exploitation

Torture in Our Name: A Moral Call to End Solitary Confinement

Please join us for a film screening and discussion about how survivors of solitary confinement and religious communities are working together to abolish torture once and for all. Join live via Zoom or Facebook!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hIAox0YhQOCLvRJgLqxMHA

Religions for Peace (RFP) USA is the largest and most broadly-based representative multi-religious forum in the United States, with participants from more than 50 religious communities, representing each of the major faith traditions. The organization identifies shared commitments among religious communities in the U.S., enhances mutual understanding among these communities, and facilitates collaboration to address issues of common concern.

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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@yahoo.com. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit crngo.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org

Can Harnessing Blue and Thematic Bonds Build a Sustainable, Regenerative Ocean Economy?

On Wednesday, June 29, at 1pm ET, join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development for an official virtual side event of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference!

A multilateral expert panel will discuss what blue and thematic bonds are, how they’re working in practice, and how to optimize them as building blocks toward a regenerative, sustainable ocean economy.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc–%20%20prD4sG9eXXTtidrPei5J2Xe3tQPb8

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Ian Dereck Joseph Madeleine, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Seychelles to the United Nations
  • Mr. Stephen M. Liberatore, Head of ESG/Impact – Global Fixed Income for Nuveen, a private investor in the Seychelles blue bond
  • Mr. Greg Fisk, Global Lead – Climate Risk and Resilience, Senior Principal Consultant, BMT
  • Mr. Nicola Mercusa, Sustainable Finance Hub, Debt and Bond issuance expert advisor, UNDP H.E. Leon Kaulahao Siu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands
  • Dr. Megan Davis, Ph.D., Research Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/ Queen Conch Lab
  • Additional NGO speakers to be confirmed

Moderator:

Ms. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development; Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund (formerly Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund)

Co-organizers:  General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, PEAC Institute, ManUp Campaign, United Religions Initiative, Dominican Leadership Conference, Africa Development Interchange Network, Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), Temple of Understanding

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

This year’s observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) at 1:30pm (NYC time) on June 15 coincides with the fourth review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ministerial Conference on Ageing in Rome, Italy. While there will be an in-person WEAAD observance, we are pleased to invite everyone to participate virtually.

Details and registration hereWorld Elder Abuse Awareness Day

In preparation for the event, this month the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY participated in the review and appraisal cycle of MIPAA in Rome. A new preamble paragraph has been added to recall the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, and the convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, among other treaties and covenants. The fact remains that older persons remain invisible and unprotected. The pandemic’s excessive toll on older persons has documented that human rights of older persons are not being protected. We must continue to advocate for a legally binding document to protect the human rights of all older persons.

Please note: The UN International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) will be held once again in person at the UN (and live webcast). The exact observance date is pending due to space availability at the UN. The NGO Committee on Ageing-NY is collaborating on the theme with its counterparts in Geneva and Vienna on addressing older women and issues of climate change, pandemic and other issues, but from the perspective of the resilience and contributions of older women. Robin Fenley is chairing this year’s observance.

Note: The new chair of the Vienna Committee on Ageing is Shantu Watt and in Geneva, the new chair is Kelly Fitzgerald.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Ageing-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 Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

In recent years, the number of violations perpetrated against children have, in many conflict zones, increased. More needs to be done to protect the 250 million children living in countries and areas affected by conflict. More must be done to protect children from targeting by violent extremists, to promote international humanitarian and human rights law, and to ensure accountability for violations of the rights of children.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides us with the universal masterplan to secure a better future for children. The new agenda includes for the first time a specific target (16.2) to end all forms of violence against children, and ending the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is mainstreamed across several other violence-related targets.

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, please visit un.org/en/observances/child-victim-day.

Background:

Following on the ground-breaking Graça Machel report, which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children, in 1997 The General Assembly adopted 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child. It was a landmark development in efforts to improve the protection of children in conflict situations. This signaled the start of a new consensus among Member States, on the need for dedicated attention, advocacy and coordinated effort, by the international community, to address the vulnerabilities and violations faced by children in conflict-related situations.

Resolution 51/77 built on existing General Assembly efforts to protect the rights of children, including through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol, and the annual Rights of the Child resolutions. And it established the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

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

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Exploring Digital Finance’s Real Promises and Challenges for Development

Join the NGO Committee on Financing for Development on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EDT for this official side event to the 2022 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qc-6orjsuGdFhyWHfljp7ZNxV526Onoc7

Speakers:

  • Ms. Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation of the Republic of Togo (TBC)
  • Dr. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Mr. Johannes Ehrentraud, Senior Advisor, Financial Stability Institute, Bank for International Settlements
  • Ms. Sofie Blakstad, CEO of hiveonline and author of Fintech Revolution: Universal Inclusion in the New Financial Ecosystem
  • Ms. Anneleen Vos, Seionr Economic Policy Officer, International Rescue Committee
  • Mr. Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India
  • Ms. Mercy Buku, Program Leader, Toronto Center

Moderator: Mx. Anita Thomas, Chair, NGO Committee on FfD, Representative to the UN, Women First International Fund

Co-sponsors: ManUp Campaign, Change Management Solutions, Sisters of Charity Foundation, African Development Interchange Network, IBVM

Background:

The UN Secretary General’s task force on digital finance in its report titled “People’s Money: Harnessing Digitalization to Finance a Sustainable Future,” spells out the transformational impact digital finance can have on sustainable development. Providing relief for millions around the world, supporting businesses, and protecting jobs and livelihoods, digital finance served as a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. A World Bank tally of policy responses to the pandemic finds that at least 58 governments in developing countries used digital payments to deliver COVID-19 relief, of which 36 countries made payments into fully transactional accounts that were being used for saving beyond simply withdrawing cash. According to the GSMA, international remittances processed via mobile money increased by 65 percent in 2020.

