global policy

Strengthening Sustainable Forest and Ocean Management to Mitigate Climate Change

Session 3 of the UN DESA Global Policy Dialogues for Climate Action

Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 8:00 – 9:30 am EDT

  • How do the restoration and protection of forests and the ocean help address the climate change and biodiversity crises?
  • How should countries and the private sector best identify, finance and mentor sustainable forest and ocean management systems? 
  • How do we ensure that sustainable forest and ocean management is inclusive?

Leading voices in the fields of forest and ocean ecosystem restoration and management will discuss practical approaches for using these natural resources in ways that minimize the impacts of climate change, all in the context of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cross-cutting issues such as financing, governance, data and leaving no one behind will be part of the discussion.

Register here by 25 May 2021: bit.ly/climate26may

The event is free and open to all, and will be streamed live on UN DESA’s Facebook page. It will be held in English with captions available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The event is made possible by the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund. All are welcome!

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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. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

International Day for Biological Diversity

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.

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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.

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a frontline technology with profound implications for human beings, cultures, societies and the environment. AI has the potential to be our ally in the struggle for a more equitable, fair, and sustainable future. It is remarkable that AI generated some of the earliest alerts about the COVID-19 outbreak, even before it was confirmed, by routinely scanning hundreds or thousands of governmental and media data sources in multiple languages. This analytical capacity has also helped accelerate the discovery of the vaccines, and even understanding the protein structures. Self-learning algorithms and smart machines are playing an increasingly important role in our efforts to recover from the current crisis. Digital platforms and infrastructure have been broadened to keep our economies, our schools and our societies going.

We must always keep in mind that AI technologies also possess significant risks and challenges, especially in terms of deepening the existing divides, exacerbating gender disparities, and infringing on human dignity and human rights. This is why there are many initiatives that have emerged to ensure that these technologies help to overcome the current crisis and mitigate future risks, while tackling the downsides. Thus, the European Union is launching its AI rulebook and UNESCO member states are negotiating the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.

This high level session is aimed at taking stock of where we are and how to move forward with the tools that we have and that are about to be developed. Speakers will share their perspectives on how to make sure that developments in these technologies do not create new forms of exclusion and inequalities, including gender, and how to justly distribute the benefits.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KKDgPi8ESj6ACfGeMhB9ng

View the full program and list of speakers here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/353

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28U.  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. 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

AI Readiness Check: Policy Impact, Opportunities and Challenges

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), machine learning and the analysis and use of data are transforming all aspects of our lives, economies and societies, in both visible as well as unforeseen ways. Bringing with them the potential to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the use of such AI technologies also raises many new technical, ethical and socio-economic issues.

In order to prepare for this AI revolution, Governments, in collaboration with other stakeholders, are taking various steps such as monitoring developments in AI, data use and data protection; developing national strategies for AI; introducing and enhancing data protection legislation; adopting and adapting e-government and AI in public services; creating and upgrading national databases; upgrading national infrastructure; establishing university programmes and courses; funding and incentivizing AI research and AI start-ups and registering AI patents; introducing regulatory guidance (e.g. self-driving vehicles); and so on.

This high-level dialogue will explore progress by nations with respect to AI readiness. It aims to enable exchange of knowledge and best practices within the WSIS community on policies and strategies that could be most effective to facilitate the inclusive use of AI for good.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aR2ctpJzRaCUeJYpLp8i4g

View the full agenda and list of panelists here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/352

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor 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. 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Environmental factors as an important trigger for migration

Join this virtual side event at the occasion of the 30th Session of the Conference on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice,

organized by ZONTA and co-organizers

Tuesday May 18th, 1:10-2:00 pm CET.

