governance

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Access to Justice

Participate in part of the UN’s observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, 15 June at 15:00-  16:15 Geneva time/ 9:00 – 10:15 NY time!
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) founded the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in 2006. WEAAD was designated as a United Nation’s International Day in 2011 in GA resolution A/ RES/66/127. This year’s theme is Access to Justice.
COVID-19 highlighted distressing reports of abuse and neglect of older persons in long-term care institutions and in the community where the majority of older persons live. Older persons who have experienced situations of violence, abuse and neglect face multiple barriers in accessing judicial remedies such as issues of accessibility, affordability, excessive delays and backlogs in judicial processes, impact of digitalization, gender bias, discrimination, and entrenched ageism in policy, norms and practices.
Access to justice is a fundamental right in itself and an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all human rights. An expert panel will discuss ways to overcome the barriers and showcase examples of access to justice by older persons who suffered violence, abuse and neglect, including during the current COVID 19 pandemic. Register here todayhttps://bit.ly/3x3YiSj
Program:
Opening words:
  • Susan Somers, President of INPEA
  • HE Mr. Federico Villegas, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN in Geneva, co-chair of the Group of Friends of the human rights of older persons, Geneva
  • HE Mr. Enrique Austria MANALO, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, New York (TBC)
Panelists:
  • Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Special Envoy of the UN SG on Disability and Accessibility
  • Etienne Krug, Director of the department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
  • Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (TBC)
  • Natasa Todorovic, Health and Care Program Manager, Red Cross of Serbia and INPEA Europe
  • Bill Mitchell, Principal Solicitor, Townsville Community Law Inc, Australia
Moderator: Silvia Perel-Levin, INPEA representative to the UN and Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva
The event will be accessible with sign language and captioning. It will have French, Spanish, German and Russian interpretation. It will also be webcast on webtv.un.org.
This event is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020). The content represents the views of the participants only and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear colleagues,

The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring ReportHuman Rights Watch, the World Bank’s Inclusive Education InitiativeInclusion International and its Catalyst for Inclusive Education programme are co-hosting a side event in the framework of the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The event titled “Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic” is also co-sponsored by the Italian Government, the Mission of Panamá to the United Nations, the International Disability Alliance, Instituto Jô Clemente and the Brazilian Coalition of Inclusive Education.

We invite you to join us in this side event that will be held on Tuesday 15 June at 8:30am – 9:45am EDT (New York time).

Registration linkhttps://hrworg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q0kjeYF4SW2AemQBhl7VjA

Speakers:

  • Opening Remarks: Antonio Caponetto, Director of the Office for Policies in favor of persons with disabilities of the Italian Government (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
  • Moderator: Sue Swenson, President, Inclusion International

Panelists:

  • Gabriela Martinez, Inclusion International Regional Representative (Latin America)
  • Stella Reicher, Inclusion International / Instituto Jô Clemente (Brazil) Self-advocate, Inclusion International (Africa)
  • Karolina Kozik, Human Rights Watch (Italy – inclusive education in practice during COVID-19 example)
  • Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, World Bank IEI Survey “Learners with Disabilities and COVID-19 School Closures”

Closing Remarks: Manos Antoninis, UNESCO GEM Report

For more information, please find our Guide to the Conference of State Parties 2021 at this link: https://inclusion-international.org/cosp-2021/

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org.

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the vulnerability of countries, especially developing countries. Against this backdrop, building back better cannot simply be about doubling down on pre-pandemic policies or “back to business as usual.” The current health and economic crises which have disproportionately affected the developing world should instead spark a fundamental rethink of global productive structures and the architecture of international trade, including international trade rules.

Building back better post Covid-19 must speak to a recovery strategy that is undergirded by a new paradigm and reform agenda that places inclusivity at the centre and moves towards a future of equitable, and shared growth and development consistent with the overdue sustainable development goals (SDGs). More importantly, such a recovery strategy should promote diversification of productive capacities of developing countries, propel transformation into higher productivity sectors, and foster resilience to future shocks.

The confluence of an economic, health and climate crisis offers a unique opportunity to revive multilateralism and mutually resolve the antagonisms that have increasingly afflicted the international trading system over the last decades.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nbpjGdYVSQuWOzc7NnSWTw

PROGRAM

Moderator: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, South African Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation

Presentation: UNCTAD Research Paper No. 65 on Reforming the International Trading System for Recovery, Resilience and Inclusive Development – Richard Kozul-Wright, Director in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Anna CavazziniMember, European Parliament
  • Rashmi Banga, Senior Economist in the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD
  • Rob Davies, former Minister of Trade and industry of South Africa (2009-2019)
  • Yang Yao, Director of China Center for Economic Research and Dean of National School of Development, Beijing University 

Question & Answer Session

Closing remarks: Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter

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

Combating Corruption: The Relevance & Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations

Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS)

Side meeting: “Combating Corruption: The Relevance and Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations”

Representatives from diverse faith traditions, along with UN officials with direct experience in combating and proposing solutions to corruption—trafficking, public corruption, organized crime—will discuss the role of FBOs in corruption prevention and intervention efforts to improve ethics, justice, rule of law, good governance, and sustainable development.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman, Universal Peace Federation; Co-Chair, Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, USA

Panelists:

  • Amb. Thomas Stelzer, Dean, International Anti-Corruption Center, Vienna
  • Mrs. Livia Krings, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer in the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Austria
  • Dr. Liberato “Levi” Bautista, President of The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (CoNGO) in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations and Main Representative to the UN for the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
  • Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail, The Muslim Chaplain, The University of Sheffield, The Octagon Centre, Sheffield, UK
  • Bishop Munib Younan, Former President, Lutheran World Federation; Honorary President, Religions for Peace, State of Palestine

Question and Answer:

For Q&A, please email questions to coalitionfbo@gmail.com Thank you!

This webinar is sponsored by:

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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 Drugs & Crime-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

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.

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 Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

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.

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Government Services

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4waiI4cJTRCpn5f8M6jdWg

Digital government services are vital for developing a digital economy that benefits all citizens by expanding access to critical services such as health, education, and social protection. Countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years are increasingly looking to national digital strategies and agendas to transform the way they do business and improve the lives of their citizens. Current challenges to digital government include lack of coordination, the habit of working in siloes, funding constraints, and the absence of scalable solutions, all posing significant constraints to digital transformation in government. Amid the increasing pressure to act, countries do not have the time nor the luxury to reinvent the wheel or review fragmented and duplicated investments. This further increases costs and inefficiencies.

A “Whole-of-Government” platform approach to developing government services through the reuse and minimal customization of quick and easy to adopt building blocks is at the heart of the success of digital government services projects. Open-source models for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach, are an optimal solution to solving these issues in a cost-efficient and scalable manner.

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

For more information, full agenda, and the list of panelists: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/416

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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-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 NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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