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20th YMCA World Council: “Ignite”

On 3 July 2022, the 20th YMCA World Council will begin. For the first time ever, it’s going to be a hybrid event. We will meet in person in Aarhus, Denmark, and online. We continue to monitor the COVID situation, and try and do the right thing. The priority is for as many as possible to meet, one way or the other, at another vital moment for the global YMCA Movement. Why?

Because our world and our YMCA has been turned on its head by this pandemic, and we need to reconnect: we’ve missed each other. We’re ready to respond to new learning, new imperatives, new roles, and new methods in supporting young people and their communities.

Which is why the World Council theme in 2022 is simply ‘IGNITE.’ It’s a moment to provide the spark and light the flame to take us forward. Specifically, we’ll be igniting our vision, our collaboration, and our solutions. The World Council itself is the global YMCA Movement’s highest decision-making body, bringing together all 120 National YMCA Movements. More than that, it’s the biggest and most important shared space we have.

What do we hope to achieve? At least four things:

First, agreeing and adopting a new Movement-wide strategy, as we look towards a 2030 horizon. Imagine: wherever we are in the world, we all agree on a common vision, mission and goals. Our ‘North Star.’

Second, showcasing ‘solutions’, and specifically ‘youth-led solutions, sharing what we’ve done in identifying, supporting and seed-funding young people’s responses to their own challenges in their own communities, in areas like climate, jobs and mental health and working together – ‘collaborating’ in ‘co-labs’ across the generations – to develop and launch new youth solutions in line with Vision 2030.

Third, strengthening our governance as we elect new officers.

And fourth, just enjoying ‘family’ and fun, as we celebrate and enjoy who we are and where we’re from. Imagine: the ‘great global good’ of the YMCA at play. We really do refuel at World Council….before we ‘IGNITE.’

In person, we’ll do all this in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city. A green and beautiful place, an old city with a young population, a port city with a view on the world, and the stunning conference facilities of the city’s world-famous Concert Hall. We’ll keep you posted about all the practical details. Register from 1st November here.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children & youth

The NGO Committee on Children’s Rights invites you to our October meeting in recognition of UN World Mental Health month. Register here!

Invited panel of experts:

  • Kira Herbert, Educator, Croton-Harmon UFSD, BS Education, MS Education, NYS Teacher of Excellence
  • Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Pepperdine University

Moderator: Professor Roseanne Flores, Ph.D Dept. Psychology at Hunter College, NY & ECOSOC Representative, American Psychological Association (APA)

We’ll also hear the voices of school children and youth expressing their experiences during the pandemic. For questions or more information, please contact the Committee Secretary at marlena2173@gmail.com.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Future Directions for Gender-sensitive Ammunition Management Processes

As the UN General Assembly receives the Final Report of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, Member States will consider developing a more comprehensive approach to conventional ammunition management processes, one that addresses not only safety but security. One aspect that the GGE highlighted was the “value of considering ammunition management throughout its life cycle, using a gender analysis, in order to identify relevant entry points for gender mainstreaming” (A/76/324, para 81).

While gender analysis has been introduced to address a variety of aspects of small arms control, it has received less attention in the ammunition-specific domain, especially outside of stockpile management concerns. In response to this knowledge gap, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is implementing a project to promote effective, safe and secure ammunition management through the development of gender-responsive guidance, including in the framework of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) and the UN SaferGuard Programme.

Following the release of a briefing paper last year, UNODA and the Small Arms Survey are hosting a virtual event to launch a report that highlights gender considerations throughout the life-cycle management of ammunition, “Gender-sensitive Ammunition Management Processes: Considerations for National Authorities,” on the margins of the First Committee of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

The event will highlight the main elements from the publication, as well as provide a brief overview of the life-cycle management of ammunition.

Register here!

The event will be moderated by Takuma Haga, Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. For more information, please contact Takuma Haga at takuma.haga@un.org.

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CoNGO Notes: 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-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

The State of the World’s Children Report launch

Dear colleagues and partners,

Every year, UNICEF releases its flagship The State of the World’s Children global report, examining a key issue affecting children. These have ranged from children with disabilities, conflict and war, child labour, urbanization, early childhood development, and much more, making it the most comprehensive analysis of global trends that impact children.

This year, for the first time in UNICEF’s history, The State of the World’s Children will focus on child and adolescent mental health and well-being, reflecting a priority focus on mental health across UNICEF’s global programming, advocacy and communications. Growing awareness about the importance of mental health, the impact of COVID-19, and increased evidence on the value of optimizing mental health and developmental trajectories for children and adolescents, have combined to create fresh momentum and urgency around mental health of children, youth and caregivers.

