COVID-19

Safeguarding the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and Cultural Rights at a Time of Crisis

Safeguarding the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and Cultural Rights at a Time of Crisis

Featuring Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 Eastern Time

RSVP (include name and affiliation) to unforb@gmail.com – registered attendees will be emailed with link & password just prior to the event

Please join us for a conversation in which Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and Ms. Karima Bennoune will discuss their most recent reports to the UN General Assembly as well as several areas in which they have both engaged in their recent work as UN Special Procedures mandate holders. These include their efforts to encourage States to advance the rights to freedom of religion or belief and cultural rights in ways that are consistent with the principle of the universality of rights; their efforts to promote greater recognition of rights defenders in their respective fields; and their concern about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the essential rights they monitor.

This event is free and open to all. Advance registration is required. For more information about the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

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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 Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

{Webinar} Faith Speaks to UN75

You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar Faith Speaks to UN75, scheduled to take place onWednesday October 21, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.(New York time) and facilitated via Zoom.

Please register by October 20th via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu2uqD4uEtWStFEaMfMn1TeZJaAes3vZ.

Concept note

The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic with severe economic and social impacts creates increased challenges for the UN. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have a history of inspiring people to act and are often the first responders, and longest sustainers, in times of global crisis. Our communities and partners on the ground ensure that basic needs are met for all people, regardless of religion or belief, in the communities in which we live and serve. We reach out to communities that are often the most vulnerable and are left behind. Faith-based actors fill the service gaps usually without government assistance. FBOs continually engage in projects on the ground that specifically further the objectives of the UN Charter, implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as advance other UN mandates that promote the common good.

These long-term commitments to the UN Mission serve to accelerate our constructive partnership in negotiations and reviews of UN frameworks. We must ensure that throughout the UN processes and respective consultations at all levels, FBOs are not only present but also have the opportunity for meaningful engagement earned by protecting fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, worship, and expression.

The continued support and actions of faith-based organizations are essential as we forge ahead to “build back together.” These are also equally essential as we accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, especially for those left furthest behind. For, as the Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a guide for people of all faiths or beliefs. Our core values are largely aligned with the 2030 Agenda. FBOs are well placed to carry innovations and lessons learned across communities and national borders. The UN can benefit from the breadth and depth of faith-based organizations.

We all share a common objective: a future of dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. This is true regardless of what religion or belief one practices. We need to continue working together through partnerships and strengthened collaboration among faith-based organizations and civil society in general, national governments, the international community, the private sector and other actors.

The panelists and participants in this webinar will discuss the opportunities for creating the space to leverage such partnerships in common cause to build a better world despite the vast challenges we currently face. They will also explore the pathways to make the constructive role of the faith-based organizations in the UN processes more central and impactful, in the context of the UN75 discussion on the future of the UN. Some argue that global leadership in multilateralism is lacking “political will”. In this regard, religious values can inspire people to act, locally, nationally and internationally, at whatever position they are, and deliver results beyond any material consideration.

Panelists:

  • Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chief, Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, UN DESA
  • Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
  • Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM – Executive Co-Secretary, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Union of Superior Generals and International Union of Superior Generals
  • Rev. Protopresbyter Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Saphira Rameshfar, Representative to the UN, Baha’i International Community
  • Rana Yurtsever, Member of Advisory Board, Islamic Society of Midwest
  • Teresa Blumenstein, New York Coordinator, Justice Coalition of Religious,
  • Marvelous (Marvie) L. Misolas, MM, NGO Representative at the UN, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

Moderator: Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative at the UN, International Presentation Association

14 faith-based organizations/sponsors of the webinar: Baha’i International Community, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, International Presentation Association, Islamic Society of Midwest, Justice Coalition of Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UNANIMA International

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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 Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-New York, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Older People’s Experiences in Real Life and Data

HelpAge International (in partnership with DESAAARP, Ghana Statistical Services, UNDP, and WHO )

is co-organizing the session “Older People’s Experiences in Real Life and Data” on 21 October 2020 at 10:00AM (New York) at the United Nations World Data Forum.

This session will:

  • Explore information required to understand the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing and rights of older people
  • Examine systemic barriers to better data on older women and men
  • Identify actions members of the data community can jointly take to improve availability of data on older people for inclusive response and recovery

We look forward to your joining the event! Please register at: https://attendify.co/62RQIWV

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

Interreligious Council (IRC) Development: Multi-Religious Humanitarian Support

Dear Esteemed Partners of Religions for Peace,

It is our honor to extend to you a special invitation to join in the fifth Religions for Peace Global Webinar on Interreligious Council (IRC) Development onWednesday 21 October 2020.

This forthcoming Global Webinar will focus on the theme of Multi-Religious Humanitarian Support, bringing together the World Council, Honorary Presidents, Trustees, National IRCs, Regional IRCs, Women of Faith Networks, and Interfaith Youth Networks from over 90 countries in six continents.

Register in advance for this meeting by Tuesday, 20 October 2020, with this link:  https://religionsforpeace.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrceirqz8uG9NVn9–1EFozTE_o-rOD4sL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Any questions or comments can be sent to ejackson@rfp.org. We look forward to our collaboration in further developing, equipping and strengthening our IRCs and the Religions for Peace global movement.

Read the IRC Development Strategy Paper here.

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CoNGO Notes: 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, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

[5-year UN observance] World Statistics Day

At its 41st Session in February 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission proposed celebrating 20 October 2010 as World Statistics Day (Decision 41/109).

