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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. 

7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022)

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the main global forum to assess and discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The seventh session of the Global Platform (GP2022) will be organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) from 23 to 28 May 2022, in Bali, Indonesia, hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The event will be co-chaired by the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR.

The Global Platform takes place at a critical time: seven years from the adoption of the Sendai Framework and just over two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed how underlying vulnerabilities and inequities have catastrophic consequences for the most exposed across the world. The pandemic has demonstrated just how essential prevention and the risk reduction agenda is if we are to achieve a sustainable future for all. The 2022 Global Platform will provide a unique and timely opportunity to showcase the importance of international solidarity and cooperation, as well as to discuss ways to tackle underlying risk drivers both locally and globally. Additionally, it will explore how to strengthen disaster risk governance and how to build stronger systems for managing all types of risks. GP2022 offers a chance for all stakeholders to recommit, with urgency, to accelerate progress on disaster risk reduction towards the achievement of sustainable development.

How to apply:

Please refer to the GP2022 concept note and GP2022 list of sessions for information on the Global Platform focus and sessions. For information on the Organizing Teams, please refer to the Terms of Reference.

To apply to join an Organizing Team, please fill in the online form by 23 June, 2021. In the form, please indicate if your participation in an Organizing Team requires the provision of disability-related accommodation. For any questions, please reach out to the Global Platform team on globalplatform@un.org

Stakeholder coordination:

The GP2022 will be organized in an inclusive, consultative, and open manner. Wide stakeholder consultation and participation in the Global Platform will be encouraged, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility by all groups. The engagement of stakeholder groups in the GP2022 will be facilitated through the UNDRR Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism, with stakeholder representatives invited to contact their relevant stakeholder focal points for more information.

GP2022 format:

The official programme of the GP2022 will be conducted in all six official UN languages. Additional information on the format of, and participation in, the GP2022 will be made available on a dedicated website as planning progresses and the current global context evolves.

For further information on the GP2022, please contact globalplatform@un.org.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

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

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.

COP26: Glasgow Climate Change Conference

The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November 2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19.  This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.

Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, have been set to 1-12 November 2021.

In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 was no longer possible. Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.

COP 26 side events/exhibits – organizations with admission status in the UNFCCC process and Parties partnering with an admitted organization(s) are eligible to apply for a side event and/or an exhibit, using the side events and exhibits online application system (SEORS) managed by the UNFCCC secretariat. The schedule for its opening for COP 26 will be announced on this site. Eligibility, selection and allocation criteria are available on this webpage.

More COP26 info from the host country provided here: ukcop26.org

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

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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.

72nd Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner {for Refugees’s} Programme

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in line with the guidelines issued by the Swiss Federal Council, the cantonal authorities and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the seventy-second session of the Executive Committee (ExCom) is expected to be a limited in-person event, with remote participation also available. The in-person event will take place in room XIX at the Palais des Nations.

Interested participants can learn more here: unhcr.org/2021-executive-committee-session.html

Remote participation will be facilitated through Interprefy. Please note that the Interprefy platform should only be used for speakers. Those observing the event remotely will be able to access the webcast on the session webpage as usual.

Program:

  1. Opening of the session, adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.
  2. Statement by the High Commissioner.
  3.  General debate.
  4. Consideration of reports on the work of the Standing Committee:
    (a) International protection;
    (b) Programme budgets, management, financial control and administrative
    oversight.
  5. Consideration of reports relating to programme and administrative oversight and
    evaluation.
  6. Consideration and adoption of the programme budget for 2022.
  7. Review of the consultations with non-governmental organizations.
  8. Other statements.
  9. Meetings of the Standing Committee in 2022.
  10. Consideration of the provisional agenda of the seventy-third session of the Executive
    Committee.
  11. Election of officers.
  12. Any other business.
  13. Adoption of the report of the seventy-second session of the Executive Committee.
  14. Closing of the session.

View the full provisional agenda and annotations here: https://www.unhcr.org/60fade424

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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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

Deepening Inequalities Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and their Implications for the Realization of Human Rights

HRC48 Panel Discussion on Inequalities Exacerbated by COVID-19

Join us at the 48th Session of the Human Rights Council for the panel discussion on Deepening Inequalities Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and their Implications for the Realization of Human Rights on 28 September, 2021.

We invite you to consult the Human Rights Council Extranet webpage to view the full program agenda.

The panel discussion will be webcast live at http://webtv.un.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information. Considering that several civil society organizations and government bodies in the world have adopted and currently celebrate this observance, the UN General Assembly also adopted 28 September 2019 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs – the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme – provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.

Access to information

Informed citizens can make informed decisions, for instance, when going to the polls. Only when citizens know how they are governed, can they hold their governments accountable for their decisions and actions. Information is power. Therefore, universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. This right is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. The media plays a crucial role in informing the public about issues of interest, but it relies on the ability to seek and receive information, too. Hence, the right to universal access to information is also bound up with the right to freedom of the press.

To learn more about why and how the UN commemorates this day, please visit un.org/en/observances/information-access-day.

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

[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.

2021 Geneva Peace Talks: Recovering better for an equitable & sustainable world

We are pleased to invite you and your staff to attend the 9th edition of the Geneva Peace Talks. Marking the International Day of Peace, the Geneva Peace Talks will take place on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room XVIII at the Palais des Nations and online.

The 2021 edition is organized under the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better. People around the world are facing not only a global health crisis, but also other imminent crises: climate change, poverty, inequalities, stigma and discrimination. We must transform our world into one that is more equal, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. We must make peace with one another.

The event will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, from health equity to environmental action. We will hear from the former Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mr. Yves Daccord, the Head of the Secretariat of the Principles for Peace Initiative Ms. Hiba Qasas, Senegalese singer and champion for climate action Mr. Baaba Maal, Chief Executive Officer of the World Health Organization Foundation Mr. Anil Soni in an interview, three high school students from the first-ever Peace Talks club, a choreographer from South Africa; as well as two film makers creating a documentary on climate refugees.

Due to COVID-19 preventive measures, only a limited number of seats will be available in Room XVIII. Early registration for in-person participation is required as it will be closed once the maximum capacity is reached.

To follow the event online or to register, please use the following link: peacetalks.net.

This year’s Geneva Peace Talks are co-organized, once again, by the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to other international organizations in Geneva.

The Geneva Peace Talks are an annual highlight of International Geneva. We look forward to your participation, which will send a strong signal of support and demonstrate our collective commitment to peace across the world.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

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