culture

International Migrants Day

Today, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born. While many individuals migrate out of choice, many others migrate out of necessity. In 2019, the number of migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million, 51 million more than in 2010.

A broad range of factors continue to determine the movement of people. They are either voluntary or forced movements as a result of the increased magnitude and frequency of disasters, economic challenges and extreme poverty or conflict. Approximately 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, representing 3.6 per cent of the global population.

All these will significantly affect the characteristics and scale of migration in the future and determine the strategies and policies countries must develop in order to harness the potential of migration while ensuring the fundamental human rights of migrants are protected.

For more information on why and how the United Nations commemorates International Migrants Day, visit un.org/en/observances/migrants-day.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org.

The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?

You are invited to “The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?”, the latest installment of the Temple of Understanding’s ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL Dialogues. These are special intimate discussions about the climate emergency with international ChangeMakers.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs presented by the Temple of Understanding, incorporating our outreach in the area of environmental awareness and advocacy. We present a diverse range of perspectives, from scientific to spiritual views, on the climate emergency and offer a variety of solutions that we can all do easily and effectively in our everyday lives. World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists and social scientists, environmental activists, artists, musicians and writers, youth and elders, local and global people, all come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis through these ongoing interviews and dialogues.

Register here!

Speakers:

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is an eco-theologian, spiritual leader, writer and creative. She founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization in 1988. Her books include Let the Earth Teach You Torah, Ecology and the Jewish Spirit, and The Splendor of Creation. Ellen also created the first ecologically-centered Tu B’Sh’vat (Jewish New Year of theTrees) seder in 1988 and popularized Tu B’Sh’vat as a community-wide inter-spiritual ecological arts celebration for all peoples. Her most recent book, The Promise of the Land, A Passover Haggadah is the first comprehensive, ecological haggadah (guidebook) for Passover (Behrman House, 2020). In 2020 during the pandemic, Ellen launched the Earth Seder movement, helping to organize several dozen world-wide Earth Seders on Zoom. Ellen continues to write and teach on the ecology of the Hebrew Bible, and serves on the advisory board of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. To learn more please visit ellenbernstein.org and thepromiseoftheland.com.

Theodore Hiebert writes about biblical perspectives on the environment and about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel challenges claims that the Bible privileges humans and separates them from nature, and it shows how biblical religion is grounded in the natural world. He has made contributions about biblical perspectives on nature to such works as The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, and Interpretation. He is the author of the article on Genesis for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Bible and Ecology. Ted was the lead translator of the Book of Genesis and one of the editors for the recent English translation, the Common English Bible (CEB). He wrote the notes to Genesis for the CEB Study Bible and for the New Interpreter’s Study Bible, based on the New Revised Standard Version. He is the Old Testament editor for Abingdon Press’s Covenant Bible Study. Ted also writes about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God’s Diverse World challenges exclusivist cultural interpretations of the book of Genesis and reveals a text that embraces and celebrates ethnic identities and differences. It contains a reinterpretation of the story of Babel as positive account of the origin of the world’s cultures. God’s Big Plan, which he co-authored with Elizabeth Caldwell, is a children’s story of Babel based on this new interpretation. Ted is currently at work on a study of the book of Genesis as migration literature. Ted is a member of the Mennonite Church and has served as pastor of the Boston Mennonite Congregation. He is a frequent lecturer and teacher in adult education programs in churches in the Chicago area. He is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and lives in Homewood, IL.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions

You are invited to join the NGO Committee on the Family for a time of Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions!

Many different cultures and religions celebrate holidays around this time of year, and the family plays a unique role in preserving and passing on these traditions. Many families create their own family customs as well, which are then passed on to the next generation, which can preserve and adapt them. These may shift and blend through the years, yet they create intergenerational links, fostering a sense of identity and self in the young who feel connected to those who came before them. In an increasingly global world, these traditions provide a connection to the past and guideposts for the future.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for cultural exchange and community experience discussing family and culture in a holiday context. Attendees will have a chance to share their own holiday traditions during the general discussion. Online participants can share in various ways, such as showing a favorite holiday treat, describing a holiday tradition, or showing your holiday decorations via webcam. As culture and food are closely connected, committee members will bring holiday refreshments from their family and cultural traditions, and in-person attendees who would like to do the same are invited to bring a dish to share. 

Please RSVP by 6pm EST on December 15 at bit.ly/NGOFamilyHoliday

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Family-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [regular mtg]

On behalf of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please consider yourselves cordially invited to attend our next regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 at 1pm EST.

