humanitarian law

On the road towards COVID-19 recovery and delivery of the SDGs: Addressing the challenges of persons living with a rare disease as a human rights, sustainable development and equity priority

On the road towards COVID-19 recovery and delivery of the SDGs: Addressing the challenges of persons living with a rare disease as a human rights, sustainable development and equity priority

Overview:

The 300 million persons living with a rare disease around the world and their families face common challenges in all aspects of their daily lives. As they experience different levels of vulnerability, they are disproportionally affected by stigma, discrimination and marginalization, within their own social environment and in society at large. Knowledge and information are scarce and expertise is not accessible. Stigma, discrimination, lack of awareness and recognition lead to specific challenges in access to education, healthcare, employment and leisure. The impact is felt throughout their lives, causing increased impoverishment and isolation for individuals and their families. These socioeconomic challenges have been worsened by the current Covid-19 pandemic and will not diminish post-COVID-19 unless specific attention is paid to them. In the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development, it is critical to acknowledge how the specific challenges of persons living with a rare disease are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and present many synergies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including goals 1, 3, 8 and 10, which are under review at the High-Level Political Forum 2021. Persons living with a rare disease therefore require immediate and urgent attention, under the auspices of global and national policies that address their needs and respect their human rights. Indeed, unless persons living with a rare disease are explicitly included we cannot ensure that ‘no one is left behind.’

Objective of the event:

The side-event to the High Level Political Forum 2021 has the objective to showcase how addressing the challenges of persons living with a rare disease, recognizing their rights, needs and priorities, as well as promoting their active participation, and harnessing the opportunities for their inclusion in society is essential to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda and to the sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The rare disease civil society community (represented by the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, Rare Diseases International and EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe) with the support of a number of UN Member States including Spain, Brazil and the State of Qatar, proposes to discuss, at the event, the adoption of a UN General Assembly Resolution that can act as a catalyst and provide a constructive and consensual intergovernmental vision on the issue.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_06nqC4E0S_ifw75SoKQDiw

Agenda: rarediseasesinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Final-Programme-UN-HLPF-Event.pdf

Concept Note: rarediseasesinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Concept-Note-HLPF-side-event-2021_Persons-rare-diseases_Final.pdf

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Hunger: Our Asks

In order to engage with the themes of the HLPF and CSocD60 in 2022, the NGO CSocD is hosting an event to supplement the priority themes of resilience and recovery from Covid-19, addressing multidimensional poverty and hunger. The event is titled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Hunger: Our Asks.’

True to the spirit of the Copenhagen Declaration of which this committee is guided by, this online webinar features three grassroots speakers from different continents who will share their unique experiences of poverty and  hunger during or prior to Covid-19 and the solutions they have created or propose to overcome these difficulties. After presenting accounts of their lived experiences, there will be reactions to the presentations by UN agencies and Member States. This will form the basis of an authentic dialogue between diverse voices in society.

Register here!

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

High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2021

The high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting of the HLPF in 2021 will be held from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. This includes the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 13 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021 as part of the high-level segment of the Council.

The theme will be “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”.

When information on registration and participation becomes available, it will be available here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2021#registration

The HLPF in 2021 will discuss Sustainable Development Goals 1 on no poverty, 2 on zero hunger, 3 on good health and well-being, 8 on decent work and economic growth, 10 on reduced inequalities, 12 on responsible consumption and production, 13 on climate action, 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and 17 on partnerships in depth. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the 2021 HLPF, participants will be able to explore various aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures and types of international cooperation that can control the pandemic and its impacts and put the world back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, within the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.

Countries will also carry out voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the 2021 HLPF. For more details, please click here.

The HLPF will adopt a Ministerial Declaration as the outcome of its session. The President of ECOSOC will also prepare a summary to capture the key messages of the discussions. For more details, please click here.

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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

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy [5th session]

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021. The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting:

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;

b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;

c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;

d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;

e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;

f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;

g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;

h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;

i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;

j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

Written contributions In order to facilitate the deliberations and the informal exchange of experiences and best practices on the topics to be discussed, member States and observers are requested to submit written contributions to the UNCTAD secretariat by Friday, 4 June 2021, to allow participants to prepare themselves for the meeting.

Participation:

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers. Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations. Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting.

For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Further information and contact details:

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention has been ratified by 162 countries.

Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persist in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual; and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.

The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org/about.