Proponents of digital finance highlight its strong capabilities to reduce transaction costs, the potential of Artificial Intelligence to provide fair and equitable treatment of credit applicants, and the scalability of cloud technology, through the use of blockchain technology, to allow consumers to transact remotely and seamlessly across multiple platforms.

While the experience of COVID-19 has proven that digitalization can transform economies and lives, it needs to be shaped with both its advantages and potential risks in mind in order to bring everyone into the digital age. For technology to benefit everyone, private sector innovation must be supported by the appropriate public goods such as the public provision of foundational infrastructure, access to electricity, mobile and internet coverage.

As in the case of any disruptive technology, without combining technological advances with sound policy measures, digital technology cannot deliver on its potential to meaningfully advance financial inclusion for everyone, including the more than 2 billion unbanked people globally. Delivering on promises to advance financial inclusion can only be considered meaningful when the account holder has a fully functional account that they utilize to save, make payments, obtain manageable credit, and mitigate economic risks and is simply not utilized to withdraw cash from cash transfers from the government, which is overwhelmingly the case at this time.

By examining successful strategies that maximize digital finance’s potential while minimizing risks to the financial sector, government revenues, and at-risk populations, attendees will gain a better understanding of how digital finance can sustainably advance development objectives.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Financing for Development is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations.

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event brings together heads of state and government, ministers and high-level government officials as well as senior officials of international organizations. Civil society organizations, the business sector and local authorities will also be represented.

Additional information on preparations for the Forum, including the programme, outcome, substantive background, stakeholder participation and side events, will be made available here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/FFD-forum-home

The UN does not charge a fee for registration and participation. For any questions, please contact the Financing for Sustainable Development Office at ffdforum@un.org.

Register here: un.org/development/desa/financing/what-we-do/ECOSOC/financing-development-forum/registration

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

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

POSTPONED

Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), Doha, Qatar

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.

Faith Communities After Glasgow: An Interfaith Examen of COP26

Where did we find God in the COP26 Conversation? What is God doing with respect to our climate emergency today?

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will end on 12 November. This historic meeting has been called the world’s “last best chance” to reduce carbon emissions and commit to a socially just plan for adaptation. Such a decisive summit merits close attention, and the focus of the world’s faith communities cannot be limited to advocacy alone. We must also prepare ourselves to discern a communal response to this important moment in history, a response that will at once be faithful to the ongoing work of God in the world and capable of seeing new things in the midst of the old. In this spirit, we will gather faith leaders for a global examen on Thursday, 9th December, 2021 to begin a communal discernment. This discernment will be guided by the central question, “Where did we find God in the COP26 Conversation? What is God doing with respect to our climate emergency today?”

Register here: us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkc-iqqz8iG9dLJkwnL9rTzlfFXXcDyvMn

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

UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent would like to invite all interested civil society representatives and people of African descent to an interactive consultation meeting on its mandate and activities. The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss human rights concerns, opportunities in 2022 and recommended action to prevent racial discrimination faced by people of African descent.

The meeting will be held on Friday 19 November from 14:00-16:00 hrs in Room XVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Working Group encourages civil society to attend in person if possible, and invite online participation for those who cannot attend in-person.   

For in-person participation, please register using the following link: https://indico.un.org/event/36496/

For online participation, we encourage all civil society organizations interested to participate in the discussion to register by sending an email to Joyce Fucio (jocelyn.fucio@un.org) by 17 November 2021, indicating participation and providing the participants name, organizations’ name and email address.

The link for online participation using the remote simultaneous interpretation platform Interprefy, and instructions on how to use the Interprefy platform will be sent to those who have sent their confirmation of participation one day prior to the event.

Best regards,

WGEPAD Secretariat

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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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org.

[registration deadline] Course on non-tariff measures and their relevance to the pandemic

The UNCTAD secretariat is pleased to inform the permanent missions of member States in Geneva that the UNCTAD Trade Analysis Branch will organize the first edition of an online course on economic analysis of non-tariff measures of 2021. This edition of the course will be held from 4 October to 19 November 2021.

The objective of this course is to introduce the main empirical approaches used to assess the impact of non-tariff measures on bilateral trade flows. The course targets audiences who are working in trade and/or development field, such as government officials, researchers and representatives of the private sector. We especially encourage participants who want to strengthen their understanding of non-tariff measures, use non-tariff measures data and/or who are or may be involved in the design or negotiation of policies related to non-tariff measures. The course may also be of benefit to participants involved in the regulatory cooperation and harmonization of non-tariff measures across countries/sectors and participants involved in the resolution of trade frictions related to non-tariff measures.

A limited number of applications will be considered from the stakeholders of developed countries. Qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should apply by following the instructions available at research.net/r/EconNTMs. The deadline for applications is 26 September 2021.

To obtain assistance with the online application process, please contact elearningtrade@un.org. Requests for further information or clarifications about the course may be sent to Ms. Chi Le Ngo, Trade Analysis Branch, UNCTAD Division on International Trade and Commodities; email: ntm.training@unctad.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-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

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