Acknowledging that the production of reliable, timely statistics and indicators of countries’ progress is indispensable for informed policy decisions and monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly adopted on 3 June 2010 resolution 64/267, which officially designated 20 October 2010 as the first ever World Statistics Day under the general theme “Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics.”

In 2015, with resolution 96/282, the General Assembly decided to designate 20 October 2015 as the second World Statistics Day under the general theme “Better data, better lives,” as well as to celebrate World Statistics Day every five years on 20 October.

Register for the World Data Forum, Oct. 19 – 21, here: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/undataforum/index.html

Program & agenda for the Forum available here.

[UN observance] International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2020: “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”

To follow the worldwide commemoration,

  • A global interactive event in FRENCH and ENGLISH will be organized on Facebook Watch Party at 11 am New York /3pm UTC/5 pm Paris /6pm Nairobi.
  • For those not able to attend the Facebook Watch Party, the video of the global commemoration will be uploaded on ATD Fourth World’s Youtube channel on October 17, at midnight EST.

Register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org or facebook.com/NGOCSocD. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

[Member’s Meeting] NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will hold its regular monthly members’ meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST.

EST Zoom link: us02web.zoom.us/j/85866826804?pwd=MlA0TEJ2V3lYdHZNWmRCd3pXTjhqZz09

Next meeting: November 19, 2020

Agenda

1. Moment of Silence

2. Introductions

3. Rashmi Jaipal, Chair of the Health subcommittee of this NGO Committee, will introduce our speaker, Professor Dorlanda Thathing of the University of Jharkland, India

a. See Prof. Thathing’s bio below for more information

b. Topic – Indigenous Health Beliefs

4. Meeting minutes of Sept. 17, 2020

5. Executive Committee Report

6. Update on Climate March

7. Discussion on Activities around Indigenous Peoples Day

8. Election December 2020

Speaker Bio: Dr. Khathing is retired as a Professor of Physics at the North-Eastern Hill University. He is a nuclear scientist by training and his research had earlier been carried out at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay. His research group has been using the different nuclear facilities at Kolkata, Delhi, Trombay and Germany. He has authored over 70 research articles in refereed international journals of repute. He has successfully completed over twenty major research projects as the Principal Investigator. Eight PhD and three MPhil scholars have successfully been awarded degrees under his direct supervision.

Dr. Khathing is a life member of many national scientific societies ( Electron Microscope Society of India, National Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Society, Indian Assoc. of Analytical Scientists, Indian Physics Association, Indian Assoc of Physics Teachers, Indian Science Congress, Indian and International Society of Radiation Physics, etc) . He served on the Executive of many of them. He was also the founding Chairman of several regional Chapters of the national bodies. He is a Governing Board / Executive Council member in many central institutions including IIM Ranchi, Inter University Accelerator Centre New Delhi, Central Universities of Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

[UN observance] International Day of Rural Women

The International Day of Rural Women is commemorated annually on October 15. To learn more, please explore un.org/en/observances/rural-women-day

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-New York, please visit ngocsw.org. NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

Day of Indigenous Unity

Join us on October 12th for a day of storytelling, music, and discussion with Tribal Elders and Indigenous Youth Activists from around the world.

Watch the entire broadcast here: https://www.midheaven.network

October 12th, 2020 marks 528 years since Columbus first arrived on the American continent and sparked half a millennium of genocide, denial of human rights, theft and desecration of sacred land, and destruction of the natural environment. This day has been reclaimed as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the United States, raising awareness of the continued oppression of Native and Indigenous peoples in the continent, and celebrating their contributions to society and the world.

To celebrate US Indigenous Peoples’ Day in this webinar we have invited members of Indigenous Communities from around the world to talk about work as frontline defenders against climate change and the central importance of indigenous knowledge of land management in the fight to limit its effects.

This is the second webinar in our series ‘Building Back Better’ which looks forward to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic and asks what we need to do to create a more peaceful, just, and sustainable future. Alongside zoom and Facebook livestream, this webinar will be broadcast on the Midheaven network as part of their livestream for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

More information on the Indigenous Climate Summit is available here.

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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 Sustainable Development, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org.

[POSTPONED UNTIL 2021] Subsidiary Body for Scientific & Technological Advice (52nd session) + the Subsidiary Body for Implementation

[POSTPONED UNTIL 2021]

MESSAGE TO PARTIES, OBSERVER STATES AND OBSERVER ORGANIZATIONS:

Information regarding SB 52: Referring to the communication dated 1 April 2020 indicating that in light of the COVID-19 situation, the Bureau of the COP, CMP and CMA decided that the fifty-second session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 52) and the fifty-second session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 52) would be held from 4 to 12 October 2020.

The message further indicated that, taking into consideration the uncertainty of how the COVID-19 crisis would evolve, the Bureau would review the feasibility of convening the sessions on the new dates. On Wednesday, 17 June 2020, the Government of Germany decided to extend the ban on major events until the end of October at the earliest. Additionally, travel restrictions continue to be extended throughout the world.

Subsequently, the Bureau met on Monday 22 June 2020 to consider these new developments. Having considered the circumstances, which would preclude the secretariat’s ability to organize the subsidiary body sessions (SB 52) in an inclusive manner with the participation of all Parties, the Bureau decided to postpone SB 52 to 2021. The Bureau, in conjunction with the secretariat, will consider new dates at its next meeting. Information on dates and all relevant information will be communicated in due course. 

United Nations

Climate Change Secretariat

 

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