conflict resolution

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

Dear Civil Society Partners,

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

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

Sincerely,

UN Human Rights NY

 

Excellency,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volkan BOZKIR

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

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Briefing to Civil Society on UNODC Strategy

UNODC has recently launched its new five-year strategy, covering 2021-25. Recognizing that a key to successful implementation of this Strategy will be the expanded use of partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, the online meeting on February 25th will provide a briefing to Civil Society partners. The briefing will include a presentation of the Strategy by Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), UNODC and Bo Mathiassen, Deputy Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), UNODC. The presentation will be followed by a Question & Answer session for the civil society participants.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org. 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

PyeongChang Peace Forum Parallel Session: Global Civic Agenda on Peace and SDGs

Dear Friends of PyeongChang,
Welcome to PPF 2021! You are cordially invited to register for the three sessions on Peace and SDGs hosted by PNND, APSD, PCK in partnership with many international CSOs during the PPF 2021. The outcome of the sessions will be incorporated into the PyeongChang Agenda for Peace (PCAP) 2021.
The Parallel Session No 10 (English/Korean) will focus on the Global Civic Agenda on Peace and SDGs 2021.

A zoom or youtube link and background materials will be sent to those who have registered here in advance. Pre-registration is available here: http://bit.ly/21ppf4youth

Please visit http://ppf.or.kr/en/index.asp to register for other sessions.

Contact and inquiries PPFpeacemakers@gmail.com / asia@apsd2030.org

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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. 

PyongChang Peace Forum 2021 Plenary Session: Peace Agenda 2045

Dear Friends of PyeongChang,
Welcome to PPF 2021! You are cordially invited to register for the three sessions on Peace and SDGs hosted by PNND, APSD, PCK in partnership with many international CSOs during the PPF 2021. The outcome of the sessions will be incorporated into the PyeongChang Agenda for Peace (PCAP) 2021.
The Plenary Session (English/Korean) will focus on “Peace Agenda 2045” and be held from 10:00 to 11:40 am, Monday, February 8, 2021.

A zoom or youtube link and background materials will be sent to those who have registered here in advance. Pre-registration is available here: http://bit.ly/21ppf4youth

Please visit http://ppf.or.kr/en/index.asp to register for other sessions.

Contact and inquiries PPFpeacemakers@gmail.com / asia@apsd2030.org

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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. 

Peace Agenda 2045: Abolish Nuclear Weapons and War

We cordially invite you to attend Peace Agenda 2045: Abolish War and Nuclear Weapons, a plenary session of the PyeongChang Peace Forum 2021.

Experts from around the world will discuss concrete approaches and effective campaigns to abolish war and eliminate nuclear weapons, key objectives of the United Nations, with the aim of achieving these no later than 2045, the 100th anniversary of the UN. Click here to register for the session.

Speakers:

  • Hon Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador), President of the 73rd UN General Assembly. Member of the World Future Council. Former Ecuador Foreign Minister and Defence Minister.
  • Hon Gareth Evans (Australia). Chair, Asia Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. Former Foreign Minister.
  • Hon Mr Saber Chowdhury MP (Bangladesh), Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. PNND Co-President
  • Hon Ms Jaejung Lee MP, (Korea). PNND Member.
  • Mr Roberto Zamora (Costa Rica), Board Member of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.
  • Ms Leah Bolger (USA). President of World Beyond War. Former Naval Commander and former President of Veterans for Peace.
  • Ms Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic), Vice-Chair of PagueVision Institute for Sustainable Security. Co-convenor of Youth Fusion.

Background and Objectives
Armed conflict and nuclear weapons violate peoples’ Right to Life, consume trillions of dollars every year, impact significantly on the climate and impede sustainable development. The United Nations was established in 1945 with the primary goal to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’. The UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force in international relations and provides a range of mechanisms for resolving conflicts and achieving security without recourse to war. In addition, the very first resolution of the UN General Assembly, adopted by consensus, establishes the goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This session will explore how these objectives of the UN can be achieved, at least by 2045 the 100th anniversary of the UN.

Event flyer:
Click here for the event flyer

Session organizers
Basel Peace Office, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Pax Christi Korea, World Beyond War, World Future Council and Youth Fusion

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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. 

