humanitarian law

2021 Global People’s Forum

This 2021 People’s Forum will provide an opportunity for Civil Society to come together and strategize on how to further evaluate and advance the many progressive proposals from the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report. Combining survey results with reflections from the Forum, this working meeting will aim to identify elements of an advocacy strategy that will prioritize those OCA proposals and initiatives to advance, as well as identify other key proposals and campaign initiatives that are not reflected in the OCA report.

Further details here.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hpQFmTECR7KyfDKklmo7EA

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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 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations

The UN Palestinian Rights Committee , will hold the virtual event “Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations” on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (New York Time), via WebEx. The event will also be livestreamed on UN Web TV.

The event will highlight the engagement of the Committee with civil society partners in the implementation of its mandate towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian territory and advancing the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It will shed light on the implications of the Israeli decision of 22 October 2021 to designate six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian NGOs as “terrorist organizations” and more broadly on the work of civil society organizations and human rights defenders in the OPT. Finally, it will underline the role and responsibilities of the international community in the context of a shrinking space for CSOs.

The speakers – Shawan Jabarin (Al-Haq), Heba Morayef (Amnesty International), Michael Sfard (Human rights lawyer) and Omar Shakir (Human Rights Watch) – will brief on the varying dimension of this critical decision and show Israel’s long-time efforts to target organizations that document the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and seek to hold Israel accountable.

Participants in the Webex event will consist of the invited panellists, Committee Members / Observers and other Member States. Intergovernmental and civil society organizations as well as the public and media will be invited to follow the event via live stream. While participation in the virtual platform will be limited to UN Member and Observer States, panellists, IGOs ​​and CSOs, the general public can send their questions via the Committee Facebook pageTwitter account  or email dpr-meeting @ un.org.

For further information, please visit un.org/unispal.

Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtags #Rights4Palestine and #ForPalestineRefugees on their social media and to tag the Committee’s social media pages using Twitter & Instagram: @UNISPAL, Facebook: @ UN.palestinianrights.

Watch the live stream on UN Web TV: webtv.un.org

Share live updates from the Committee Twitter account and Facebook page.

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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 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.

Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders Forum

Dear Friends/Colleagues,

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific,  United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders, together with our partner organizations, will be conducting the Asia-Pacific Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs) Forum with the theme Building safe spaces for dialogue and support among environmental human rights defenders on 17-19 November 2021 at 10:00-13:00 GMT+7 / Bangkok time. The Forum aims to provide a venue for EHRDs discussion, learning exchange, and formulation of recommendations among EHRDs in the region. The recommendations will become a foundation to raise awareness amongst policymakers, the private sector, and other stakeholders in order to encourage policies and practices recognizing the vital and positive role of EHRDs. The recommendations developed at the Forum can further guide UN programming and advocacy at the country and regional levels to continue to support the contribution of EHRDs.

Register here: https://events1.social27.com/EHRDForum/auth/register

If you have questions, please contact the Forum team at ap.ehrd.forum@gmail.com.

#Asia-PacificEHRDForum2021

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

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.

Stemming the role of criminal groups in contemporary forms of slavery within Nigeria

Jubilee Campaign is hosting a side event this Friday, October 29, 2021, 9:00 am to 11:00 am EST on “Stemming the role of criminal groups in contemporary forms of slavery within Nigeria.” This event is in light of the soon to be released report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Tom Obokata. His report will be presented on the 27th and this event will further explore this issue with a particular emphasis on Nigeria and the enslavement of women and children.

To register for this event, please click this link.

Co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the United Nations Office at Geneva

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.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. For more information on the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, please visit ngocstip.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.

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.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.

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