COVID-19

Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5)

The world’s Least Developed Countries are in a race to deliver the global development goals by 2030. This new decade needs to usher in a new global partnership to close the divide.

A major conference will be held in Doha in January 2022 to help build an ambitious new programme for action for LDCs and will be held at a critical time, as the final decade of action for the 2030 agenda gathers pace. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LDC5 will now be held from January 23 – 27, 2022.

For information about the preparatory process, past conferences, how to participate, and more, explore un.org/ldc5.

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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 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.

COP26: Glasgow Climate Change Conference

The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November 2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19.  This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.

Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, have been set to 1-12 November 2021.

In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 was no longer possible. Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.

COP 26 side events/exhibits – organizations with admission status in the UNFCCC process and Parties partnering with an admitted organization(s) are eligible to apply for a side event and/or an exhibit, using the side events and exhibits online application system (SEORS) managed by the UNFCCC secretariat. The schedule for its opening for COP 26 will be announced on this site. Eligibility, selection and allocation criteria are available on this webpage.

More COP26 info from the host country provided here: ukcop26.org

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

[Rescheduled] Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT

In light of the situation related to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, States Parties have decided to postpone the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to a later date but no later than August 2021.

2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was originally slated to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27 April to 22 May 2020. Please adjust your calendars accordingly, as civil society’s voice cannot be excluded from this critical session.

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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-NY, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

ECOSOC High-Level Segment

This year’s ECOSOC High-level segment (including the three-day ministerial segment of the HLPF convened under the auspices of the ECOSOC) will be convened on July 13 – 16, 2021.

To learn more about the functions of the Economic and Social Council, and to stay apprised on how to view/engage in the High-level segment when information becomes available, visit un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2021/ecosoc-high-level-segment-including-three-day-ministerial-segment-hlpf-convened-under.

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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.

High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2021

The high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021 as part of the high-level segment of the Council.

The theme will be “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”.

When information on registration and participation becomes available, it will be available here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021#registration

The HLPF in 2021 will discuss Sustainable Development Goals 1 on no poverty, 2 on zero hunger, 3 on good health and well-being, 8 on decent work and economic growth, 10 on reduced inequalities, 12 on responsible consumption and production, 13 on climate action, 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and 17 on partnerships in depth. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the 2021 HLPF, participants will be able to explore various aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures and types of international cooperation that can control the pandemic and its impacts and put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, within the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.

Countries will also carry out voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the 2021 HLPF. For more details, please click here.

The HLPF will adopt a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session. The President of ECOSOC will also prepare a summary to capture the key messages of the discussions. For more details, please click here.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy [5th session]

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021. The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting:

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;

b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;

c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;

d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;

e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;

f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;

g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;

h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;

i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;

j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

Written contributions In order to facilitate the deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Friday, 4 June 2021, to allow participants to prepare themselves for the meeting.

Participation:

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers. Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations. Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting.

For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Further information and contact details:

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org

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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-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

UN Trade Forum 2021: Towards a Green and Inclusive Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a health and economic crisis of tragic proportions for lives and livelihoods everywhere that is jeopardising continued progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Protecting lives while moving forward with implementation for sustainable recovery has become the world’s priority.

Reigniting global trade is indispensable for the recovery from this crisis. Trade is a source of income, jobs and opportunities for women and men in developed and developing countries. The crisis has also highlighted the fundamental role of trade in allowing goods and services to move from where they are efficiently produced to where they are needed. The crisis has exposed the fault lines of our development path, notably one that depends on effective participation in just-in-time global supply chains. The crisis has also exacerbated the vulnerability and inequality present in our world.

Yet COVID-19 is not the only crisis we face. A climate and environmental emergency may compromise the progress we have achieved and the development prospects of future generations. Thus, recovery is not enough. It must be green and inclusive, and trade and trade policy play a critical role in this process. The United Nations Trade Forum will serve as a space for dialogue on how trade can be harnessed for a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

In the context of this year’s Forum, UNCTAD will also hold the seventeenth Raúl Prebisch Lecture. This prestigious Lecture is delivered periodically by a prominent thinker or Head of State, and while often tackles trade and development issues, also covers other topical global concerns. This iteration of the Lecture will be given by Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States of America). Ms Duflo was co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.

Participation

Registration should be completed online. Early registration is advised to allow timely approval. To do so, please use the following link: United Nations Trade Forum.

Communications concerning representation should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; email: meetings@unctad.org.

The forum is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Those wishing to attend the event are requested to provide the UNCTAD secretariat with the credentials of their representatives and the names of their alternative representatives and advisers by Monday, 7 June 2021. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting and non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category who wish to participate as observers are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by the same date.

Logistics

A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session. For all other enquiries, please contact: Graham Mott at graham.mott@unctad.org, or Tamar van Straten at tamar.vanstraten@un.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 ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

109th Session of the International Labour Conference

109th Session of the International Labour Conference

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labour Office has organized extensive tripartite consultations with a view to enabling the Governing Body to finalize, at its 341st Session (15-27 March 2021), the exact format, dates, agenda, programme and participation modalities for the 109th Session of the International Labour Conference in 2021. The Office will inform in due course member States and invited observers of the decisions made in this regard by the Governing Body.

To stay apprised on information about participation, to view pertinent reports, and to view past International Labour Conferences, check ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/109/lang–en/index.htm.

Agenda – Standing items

I.  Reports of the Chairperson of the Governing Body and of the Director-General

A. ILO programme implementation 2018–19

B. Report of the Director-General

Appendix: The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories 2020  and 2021

C. Reports of the Chairpersons of the Governing Body for the periods 2019–20 and 2020–21

II. Programme and Budget and other questions

III. Information and reports on the application of Conventions and Recommendations

A. Application of International Labour Standards 2020. Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations 

B. Promoting employment and decent work in a changing landscape – 2020 General Survey published by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) 

Items placed on the agenda by the Conference or the Governing Body

IV. Inequalities and the world of work (general discussion)

V. A recurrent discussion on the strategic objective of social protection (social security), under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on social Justice for a Fair Globalization

VI. Skills and lifelong learning (general discussion)

VII. Abrogation and withdrawal of international labour Conventions and Recommendations *

A. Abrogation of eight international labour Conventions and withdrawal of nine international labour Conventions and 11 international labour Recommendations

B. Withdrawal of one international labour Convention

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

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

2021 Theme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International 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.

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