Principles and Process: Civil Society Mobilization for Meaningful Post-UN75 Implementation Roundtable

The Coalition for the UN We Need and the Stimson Center will host a roundtable discussion to review recommendations from the Fulfilling the UN75 Declaration Expert Roundtable Series through the lens of a framework of principles for civil society engagement and mobilization – “A People’s Commitment” – that formed part of the UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action, adopted in May 2020.

Register here!

Featured Speakers

  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Member, Group of Women Leaders: Voices for Change and Inclusion and former President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
  • Dan Perell, Representative to the United Nations, Baha’i International Community
  • Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association of the United Kingdom
  • Jeffery Huffines, Senior Advisor, Coalition for the UN We Need
  • Maja Groff, Convenor, Climate Governance Commission (Global Challenges Foundation)
  • Cristina Petcu, Research Analyst, Global Governance, Justice & Security Program, Stimson Center

Moderated by Fergus Watt, Coordinator, Coalition for the UN We Need

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Beyond UN75: A Roadmap for Inclusive, Networked & Effective Global Governance

The Stimson Center will launch its latest report, “Beyond UN75: A Roadmap for Inclusive, Networked & Effective Global Governance.” The report considers the new kinds of tools, networks, and institutions, combined with enlightened global leadership, required to take forward the twelve commitments at the heart of the UN75 Declaration.

The Stimson Center’s Global Governance, Justice and Security program is pleased to announce its participation at the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting 2021, Toward a Fit for Future UN System (24-26 June). Please register for the conference and join the Stimson Center for this session.

Register here!

Panel Chair

  • Sultan Barakat, Director, Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Doha Institute of Graduate Studies

Featured Speakers

  • Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • Joris Larik, Assistant Professor of Comparative, EU, and International Law, Leiden University and Senior Advisor, Stimson Center
  • Cristina Petcu, Research Analyst, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center
  • Banou Arjomand, Research Assistant, Global Governance, Justice & Governance Program, Stimson Center

Discussant

  • Mónica Serrano, Research-Professor of International Relations, El Colegio de México

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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, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slaverythe Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.

Join us for the 5th installment of this Live Discussion Series:

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public.

In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.

Register here: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R2NKoD1CR2aIVHXygJKYVA

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2021 focuses on the power of inclusion.

The shared experience of COVID-19 has showed us that we only succeed if we stand together. We have all had to do our part to keep each other safe and despite the challenges, refugees and displaced people have stepped up.

Given the chance, refugees will continue to contribute to a stronger, safer and more vibrant world. Therefore UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s World Refugee Day campaign this year is calling for the greater inclusion of refugees in health systems, schools and sport. Only by working together can we recover from the pandemic. Together we heal, learn and shine.

Background

Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several types of forcibly displaced persons:

Refugees

  • A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

Asylum Seekers

  • Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

Internally Displaced Persons

  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Stateless Persons

  • Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.

Returnees

  • Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

To learn more about how/why the UN commemorates this observance, including how the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol helps protect refugees, explore un.org/en/observances/refugee-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Abolition 2000, global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons

PNND members, partners and supporters are invited to participate in the annual meeting of Abolition 2000, the global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Abolition 2000 was established in 1995 during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Over 2000 organizations from around the world have endorsed the Abolition 2000 founding statement which outlines a mix of incremental and comprehensive measures to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Abolition 2000 builds cooperation between civil society and legislators through its partnership with PNND. The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to share ideas and initiatives, discuss strategy and build cooperation for more effective campaigns and policy actions.

See below for details about the program. Click here to register for the meeting. We invite you to read the PNND Report for the Abolition 2000 meeting. Additionally, in preparation for the annual meeting, Abolition 2000 has interviewed 6 people, from a range of backgrounds in peace and disarmament. They address the theme of the 2021 annual meeting: How do we move from a dysfunctional world to a world free of nuclear weapons? Click here see the interviews: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNLSpPdpFraCBUmKLTTxP9qTX1vviq3jN

The meeting will be held in two sessions of 90 minutes each:

Session 1: Campaign updates and reports. Strategy discussion on challenges and opportunities to advance nuclear abolition. Introduction of proposals.

Session 2:Discussion of proposals. Abolition 2000 Secretariat report. Fundraising. Affirmation of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee and Global Council. Calendar of upcoming events.

In order to enable participation by organisations and activists around the world, Session 1 will be held twice:
Session 1 (a) is timed to suit participation by those from Asia/Pacific.
Session 1 (b) is timed to suit participation by those from the Americas and Europe.

Click here for more information including the Session times for your location. Click here to register for the meeting.

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

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