The State of the World’s Children 2021 will present new data and trends on mental health, as well as perspectives from young people, and will help to strengthen UNICEF’s policy outreach and targeted advocacy at global, regional and national levels, as well as drive action and investment to protect and promote the mental health, well-being and development of children, young people, and their families.
The State of the World’s Children 2021 report will be available here on October 5th 00/01 GMT.

Key themes will include:

  • Mental health is central to children’s health and overall well-being: As Brock Chisholm, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first Director-General, stated, “Without mental health there can be no true physical health.”
  • Mental health is a continuum: Everyone sits somewhere on the mental health continuum, and many, if not most, people move along it at some stage – from experiencing good mental health to anything from short-term distress to long-term disabling conditions.
  • Mental health must be understood along the life course: Every stage of life – from the period around pregnancy, to early childhood and the first decade, and on to adolescence and the second decade – offers unique moments when mental health can be supported and when it may be at risk.
  • Social determinants help shape mental health outcomes: Biology and genetics play a role in determining mental health, but so too do protective and risk factors in the child’s family, in school, in the community, and across society. Understanding these is key to developing policy approaches.
  • COVID-19: The report will address evidence for the mental health impact of COVID-19, as well as challenges in humanitarian situations and emergencies.
  • Mental health requires a pyramid of interventions: A range of multi-sectoral services and institutions are needed to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children, and care for children facing the greatest challenges. Launch plans

We will launch the report on 5th October at the Ministerial Summit on Mental Health organized by the French Government in Paris, alongside a series of ‘satellite’ launch events worldwide and a new mental health communications campaign.

On 5 and 6 October 2021, the French Minister for Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will host the “Mind Our Rights, Now!” Global Mental Health Summit in Paris. The summit will be attended by high-level policy makers, international organizations, health professionals, experts and civil society actors, in addition to foundations and renowned academics, all of whom aim to strengthen international efforts that support mental health, promote respect for rights and foster worldwide innovative experiences. The summit aims to sustain the momentum generated by the International Conference on Mental Health hosted by the Netherlands in October 2019, and Ministerial MH Summit in the UK before it.

Ten thematic areas have been selected to advance the objectives of the summit and are a core part of the programme. UNICEF is co-leading the workstream focusing on Children and Adolescents, with WHO and War Child, aiming to develop a set of recommendations for mental health and psychosocial support for children, adolescents, and families, which will align closely with the SOWC report. The SOWC launch is officially part of the programme on the 5th October.

The global launch will initiate a series of regional and national events around the world, involving UNICEF offices and key partners, in which we aim to spark a global conversation about child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing. ‘Satellite’ events are being explored in strategic locations across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, as well as the UAE, China and the US.

UNICEF will accompany the report launch with our new public engagement campaign, Mental Health #OnMyMind, which will provide a unifying creative concept and communications framework for all UNICEF offices and partners in support our global mental health advocacy strategy objectives over the next four years. A social media pack is available here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.

Preventing and Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) as a Tool of War

Dear Colleagues,

Search for Common Ground invites you to join us for a UNGA side-event focused on conflict-related sexual violence as a mechanism of war. This event is hosted in collaboration with the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.  Against the backdrop of events transpiring in Afghanistan, this panel discussion seeks to showcase the imperative need to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence around the world, to promote the safety, security, and prosperity of all people.

The panel will cover historic and present-day examples of CRSV; policy and programming approaches to preventing and addressing CRSV; and lessons learned from civil society representatives in conflict-affected countries on the impact of CRSV interventions.

Please use the following link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlc-ChpzwtEt171qKG-jP4sgpcZViJVUf2

We look forward to your participation and encourage you to share this invitation with your partners. For questions about the event, please contact Anna Crouch at acrouch@sfcg.org.

Thank you,

Search for Common Ground

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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 the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

World Drug Report 2021: Africa & the Americas

The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) together with the UNODC Civil Society Unit will be holding two webinars to present and discuss the World Drug Report 2021, which was launched on 25th June. The yearly publication is the most comprehensive source of facts and knowledge on drugs and the world drug market, sourced straight from evidence-based studies and data compiled by UNODC experts. The participants of the webinars will learn about the newest trends, both global and regional. This webinar will be held on 15th July 2021 (16:00-17:30, CEST, Vienna) and will focus on Africa and the Americas.

