interfaith

2021 Freedom of Religion or Belief Priorities at the United Nations

Join us on Friday, May 7th, from 1:15pm-2:45pm Eastern for a virtual event that will highlight various missions’ recent past and upcoming efforts to promote religious freedom and related rights in 2021 at the United Nations. The event will feature a panel of UN diplomats who will present on their mission’s specific priorities on this issue. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for Q+A.

Our expert panelists include: 

  • Madeeha Ashraf, Advisor, U.S. Mission to the UN
  • Timothy Sylvester, Second Secretary, U.K Mission to the UN 
  • Klas Nyman, Counsellor, EU Delegation to the UN

We anticipate the event will be insightful for our shared focus on promoting FoRB at and through the United Nations, and we hope that you will join us.

To register, please RSVP to info@unforb.org by 12pm on May 6. A Zoom link will be sent to you on the day of the event.

We look forward to your presence on May 7th.

Best regards,

Kelsey Zorzi, President, NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief – New York 

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

The Human Face of the Migration Crisis: A Faith-Based Response

The scale of human migration can be overwhelming—estimates are that more people are on the move in our time than at any time in human history. To each “number” there is a human face, a person made in the image of God.

How can people of faith respond to this crisis in tangible ways? How can the Bible inform our response? To look at these and other questions related to the migration crisis we will be joined by a panel from across North America with a variety of experiences and perspectives on migration.

Register here!

Speakers:

vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D., is the author of the new book What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants and Refugees?. Nguyễn came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and he is today Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union.

Dannia and Aida Pena were born in San Salvador, El Salvador. In the 1990s they fled the Civil War in El Salvador and came to Los Angeles, California. Today, Dannia serves as an Accounting Manager at a Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Aida works just outside San Antonio in Bilingual Education. Both sisters are married with children and are active in the Focolare Movement.

Sean Ryan and Monica Nugent are university students living in Vancouver, British Columbia. As an outgrowth of their Catholic faith, both are both active in Dignity Inherent, a group working to raise awareness about human trafficking and Canada’s laws on prostitution.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Generation Equality: Lifting Up Young Women’s Voices in the Church

Dear UN partners in gender justice and women’s and girls’ empowerment,

You are cordially invited to “Lifting Up Young Women’s Voices in the Church.”

Join Episcopal United Nations and the Presiding Bishop’s UNCSW65 delegates at the Generation Equality Forum as they discuss how Generation Equality fits into Church life, women who have guided them along the way, and advice for young women who are also looking to use their voice to effect change.

RSVP at EpiscopalUN@episcopalchurch.org

Spanish interpretation will be available during this webinar.

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

CRNGO Climate Working Group

The regular monthly meeting of the Climate Working Group of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations will convene on Monday, April 5, at 9:00am EST.

For the first hour, members will engage in a briefing on participation at UNFCCC COP. The second hour is reserved for regular meeting business, notes and agenda available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C31WT69qDQGOfkCiBFgY6zLRNmLUsSFUJsABDJwiGrs/edit

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://bic-org.zoom.us/j/94681006298?pwd=Si9JWDlWR0FWVU1sRVdBbHNOTW5kZz09

(ID: 94681006298, passcode: P95Qhq)

Join by phone
(US) +1 646-558-8656 (passcode: 841336)
(AU) +61 7 3185 3730 (passcode: 841336)

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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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Urgently Addressing Climate Change as a Human Rights Issue – Small States, Indigenous People, Youth and Faith Perspectives

Dear friends,

Greetings from Switzerland. On behalf of our Economic and Ecological Justice Programme, please accept this invitation to attend  the upcoming webinar offered by the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, Environment and Human Rights (GIF) on the occasion of the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the theme: Urgently Addressing Climate Change as a Human Rights Issue – Small Island States, Indigenous Peoples, Youth and Faith Perspectives on Friday, 26 March 2021 at 10:00-11:30 AM Central European Time (CET)

Please register through this link: https://lutheranworld-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HAa2Yn5TThmpHYdKRMfGAw

or watch on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dejg58UiRPk

Background:

Climate change is a human rights issue. It is one of the most urgent human rights issues of our time, directly as well as indirectly threatening the enjoyment and realisation of human rights of all. The small island and least developed countries are particularly vulnerable. The Indigenous Peoples, youth and people living in poverty are affected in unequal ways.

Though the most recent scientific data conclude that climate change is accelerating and demands an urgent and coordinated response, there is as yet no dedicated mechanism at the Human Rights Council (HRC) – the United Nations body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights – that tackles climate change in a holistic, systematic, and consistent manner. Moreover, there is a clear need to strengthen the connection between the HRC and the key international frameworks governing global climate change negotiations.

During the 46th session of the HRC, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh delivered a statement, on behalf of 53 other states, calling for effective global climate actions in order to promote and protect the human rights of all and calling upon the Council to consider creating a new Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change. A similar call was also made by the Republic of the Marshall Islands on behalf of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) during the 44th Session of the HRC in 2020.

This event is organised in conjunction with the 46th Session of the HRC to bring together voices and visions from small island states, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and faith communities with a view to establishing the connections between climate change and human rights as well as sharing information about concrete proposals and initiatives for addressing the human rights impacts of climate change in this context.