AGENDA

1. Moment of Silence in Honor of the Land we are on and the Native Peoples of this land

2. Welcome, Introductions and Review of Agenda

3. Meeting minutes of November 18, 2021

4. Report of the Executive Committee

5. Announcement – Secretariat Update by Elaine re: Indigenous Forum – April 25 – May 6

6. Speaker –Teresa Darder (invited) from Pointe au Chien in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana on the topic of fragile coastal areas – Intro by Joy

7. Film and Discussion – “Dawnland” –  Intro by Roberto

8. Resource – Native Network Consulting – LaVonne Peck & Nina Vandenburgh (invited) – Intro by Sandy

9. Other announcements

10. Next meeting will be held on Thursday January 20, 2022, 1-3 pm

Access the meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2028703180

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [regular monthly mtg]

Dear NGO colleagues & interested parties,

Please consider yourselves cordially invited to join our regular monthly meeting of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO NotesThe NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the Chair, Roberto Borrero, at mukaro@uctp.org | borrero2005@gmail.com

Global Forum for Children and Youth (CY21)

Dear colleagues and partners,On December 7-9, UNICEF and partners will convene the Global Forum for Children and Youth (CY21), which includes leaders, experts, change-makers, and influencers together with children and youth to discuss and accelerate proven and new solutions, inspire commitments to create change and mobilize knowledge and resources to advance child rights to meet the SDGs by 2030. We encourage all our partners to follow the forum online.  Ahead of the event, we would like to request you to please share the CY21 teaser video on your platforms. The video assets (with editable files) and suggested post copy are available to download here. The daily agenda during the event are found on these links:7 December8 December9 December The Global Forum for Children and Youth convenes children and young people themselves, along with leaders across the United Nations, government, business, philanthropy, and civil society, as well as authors, artists, and influencers. You can find the list of speakers here. You may also find other available resources to support you on the links below.

Here is the link to stream the forum online.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development Online Dialogue with Civil Society

The purpose of this dialogue is to provide a platform for the Expert Mechanism to engage with Civil Society Organizations and Movements (CSOs) on promoting and operationalizing the right to development.

The Right to Development offers a useful framework for advocacy on a wide range of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, particularly related with inequalities and sovereignty and the duty to cooperate. However, many right-holders and civil society organizations and movements do not use the Right to Development in their advocacy work as widely and effectively as they can. In some cases, civil society groups are unaware of the Right to Development and the possibilities it holds as a tool for legal and social advocacy. Although the Declaration on the Right to Development itself does not create a cause of legal action, many of the elements of the right to development are reaffirmed in binding international law. The right to development is also affirmed in some legally-binding regional human rights instruments.

This EMRTD Dialogue offers a forum to promote the Right to Development among civil society groups, especially grassroots movements and organizations, learn from them, and inform them on the possibilities of the right to development as an instrument of human rights advocacy and development practice. A key focus of the dialogue will be identifying and addressing the conceptual and practical difficulties of using the right to development in human rights advocacy. A related goal of the dialogue is to encourage CSOs’ engagement in the drafting process of a global legally binding instrument on the right to development.

Programme:

  • Session 1 on The Right to Development Agenda – 16:00-17:00 CET and;
  • Session 2 on Civil Society Organizations and Movements and their perspectives about Development and the Right to Development –  17h10-19:30 (with a 10-min break included)

Preparatory Documents:

· Declaration on the Right to Development [English/French/Spanish]

· Draft Covenant on the Right to Development [English/French/Spanish]

· EMRTD Position Document on Legally Binding Instrument (LBI)

· EMRTD Thematic Studies

· Right to Development promotional publications of the OHCHR

The dialogue has the following specific aims:

  • To assess civil society engagement with the right to development in their agendas and activities
  • To address challenges and barriers that civil society groups face in their engagement with the right to development
  • To explore strategies for enhancing civil society engagement with the right to development
  • To share good practices, initiatives, and strategies on using the right to development framework for human rights advocacy and development work
  • To encourage CSOs’ engagement in the drafting process of a global legally binding instrument on the right to development

French and Spanish translations of the concept note will available shortly on the website. Do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development at ohchr-emrtd@un.org in case of questions.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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 congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy & Resilience of the Victims

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Faiths 4 Climate Justice

Two weeks before global climate negotiations, people of diverse religions will rise to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions.

Learn more and register here!

On Sunday, Oct. 17:

At temples, mosques, and churches around the globe, we’ll call for climate justice and care for the vulnerable by ringing our bells, singing, praying, meditating, calling the Azan, sounding the shofar – whatever is true to our tradition. We’ll also unfurl banners on our sacred buildings that make it clear: the time to act is now.

On Monday, Oct. 18:

Dressed in religious garb, we’ll take our faiths into the streets and to our leaders’ doorsteps.  We’ll deliver our demands to political and financial leaders, hold prayer or meditation vigils outside government and bank offices, sing hymns about the climate, or take action rooted in our deepest values.

*Co-sponsors are religious organizations and spiritual communities worldwide who publicize Faiths 4 Climate Justice to their communities. We invite diverse religious institutions, congregations, schools, and other groups to sign on as co-sponsors. Co-sponsors commit to recruit action hosts and participants for the global day of action and organize 1 or more local actions. We provide co-sponsors with tools, resources, and one-on-one support for recruitment and action organizing. Co-sponsors, if interested, can serve on a planning team in preparation for the mobilization.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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 facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

1 2 3 7