humanitarian law

Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

In light of the situation related to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, States Parties have decided to postpone the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to a later date but no later than February 2022.

2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was originally slated to be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27 April to 22 May 2020. Please adjust your calendars accordingly, as civil society’s voice cannot be excluded from this critical session.

Stay apprised & register to participate here: un.org/en/conferences/npt2020

About:

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

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

Geneva Peace Week 2021 “From seeds to systems of peace: Weathering today’s challenges”

Dear Colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to the eighth edition of Geneva Peace Week that will take place online from 1 to 5 November 2021. The Week is jointly organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The theme of this year’s Geneva Peace Week is: “From seeds to systems of peace: Weathering today’s challenges.”

Geneva Peace Week 2021 (GPW21) aims to galvanize leadership, build trust and contribute to transforming international cooperation. Over five days, Geneva Peace Week will be the umbrella for 30 Online Workshops and a Digital Series (podcasts and videos), brought together by over 100 partner organizations.

Topics for discussions will include:

  • Creating a climate for collaboration: Ways forward for environment, climate change, and peace
  • Moving beyond securitization: What risks (and new horizons) for peacebuilding?
  • Harnessing the digital sphere for peace
  • Confronting inequalities and advancing inclusion, peace, and SDG16

The full programme of Geneva Peace Week is available at genevapeaceweek.ch and attendees must register to participate. We would also like to invite you to three main sessions which will take place in-person (Maison de la Paix) and online:

  • The Opening Ceremony on 1 November at 4:00 p.m.
  • The Kofi Annan Geneva Peace Address on 4 November at 6:00 p.m.
  • The Closing Ceremony on 5 November at 1:30 p.m.

Geneva Peace Week provides a common framework for peace-related workshops for which the respective organizers retain full ownership. Please note that Geneva Peace Week events do not necessarily reflect the views of UNOG, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform or the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. We encourage you to share information widely and look forward to welcoming you and your colleagues to Geneva Peace Week 2021.

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

The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

Sharing responsibilities as well as benefits? The global debt crisis and the role of private creditors

The results of the G20 initiatives to relieve the debt of the Global South, which has been hard hit economically by the pandemic, are sobering. Many eligible countries are reluctant to enter into negotiations. They fear that debt relief will cut off their long-term access to private capital markets and cause them to lose the confidence of private investors. These concerns have been reinforced by creditors, especially from the private sector. And the G20? Despite its commitment to private sector participation in the Common Framework for Debt Treatments, it has so far not found the political will to make such participation mandatory. However, this would be a key step to shield debtor countries from uncooperative creditors and achieve substantial debt relief.

In the run-up to the joint meeting of G20 health and finance ministers this October we have invited international experts from academia, government, and financial institutions to discuss the following questions among others:

  • Is there empirical evidence that debt relief excludes countries from much-needed development finance?
  • On what grounds could the participation from the private sector in official debt relief initiatives, comparable to other creditors, be expected?
  • In what ways can the G20 compel private sector participation and equal burden-sharing?

Further event details will be forthcoming, but please stay apprised of updates here: https://ny.fes.de/

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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 congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.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.

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.

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy & Resilience of the Victims

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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.

Digital Equity for all Ages: Connect, Respect and Protect Older People in Digital Technologies

This year, the International Day of Older Persons 2021 will provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and serve as a call to action. The #UNIDOP2021 will adopt a person centered, human rights approach to ensure digital equity including adequate policies, access, digital literacy and safety for individuals of all ages.

This particular side event from the NGO Committee on Ageing in Vienna’s program will address cyber security, especially for older persons. The virtual program will take place on October 1st from 7:30—9:15am EDT.

Objectives of #UNIDOP2021:

• To address digital availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation in the areas of public and private interests

• To bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy

• To highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

• To explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world

• To promote an intersectional person-centered human rights approach for a society for all ages taking into account existing/non-existing legal instruments in the field of digitalization

Register hereus06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GqD_gJ4OTtymbzNWk5x-rw

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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. 

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. 

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.

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