democracy

International Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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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 Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

World Press Freedom Global Conference

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April – 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges. The Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia and will be a digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Selected sessions will take place physically in Windhoek, respecting physical distancing and other precautions recommended by the health authorities.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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 Social Development, please visit  ngosocdev.org.

[CSW65 Parallel Event] The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ngo-csw65-forum-advocate-registration-tickets-137312871495

Summary:

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is bringing together a panel of prominent female leaders to discuss how their diverse religious and belief backgrounds have shaped their views and prepared them for leadership positions around the world as well as how the freedom of religion or belief is critical to empowering women and girls.

Moderator: Kelsey Zorzi, Director of Advocacy for Global Religious Freedom, ADF

International Panelists:

  • Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office
  • Blu Greenberg, Founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  • Carole McConkie, Latter-day Saint Charities Representative at the United Nations (Geneva)
  • Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Margaret Downey, Founder of the Freethought Society

Format: Each speaker will present for 10-12 minutes followed by a time of Q+A from the attendees.

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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 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.

People Power Under Attack

On Tuesday, 8 December, the CIVICUS Monitor is launching its global data report, People Power Under Attack 2020. Please join us for a panel event, which will provide an overview of global civic space ratings and the top violations to civic freedoms. Over 10 countries are set to have their ratings changed (upgrades and downgrades). The panel will zoom-into a number of regions and unpack the most common restrictions facing activists, journalists, protest leaders and civil society organisations. Data insights will also be presented on the relationship between the rise of authoritarian governments, COVID-19, and the impact on rights.

Translations provided in Spanish and French.

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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.

Combating a Pandemic of Misinformation: Teaching Media Literacy

CTAUN is pleased to announce our first online event – a discussion about the way we receive and share information, and how we can  help our students – and ourselves – to tell fact from fiction.
In this age of COVID-19, the rapid spread of misinformation may be as dangerous as the virus itself.   We will examine why people believe and spread misinformation, and we have invited media professionals to offer techniques and resources that help students and educators recognize “red flags”of misinformation (“fake news”).
We will direct special attention to Social Media. We will hear from UN Communications experts about special initiatives underway to stem the spread of misinformation, and how educators and students can participate in this effort.
Please mark the date on your calendar.   Registration will open next week and will also be posted on our website.  There will be no charge for this event. A second webinar “United Nations and Indigenous People”  is planned for January.  Details will be posted on the CTAUN website.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN/

[Cyber Conference] There’s Still Hope and Here’s Why

On Nov. 5, join PEAC Institute and the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society for a cyber conference designed to foster post-election reflections, healing, and mobilization.

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OArdeLrcSaO4A4JHpXdDQA

Background: From Tulsa to Hiroshima, from Auschwitz to the Trail of Tears, the scenes of death and destruction are the same. The root causes of these atrocities are the same too: cultures of violence fueling systems of oppression.

What can the people do to reclaim their rightful democratic power when corrupt governments fail to honor the contracts that ensure we live in a civil society with a sustainable future?

This action-driven conversation, co-sponsored by PEAC Institute and the General Board of Church and Society, will explore the challenge of dismantling cultures of violence. Through both historical and contemporary lenses, we will highlight some of the terrifying consequences we’re facing due to not fixing our culture of violence while also offering examples of nature-based solutions that people are successfully executing today. Speakers from multiple continents will include foreign policy experts, peace activists, and volunteer humanitarians reporting from the field.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

[UN Observance] International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

The United Nations recognizes the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists every year on November 2.

Help keep the investigations of killed journalists alive and perpetuate their legacy by sharing their articles and their stories. Learn more about the #TruthNeverDies campaign, developed jointly by UNESCO and DDB Paris, here: https://unesco.exposure.co/truth-never-dies.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs and Crime, please visit nyngoc.org. 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Nuclear Weapon Free World: Global civil society commemoration of the UN Day for Nuclear Abolition

September 26, 2020, will be the 7th International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Join people around the world in celebrating the vision of a nuclear weapons free world, raising awareness and calling on their leaders to advance nuclear disarmament.

Organised by #WeThePeoples2020, an initiative of over 100 participating organizations, to promote and engage in the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and key UN days and events.