Reconsidering the definition of smuggling migrants in the context of (transnational) environmental disasters and hazardous legacies

Environmental factors influence migration in important ways, shaped by local economic, sociopolitical and cultural conditions. The root causes of environmental migration are often deeply intertwined and closely connected to sustainable development issues. Experts will present actual research data and share experience at the grass roots level, followed by a discussion on understanding the links between environmental change and migration, which disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81148641691?pwd=SWh2Q3NLS05IRTBWNnVTeWw2L2gxZz09

Meeting-ID: 811 4864 169

Kenncode: 478023

Panelists:

  • Roman Hoffmann is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis with affiliations at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Vienna and degrees in sociology and economics from the University of Munich. In his applied research, he studies the impacts of climate change on populations and resilience to environmental stress with a focus on climate adaptation and migration. He has served as a consultant for UNIDO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), and several non-governmental organizations.
  • Farai Maguwu is devoted to improving the governance of natural resources in Zimbabwe. Human Rights Watch honoured him with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. He was also honoured by Rapaport, a clean diamond campaigner, for protecting artisanal diamond miners in Zimbabwe‘s Marange region. In 2012 he founded the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (cnrgzim.org), which researches and documents human rights abuse and illicit trade in minerals. Farai is a PhD candidate at the Wits School of Governance. He holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Center for Peace Studies, and a Master in Peace and Governance from Africa University.

Moderator:  Sharon Fisher, President, Soroptimist International

The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development–Vienna: The focus of the committee is on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. It provides a forum for NGOs interested in discussing and analyzing the work of the UN intergovernmental bodies in the field of sustainable development, as well as the related activities of the Vienna-based UN organizations. It encourages new initiatives and seeks inputs into civil society’s contribution to the 2030 agenda of the United Nations.

Contact point: Ingeborg Geyer, e-mail: ingeb.geyer@gmail.com

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

21st session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights invites you to

The twenty-first session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development 17 – 21 May 2021, 11:00-13:00 and 15:00-17:00 Geneva time zone, a fully virtual meeting

At this session, the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development will continue to review progress made in the implementation of the right to development. It will hold an interactive dialogue with the Chair of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development and the Special Rapporteur on the right to development and consider contributions made by States and stakeholders to the implementation of the right to development. The Working Group will also commence the elaboration of a draft legally binding instrument on the right to development.

All participants are required to register using the registration form: https://indico.un.org/event/33569/

The registration will remain open until 17:00 Geneva time, Friday, 21 May 2021. A link to join the virtual meeting will be sent to those who registered through the system, together with information on how to join the meeting platform and how to register for the list of speakers. Please note that the link is unique to each registered participant and cannot be shared. The link will be sent few hours before the start of the session. Delegations are reminded to submit copies of their statements prior to delivery to r2d@ohchr.org. NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC can participate as observers.

Background

The Working Group was established in 1998 with a mandate to: (a) monitor and review progress in the promotion and implementation of the right to development; (b) review reports and other information submitted by States, United Nations agencies, other relevant international and non-governmental organizations; and (c) present a sessional report to the Human Rights Council on its deliberations.

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

Biden and Economic Imperialism | Biden y el imperialismo económico

Biden has been hailed as an antidote to Trump who will “restore America’s place in the world.” Centuries of US imperialism show he actually represents a continuation of neoliberal exploitation and settler colonialism.

A panel of American and global South activists will analyze Biden’s role in upholding US imperialism beyond the military, focusing on his economic policies–including around trade, investment, finance, climate, and food systems–which underpin US empire in profound ways.

Critically assessing the implications of Biden’s first 100 days, this event will engage participants around what’s at stake for our anti-imperialist activism.

We at Regions Refocus invite you to join us with your questions and thoughts, and we welcome messages at team@regionsrefocus.org.

Register here!

Panel:

US Dollar Hegemony and Special Drawing Rights | Hegemonía del dólar estadounidense y los derechos especiales de giro: Francisco Pérez (Center for Popular Economics, USA)

Biden’s Climate Plan and Green Imperialism | El Plan Climático de Biden y el Imperialismo Verde: Max Ajl (Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, Tunisia)

Agribusiness and US-India Trade Relations | Agronegocios y Relaciones Comerciales EE.UU.-India: Sagari Ramdas (Food Sovereignty Alliance, India)

Extractivism and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement | El extractivismo y el Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá: Manuel Pérez-Rocha (Institute for Policy Studies/ Mexican Action Network on Free Trade, Mexico)

COVID-19 Vaccine Justice | Justicia de Vacunas COVID-19: Salimah Valiani (Independent Researcher)

Moderator | Moderador: Camden Goetz (Regions Refocus, USA)

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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 Decolonization Alliance, email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Same Storm Different Boats: Telling the African Climate Story

Youth climate activism has continued to raise the consciousness of the urgency with which public and political action on the climate crisis is required.