[UN Observance] International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust

Each year on January 27, the United Nations officially recognizes the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The UN Charter endeavors that the human rights violations that occurred throughout World War II and the Holocaust must never be repeated, yet we know that they continue to be perpetrated today all over the world. Stay apprised of 2021 events to join us in honoring the memory of victims lost to the Holocaust and lifting up the critical message of peace, security, and human rights for all people here.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator

The 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator webinar series are short (75 mins) online workshops seeking to demonstrate how partnerships are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The workshops are open to all stakeholders.

The first webinar in the series will explore the challenges – and successes – in being institutionally fit for purpose to partner effectively to implement the SDGs, from the perspective of diverse stakeholders and sectors (governments, UN entities, civil society and business).

Actors in different sectors often struggle with the same obstacles and challenges that can derail successful partnering efforts. These include institutional dimensions and challenges, such as rigid procurement processes, lack of strategic vision and leadership for developing effective ways of partnering, amongst others.

Participants will be able to learn about key aspects for organizations to be equipped for developing partnerships and build recognition of and appreciation of the institutional capacities required for effective collaboration.

Speakers include UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UN Development Coordination Office, World Vision International, The Partnering Initiative + governments, business, and civil society.

Register here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2zWeD09UYE-9zF6kFubccKTGcnvniKtJsvj-e_A23x1UQUdLQzhTWko2SkY2WFRDTDFNODExUFlUSS4u

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development – New York, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

[UN Observance] International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Every year on November 29, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. To learn why, and how you can participate, please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-of-solidarity-with-the-palestinian-people.

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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 NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email Pres. Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Contemporary Era

You are invited to: A Virtual Conference on Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Contemporary Era

12 November 2020, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST

Seeking to address the huge gap in public awareness of nuclear weapons risk and applicable international law, the New York State Bar Association International Section is holding an all-day virtual conference that will bring together leading public officials, thought-leaders, policymakers, and experts for a comprehensive look at this often ignored subject.

According to Professor Charles J. Moxley, Jr., an LCNP director and a conference organizer, “International law may well hold the world’s best prospect for addressing and getting ahead of the existential risks posted by nuclear weapons.”

Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) is one of the co-sponsors of the conference and is well-represented in the program.

Register (no charge) and see the agenda here.

Among the speakers:

  • Professor Moxley, Kathleen Lawand of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Professor David Koplow of Georgetown Law
  • Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, will deliver a keynote address, followed by a panel on the role of the United Nations featuring her, LCNP Senior Analyst John Burroughs, Allison Pytlak of Reaching Critical Will/WILPF, and LCNP Executive Director Ariana Smith (moderator)
  • Jerry Brown, former Governor of California and Executive Chairman, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, will engage in a dialogue on responding to the greatest threats to humanity with Jonathan Granoff, President of Global Security Institute and an LCNP director
  • A panel on advancing the rule of law and morality in relation to nuclear weapons includes Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation, LCNP advisor Laurie Ashton, an attorney who served on the legal team for the Marshall Islands in its nuclear disarmament cases in the International Court of Justice, and Tom Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund, and co-author with William Perry of The Button

Additional panels will address nuclear weapons risks, consequences and responses, and the treaty regime on nuclear weapons.

Conference co-sponsors in addition to LCNP are Fordham Law School, Center on National Security; Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Ethics and World Affairs; American Bar Association, International Law Section; New York City Bar Association, Committees on International Law, Military and Veteran Affairs, Nuclear Policy and the United Nations, and Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice; New York County Lawyers Association, Committee on Foreign & International Law; Global Security Institute.

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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 Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

Holocaust Education in Crisis? Challenges and Responses

To mark the anniversary of the November 1938 Pogrom, The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and UNESCO are hosting an online discussion Holocaust education in crisis? Challenges and responses to examine the implications of recent surveys about Holocaust education and possible responses to the challenges and opportunities they raise.
Discussions about Holocaust education usually focus on three main questions: what should be taught, how should it be taught, and to what end? Recent surveys have shown that historical knowledge of the Holocaust is in decline, while related dis- and misinformation is on the rise. Simultaneously, research suggests a connection between students’ positive attitudes towards human rights and activism and their exposure to Holocaust education. Our diverse expert panel considers the implications of this research for their field.
Speakers:

Gretchen Skidmore, Director of Education Initiatives, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States

Debórah Dwork, Founding Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center – CUNY, United States

Stuart Foster, Executive Director of the Center for Holocaust Education, University College London, United Kingdom

Elke Gryglewski, Head of the Educational Department, Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference, Germany

Yael Siman, Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Political Science, Iberoamericana University, Mexico

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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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. 
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