The Nuclear Weapon Free World event takes place in two parts:
Part 1: Timed to suit people in Asia and the Pacific
Part 2: Timed to suit people in the Americas, Europe and Africa

Registration:

  • Click here to register for Part 1: Asia/Pacific event
  • Click here to register for Part 2: Americas/Europe/Africa event

Each part will have three sessions:

Session 1: 10-12 presentations on nuclear disarmament issues
Session 2: Practical workshops on key approaches to nuclear disarmament, including using the arts, how to move the nuclear weapons budgets/investments to better things, how to engage and empower women and youth, how to engage your legislators (mayors, parliamentarians)…
Session 3: A panel discussion followed by Q&A on how to achieve nuclear disarmament, how to move the nuclear-armed states to relinquish nuclear deterrence, the role of non-nuclear states, how to build on the connections between nuclear disarmament and other key UN issues.

PROGRAM:

Moderators:

  • Part 1: Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic), Deputy Chair of the PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security, PNND Program Director for Women, Peace and Security;
  • Part 2: Kehkashan Basu (UAE/Canada), Youth Ambassador for the World Future Council, former United Nations Environment Programme Global Coordinator for Children & Youth, and winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize.

Opening comments:

  • Part 1: Yuriy Kryvonos (United Nations), Director of the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific;
  • Part 2: Izumi Nakamitsu (United Nations), UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

Presentations, messages and panels with:

Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador), President of the 73rd UN General Assembly (2018-2019), former Ecuador Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence and a poet; Mani Shankar Aiyar (India), Chair of the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan Group for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free and Nonviolent World Order and former member of the Indian Parliament; Yasmeen Silva (USA), Partnerships Manager for Beyond the Bomb; Solomon Yeo (Solomon Islands), Co-founder of World Youth for Climate Justice; Prof Azza Karam (Netherlands), Secretary-General of Religions for Peace; Gareth Evans (Australia), Chair of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network or Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and Co-convenor of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament; Dr Hedy Fry MP (Canada), Special Representative on Gender Issues for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); Rev Emma Jordan-Simpson (USA), Executive Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation USAKaripbek Kuyukov (Kazakhstan), Artist, second generation victim of nuclear tests and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM ProjectJeremy Corbyn (UK), Vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and former Leader of the UK Labour PartyKathleen Burkinshaw (USA), Daughter of a Hiroshima nuclear bomb survivor and Author of The Last Cherry Blossom;  Mikyung LEE (Republic of Korea), President of the Korea International Cooperation AgencyJohn Hallam (Australia), People for Nuclear Disarmament and the Human Survival ProjectJackie Cabasso (USA), Director of Western States Legal Foundation and North America Coordinator for Mayors for PeaceFabian Hamilton MP (UK), Shadow Minister for Peace and DisarmamentDouglas Roche (Canada), Former Senator, Member of Parliament and Canadian Disarmament Ambassador; Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan), Convenor of the Abolition 2000 Youth Network, PNND Coordinator for CIS (former Soviet) Countries; Bill Kidd (Scotland), Convener of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Nuclear DisarmamentEla Gandhi (South Africa), Founder of the Gandhi Development TrustKelly Slater (USA), 11 times world surfing championCynthia Lazaroff (USA), Founder, NuclearWakeUpCall.EarthAntony Owen (UK), Poet and Patron of the Campaign for Nuclear DisarmamentSooyoung Hwang (South Korea), Disarmament Program Manager, Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, General Bernard Norlain (France), Vice-President, Initiatives pour le Désarmement Nucléaire. Former Air Defense Commander and Air Combat Commander of the French Air Force; and more to come.

Event outline and program: Click here for the event flyer and program outline with session times. Click here for the full program. Click here for guidance on taking specific action.

For further information contact vanda@pnnd.org or  info@unfoldzero.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

 

Nelson Mandela International Day

https://www.un.org/pga/74/event/nelson-mandela-international-day/

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[Webinar] Strengthening Southeast Asia’s democratic health after COVID-19

Live webinar: Strengthening Southeast Asia’s democratic health after COVID-19

Organized by the Kofi Annan Foundation

According to the V-Dem Institute of Gothenburg University, some governments in Southeast Asia have experienced different levels and forms of democratic backsliding under the cover of pandemic-related emergency measures. Our panelists will present the regional situation and explore ways of restoring, and even invigorating, democracy in Southeast Asia as it emerges from the pandemic.

ModeratorVeronica Pedrosa, journalist from the Philippines

PanelPresident Ramos Horta, former President, PM, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; member of the Kofi Annan Electoral Integrity Initiative Senior Panel
Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, former UN USG; former Executive Secretary of the UN ESCAP; member of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age (KACEDDA)
Dr Thant Myint-U, Historian; former UN official; Chairman of U Thant House

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on CoNGO’s Regional Committee in Asia-Pacific, please visit facebook.com/ngocongoRCAP.