The continent of Africa bears the brunt of the impact of the climate crisis and young Africans are at the frontline of climate action, however, they are not seen on the front page (and sometimes even deleted from the front page), nor are their voices heard during the debates on climate change.

What will it take to get their voices to the table? What do they offer to the conversations? and what are they optimistic about?

Our Chairperson, Wanjira Maathai will host Greta Thunberg, a  young climate and environmental activist from Sweden, Elizabeth Wathuti, a Kenyan environment and climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, a  young climate justice activist from Uganda, Olumide Idowu, an environmental and climate activist from Nigeria.  and Prof. Youba Sokona, a veteran scientist in addressing energy,  environment and sustainable development in Africa.

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 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.

Investments in social protection and their impacts on economic growth

The International Trade Union Confederation, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Development Pathways invite you to the webinar: The Economic Benefits of Social Protection” with key findings from the new report.

Pre-register here: https://ituc-csi-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqc-yhqj8jG9ROvibSsRNfLvEAulZYJe9f

Opening remarks by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation
Presentation by Diloa Bailey-Athias, Economist at Development Pathways

Reactions:

  • Juan Carlos Durán Castro, Secretary of Social Security, Costa Rican Confederation of Workers (CTRN)
  • Reema Nanavaty, Head of Economic and Rural Development Activities, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), India
  • Kwabena Ootoo, Director of Research, Ghana Trades Union Congress
  • Shahra Razavi, Director of Social Protection, International Labour Organisation

Followed by open discussion

Closing statement by Hajo Lanz, Director of the Fredrich Ebert Stiftung’s Geneva Office
Moderation by Evelyn Astor, Economic and Social Policy Advisor at the ITUC

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French and Spanish

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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.

Improving Civil Society’s Limited Access to The Green Climate Fund

Following the launch of the paper “Improving Civil Society’s Limited Access to The Green Climate Fund” on 28 April 2021, CIDSE is pleased to invite you to the CSO engagement webinar on the topic, to be held on 05 May 2021. The online seminar will present the findings of this report, which include policy recommendations based on an analysis of GCF policies and lessons learned from five case studies.

Please find more information below:

We are excited to have you join us! As a reminder, this is an opportunity for CSOs big and small, including those in countries where GCF projects may happen.

More info & registration:

https://www.cidse.org/2021/04/28/new-study-cidse-publishes-a-report-on-csos-access-to-the-green-climate-fund-an-analysis-of-policies-and-experiences-from-case-studies/

Agenda:

15:00 Welcome & Introduction

15:10-15:30 Keynote by Thomas Hirsch (Climate and Development Advice) on the results of a new CIDSE report on “improving civil society’s limited access to the green climate fund”, along with policy recommendations. This research is based on an analysis of GCF policies and lessons learned from five case studies

15:30 Introducing the Panel for comments

15:35 Lessons from development finance to strengthen climate finance – Leia Achampong, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer – Climate Finance, Eurodad – Brussels

15:45 Expanding on experiences from Global South partner – Julius Ng’oma, CISONECC – Civil Society Network on Climate Change, Malawi

15:55 Policy perspective from a former GCF board member or expert interviewees (tbc)

16:05 Q&As from the floor to all speakers

16:25 Conclusion

Press contact: Valentina Pavarotti, CIDSE Communications Manager: pavarotti(at)cidse.org

For those of you who don’t know CIDSE, we are an international family of Catholic social justice organizations working for transformational change to end poverty and inequalities, challenging systemic injustice, inequity, destruction of nature and promoting just and environmentally sustainable alternatives.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

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