gender equality

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

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.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

2021 Theme

The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 130 last year

This year, the challenges and threats faced by our peacekeepers are even greater than ever as they, like people around the world, are having to cope not only with the COVID-19 pandemic but also the continued requirement to support and protect the people in the countries in which they are based.

The theme for this year’s Day is “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security.”

Today, tens of thousands of young peacekeepers (between the ages of 18 and 29 years) are deployed around the world and play a major role in helping the missions implement their mandated activities including the protection of civilians.  And UN peace operations — in line with a series of Security Council resolutions (22502419 and 2535) — are increasing their collaboration with youth and youth groups to help build sustainable peace and implement their mandates on the ground.

The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29 May 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Since then, more than 1 million women and men have served in 72 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of millions of people and saving countless lives. Today, UN Peacekeeping deploys more than 89,000 military, police and civilian personnel in ;12 operations.

To mark the Day at the UN Headquarters in New York on 27 May, the Secretary-General will lay a wreath in honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades. And a virtual ceremony will be held at which the Dag Hammarskjold medal will be awarded posthumously to peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2020 and in January 2021. The Military Gender Advocate of the Year award will also be presented at the virtual ceremony.

To keep apprised of this year’s events and learn more about the origins of this observance, visit  un.org/en/observances/peacekeepers-day.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights

Dear NGO colleagues,

Please consider yourselves invited to participate in a one-day intersessional seminar on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights, which will be held online on 28 May 2021, from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 to 5 pm Central European Standard Time (CEST). The seminar is organized as requested by the Human Rights Council, in its resolution 41/19 (para.14), in order to allow Member States, relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, international organizations, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to identify challenges and gaps and share good practices and experiences in this regard.

More information, including the concept note and programme of work is available at this link: ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/Pages/contributionofdevelopment.aspx

All participants are required to register at indico.un.org/event/35807. The link to the meeting and instructions about the list of speakers will be made available to the registered participants.

Delegations are reminded to submit copies of their statements prior to delivery to r2d@ohchr.org.

For further details, please contact Mr. Diego Valadares (ext. 79177; dvaladares@ohchr.org) or Ms. Helen Ochero (ext. 89668; hochero@ohchr.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 on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Due to COVID-19, it is expected that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have otherwise. Families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.

In turn, the fight to end obstetric fistula, one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth, could be threatened by COVID-19.

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care. Unfortunately, the current pandemic affects all these preventive measures in developing countries where obstetric fistula still exists – countries in which health care systems, even before the coronavirus outbreak, failed to provide accessible, quality maternal health care.

The pandemic is also expected to cause significant delays in programmes to end female genital mutilation (FGM) – something that could lead to a spike in FGM cases, according to UNFPA, which is a contributing factor for obstetric fistula.

As the virus advances in these countries, health services become overloaded, or provide a limited set of the services that women need. At the same time, many women and girls also skip important medical check-ups for fear of contracting the virus.

With this possible future scenario of preventive measures in danger, now more than ever, it is important to call on the international community to use the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.

To read personal testimonials and learn more about how the UN commemorates this day, visit un.org/en/observances/end-fistula-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. 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 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. ngocsw-geneva.ch.

NGO Committee on Status of Women-NY [monthly meeting]

Join NGO CSW-NY for our May Monthly Meeting about racial justice and gender. More information coming soon. At the beginning of the meeting, we will discuss the NGO CSW/NY Executive Committee elections taking place in June.

Register here!

If you missed April’s monthly meeting on the intersection of climate change, gender, and migration, you can watch the recording on Youtube here.

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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.

The Human Face of the Migration Crisis: A Faith-Based Response

The scale of human migration can be overwhelming—estimates are that more people are on the move in our time than at any time in human history. To each “number” there is a human face, a person made in the image of God.

How can people of faith respond to this crisis in tangible ways? How can the Bible inform our response? To look at these and other questions related to the migration crisis we will be joined by a panel from across North America with a variety of experiences and perspectives on migration.

Register here!

Speakers:

vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D., is the author of the new book What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees?. Nguyễn came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and he is today Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union.

Dannia and Aida Pena were born in San Salvador, El Salvador. In the 1990s they fled the Civil War in El Salvador and came to Los Angeles, California. Today, Dannia serves as an Accounting Manager at a Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Aida works just outside San Antonio in Bilingual Education. Both sisters are married with children and are active in the Focolare Movement.

Sean Ryan and Monica Nugent are university students living in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an outgrowth of their Catholic faith, both are both active in Dignity Inherent, a group working to raise awareness about human trafficking and Canada’s laws on prostitution.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. 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 csvgc-ny.org.

From Theory to Praxis: Climate Justice Implementation Strategies and Best-Practices

At the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, we are ready for the second webinar of our new series “#ClimateJustice 4 All: An Approach to Intersectional and Feminist #ClimateAction” in partnership with the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.

Join us before #EarthDay2021 with International Human Rights Lawyer and Member of Women and Gender Constituency, UNFCCC Kavita Naidu,Shadow Secretary of State for Justice in England David Lammy, and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action Eriel Deranger. Learn about how we can effectively tackle racial, social, and climate injustice, and the challenges as well as opportunities to consider for intersectional climate action.

