 Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.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 Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Climate Week NYC 2021: Getting It Done

Climate Week NYC, taking place September 20-26, returns for 2021 with a focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations. It is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase leading climate action and discuss how to do more, fast.

Hosted annually by international non-profit the Climate Group in conjunction with the United National General Assembly, and in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York, Climate Week NYC is a global opportunity to come together to accelerate climate action and assess progress ahead of COP26.

Peruse the entire Official Events Program here: climateweeknyc.org.

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

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