Register here: https://bit.ly/3ipmlHf

Interpretation in French and Spanish will be available. The full agenda can be viewed on the VNGOC website.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org

[VNR Lab] Path to Equal: New Measurement Framework on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Only nine years remain to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and greater efforts are needed to diagnose the root causes of structural gender inequality, identify game-changers and spur further commitments. New gender indices produced by UN Women and UNDP provide powerful tools for this pursuit. Together, they illustrate a country’s status in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. The dimensions and indicators selected for the indices are universally relevant and complement the policy efforts of the 2030 Agenda. This lab will highlight some of the findings from this work and its relevance for the preparation of VNRs, particularly in their assessment of the different forms of discrimination that women and girls face and its impact on society and on accelerating progress in achieving the SDGs.

More information: unwomen.org/en/news/events/2021/07/event-path-to-equal-new-indices-on-gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment

Register here: unwomen.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QHhVS8-CQ_aRdhEzNOGXxw

Concept Note: sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/281672021_VNR_Lab_14_Concept_Note.pdf

Speakers:

  • Ms. Céline Jacquin, Head of the Department of Evaluation of Geographic Information and the Environment, National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Mexico
  • Mr. William Komu, Chief Economist, SDGs Coordination Directorate, The National Treasury and Planning, Kenya
  • Ms. Jeyran Rahmatullayeva, Head of the Apparatus of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, Azerbaijan
  • Ms. Ginette Azcona, Lead, Data and Statistics, Global Reports, Research & Data Section, UN Women

Moderated by H. E. Ms. Hoda Al-Helaissi, Member of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council

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CoNGO Notes: 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-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

World Youth Skills Day

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, World Youth Skills Day events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policymakers and development partners.

World Youth Skills Day 2021 will take place in a challenging context, with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the widespread disruption of the TVET sector. While vaccination rollouts offer some hope, TVET still has a long road to recovery, especially in those countries which continue to be overwhelmed by the spread of the disease. Youth skills development will face a range of unfamiliar problems emerging from a crisis where training has been disrupted in an unprecedented manner on a virtually universal scale.

Young people aged 15-24 are particularly exposed to the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. School and workplace closures are leading to learning and training losses. Major life-cycle transitions are made difficult if not impossible, including graduation from general education or TVET at secondary or tertiary level, residential autonomy, and labour market insertion.

TVET has a key role to play in fostering the resilience of young people. It is crucial for all stakeholders to ensure the continuity of skills development and to introduce training programmes to bridge skills gaps. Solutions need to be reimagined in a way that considers not only the realities of the present, but also the full range of possibilities for the future.

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this day, check out un.org/en/observances/world-youth-skills-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Changing narratives about unpaid care work and the economy

The pandemic has shown the critical importance of Care. It also exposed the challenges that women, particularly mothers, face in juggling paid work and unpaid Care responsibilities. At the heart of the problem is our current economic system, which considers unpaid care work – and nature – as endless and free commodities.
The Covid-19 crisis provides a unique opportunity to repurpose our economy, so that it serves the wellbeing of people and our planet. Bringing about such systemic change begins by changing narratives and perspectives on both unpaid care work and the economy.
Programme and list of speakers
Introductions:
  • Anne-Claire de Liedekerke, President, Make Mothers Matter
  • Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
Moderator: Susan Himmelweit, Feminist economist, Emeritus professor of economics for the Open University in the UK, member of the UK Women’s Budget Group Commission for a Gender Equal Economy
Presentations:
  • Gary Barker, Founder and CEO, Promundo Global
  • Sonia Malaspina, Human Resources Director, Danone SN Italy
  • Anam Parvez, Research Lead in Evidence and Strategic Learning, Oxfam Great Britain
  • Shahra Razavi, Director, ILO Social Protection Department
Q&A

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

Building Back Better after COVID-19 through Addressing Health Equity, Mental Health, and Well-being: Contributions of Psychological Science and Practice to Leave No One Behind

Building Back Better after COVID-19 through Addressing Health Equity, Mental Health, and Well-being: Contributions of Psychological Science and Practice to Leave No One Behind

The event highlights challenges and solutions related to achieving health and mental health equity in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Speakers include experts, “voices from the field,” and high-level diplomats from the co-sponsoring UN Missions of Sierra Leone, Bahrain, Canada, Ecuador, Georgia, Iceland, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Portugal, Sweden, Costa Rica, and Qatar, as well as the World Health Organization, the International Association of Applied Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the United African Congress.

We look forward to you joining us. Please feel free to circulate/post this invitation to your lists and colleagues.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__yJ1ykoeTGCoj4WtLxqB6g

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CoNGO Notes: 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.

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