Register here!

The session will emphasize climate movements as well as traditional ecological knowledge and will investigate the role of social justice when tackling the climate emergency.

During this webinar, participants get an introduction to the landscape of diverse projects tackling climate change with an intersectional approach. Implementation strategies, and improving already existing environmental programs or movements lie at the heart of this session. After listening to best practices and occurring challenges, participants will get the opportunity to share their thoughts and exchange their vision towards inclusive climate action!

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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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

What’s Next on Financing for Development (FfD)? Reflections and Mapping a Way Forward

As the Financing for Development Forum comes to a close this week, the FfD process cannot afford to be locked into agreed calendar dates when the world is faced with an unprecedented and unpredictable crisis. There remains a concerning mismatch between the scale of challenges facing us and the inability of the current FfD process modalities to generate the necessary political consensus for the ambitious decisions that are urgently required.

In the context of the current multi-layered global crisis, agreeing on the next FfD conference would be crucial to work towards consensus on a global economic system that could foster systemic reforms while promoting human rights, gender equality, social equity and environmental justice. However, with the decision on where and when to hold the next conference being postponed to next year, it is imperative to explore new modalities to further advance the FfD Follow-up process. This side event will catalyse much-needed reflections on the informal and formal FfD discussions that have unfolded so far and map a way forward.

Moderator: Representative from Civil Society FfD Group

Speakers (tbc):

  • President of ECOSOC
  • Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN
  • Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN
  • Permanent Representative of Netherlands to the UN
  • Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN

Register here!

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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.

Redefining Leadership, Re-Envisioning Faith and Reconstructing Humanitarianism

Dear Religions for Peace Leaders,

We are so pleased that many of you have already registered for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW 65). If you have not already registered on the NGO/CSW platform, please be informed that the event will be live-streamed on 25 March at 9AM ET from our Facebook page.

Kindly be sure to select our event, “Redefining Leadership, Re-Envisioning Faith, and Reconstructing Humanitarianism” on 25 March here. To join the webinar, please select the button “Join Meeting,” which will appear exactly at 9:00 am ET.

Program Agenda

  • Moment of Silence

PART I: WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

PART II: A CONVERSATION ON WOMEN IN PUBLIC LIFE: REDEFINING LEADERSHIP

Moderated by Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

  • Dr. Mary McAleese, Former President, Republic of Ireland; Advisor to the Religions for Peace Secretary General
  • H.E. Sima Samar, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs; Member, Religions for Peace Standing Commission on Advancing Gender Equality, Afghanistan
  • Mr. Humberto Carolo, Executive Director, White Ribbon Campaign Canada, MenEngage Network, Religions for Peace Standing Commission on Advancing Gender Equality, Canada
  • Hon. Ela Gandhi, Trustee, Gandhi Development Trust and Religions for Peace Co-President, South Africa
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism and Religions for Peace Honorary President, United States

PART III: A CONVERSATION ON RE-ENVISIONING FAITH AND RECONSTRUCTING HUMANITARIANISM

Moderated by Grand-Mother Marie-Josée Rankin-Tardif, President, Kina8at Together; Elder from the Anicinape (Algonquin) Tradition, Canada

  • Rev. Clement Joseph, Secretary General of the Social Mission of Haitian Churches; Secretary General, Religions for Peace-Haiti, Haiti
  • Rt. Rev. Francisco Duque-Gomez, Anglican Bishop and leader of Religions for PeaceColombia, Colombia
  • Ms. Nageeba Hassan Tegulwa, Board Member, Women of Faith Uganda, Executive Member, African Women of Faith Network; Board Member, ACRL; Member, IWCC, Uganda
  • Ms. Fatima Hallal, Junior Researcher, Hartford Seminary-Interreligious Relations; Member, International Youth Committee, Lebanon

PART IV: Q&A 

PART V: CLOSING REMARKS

  • Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Pietro Bartoli at pbartoli@rfp.org or Ms. Lexie Ruth Mitchell at lrmitchell@rfp.org.

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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 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

Girls and Women: Leading the Charge to Ensure #LearningNeverStops

This virtual event will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity in learning and their safe return to school.

This event will take place on Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. Register here to participate. The event will be livestreamed on the UNWebTV.

Background:

In April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries following nationwide closures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Today, a year into the crisis, over 800 million students are still out of school, students are on average losing two-thirds of an academic year and more than 20 million girls are projected to be at risk of dropping out.

This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

The priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) recognises the critical role girls and women play as leaders and decision-makers in all aspects of public life to achieve gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, and empower women and girls. This virtual event, held on the sidelines of CSW, will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue, and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity of learning during school closures and return to school.

On March 24, leaders will aim to speak on behalf of the millions of at-risk girls whose voices are going unheard. They will highlight the essential need to build back equal through gender-transformative education systems that end harmful gender norms, free girls and boys from narrow aspirations and enable them to work together in the classroom today for a more equal world tomorrow.

This CSW65 event is hosted by UNESCO, PLAN International, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations.

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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 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

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