Speakers

  • Mr. Didier Georges, Haiti, Permanent Mission of Haiti to the UN in Geneva
  • Mr. Yves Lador, Switzerland, Earthjustice
  • Sis Jayanti Kirpalani, United Kingdom, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
  • Ms. Aldonna Purba, Indonesia, Lutheran World Federation Youth voice
  • Ms. Beverly Longid, Philippines, Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation
  • Rev. James Bhagwan, Fiji, Pacific Conference of Churches Moderator
  • Ms. Alexandra M Goossens-Ishii, Soka Gakkai International & Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, Environment and Human Rights (GIF)

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

Redefining Leadership, Re-Envisioning Faith and Reconstructing Humanitarianism

Dear Religions for Peace Leaders,

We are so pleased that many of you have already registered for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW 65). If you have not already registered on the NGO/CSW platform, please be informed that the event will be live-streamed on 25 March at 9AM ET from our Facebook page.

Kindly be sure to select our event, “Redefining Leadership, Re-Envisioning Faith, and Reconstructing Humanitarianism” on 25 March here. To join the webinar, please select the button “Join Meeting,” which will appear exactly at 9:00 am ET.

Program Agenda

  • Moment of Silence

PART I: WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

PART II: A CONVERSATION ON WOMEN IN PUBLIC LIFE: REDEFINING LEADERSHIP

Moderated by Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

  • Dr. Mary McAleese, Former President, Republic of Ireland; Advisor to the Religions for Peace Secretary General
  • H.E. Sima Samar, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs; Member, Religions for Peace Standing Commission on Advancing Gender Equality, Afghanistan
  • Mr. Humberto Carolo, Executive Director, White Ribbon Campaign Canada, MenEngage Network, Religions for Peace Standing Commission on Advancing Gender Equality, Canada
  • Hon. Ela Gandhi, Trustee, Gandhi Development Trust and Religions for Peace Co-President, South Africa
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism and Religions for Peace Honorary President, United States

PART III: A CONVERSATION ON RE-ENVISIONING FAITH AND RECONSTRUCTING HUMANITARIANISM

Moderated by Grand-Mother Marie-Josée Rankin-Tardif, President, Kina8at Together; Elder from the Anicinape (Algonquin) Tradition, Canada

  • Rev. Clement Joseph, Secretary General of the Social Mission of Haitian Churches; Secretary General, Religions for Peace-Haiti, Haiti
  • Rt. Rev. Francisco Duque-Gomez, Anglican Bishop and leader of Religions for PeaceColombia, Colombia
  • Ms. Nageeba Hassan Tegulwa, Board Member, Women of Faith Uganda, Executive Member, African Women of Faith Network; Board Member, ACRL; Member, IWCC, Uganda
  • Ms. Fatima Hallal, Junior Researcher, Hartford Seminary-Interreligious Relations; Member, International Youth Committee, Lebanon

PART IV: Q&A 

PART V: CLOSING REMARKS

  • Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Pietro Bartoli at pbartoli@rfp.org or Ms. Lexie Ruth Mitchell at lrmitchell@rfp.org.

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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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.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

CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm?

Gender injustice is deep-rooted in social norms. Social norms are the values defined by a group and to which members of the group are expected to comply, otherwise risking disapproval, marginalization and/or exclusion. Religion and culture have a strong influence on the definition of social norms, including those relating to gender. At any given moment, many social norms are presented as fixed. Our event brings together gender advocates, who are challenging and changing social norms, to achieve gender justice. Tackling social norms related to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Women in Leadership, Child Marriage, Political Voting, Masculinities, FGM and Social Protection.

To register for “CSW 65: How to Challenge and Change a Social Norm,” and to explore other upcoming events on gender equality, click here

Organized by: Side by Side, Islamic Relief Worldwide, ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Religions for Peace, All Africa Conference of Churches, World Council of Churches, Christian Aid

Religions for Peace’s Co-Moderator, Dr. Vinu Aram, will be a speaker at this event.

Please note that you must have a profile on the NGO CSW65 virtual platform to register for this event. You can register as an NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum Advocate for free here: NGO CSW65 Forum Advocate registration page link.

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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 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.

[CSW65 Parallel Event] The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

The Power of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Elevate Women and Girls

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ngo-csw65-forum-advocate-registration-tickets-137312871495

Summary:

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is bringing together a panel of prominent female leaders to discuss how their diverse religious and belief backgrounds have shaped their views and prepared them for leadership positions around the world as well as how the freedom of religion or belief is critical to empowering women and girls.

Moderator: Kelsey Zorzi, Director of Advocacy for Global Religious Freedom, ADF

International Panelists:

  • Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office
  • Blu Greenberg, Founding President of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  • Carole McConkie, Latter-day Saint Charities Representative at the United Nations (Geneva)
  • Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Margaret Downey, Founder of the Freethought Society

Format: Each speaker will present for 10-12 minutes followed by a time of Q+A from the attendees.

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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 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.

The Role of Women in Faith-Based Organizations

Women are increasingly playing leading roles within faith-based communities and organizations. Join the World Jewish Congress, ActAlliance, Muslims for Progressive Values, Religions for Peace, and Tanenbaum for a parallel event to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to celebrate the diversity of opinions and address the many challenges faced by these leaders.

Register & Watch:  Register here or watch on Facebook live.

Shared Paths: 
Overcoming obstacles and opening doors for women leaders in faith-based communities

An open conversation with rabbi Maya Leibowitz and imam Ani Zonneveld

Followed by a panel discussion featuring:

Dr. Husna Ahmad, OBE, CEO, Global One
Prof. Azza Karam,  Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Rev. Dr. Elaine Neuenfeldt, Gender Programme Manager, ACT Alliance
Amichai Wise, World Jewish Congress Diplomatic Corps

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

Sacred People, Sacred Earth { A Faith-Climate Day of Action event}

On 11 March 2021 people of faith and conscience all around the world are kicking off organizing for the biggest-ever faith-climate day of action, all at the grassroots.

In places of prayer and households around the globe, we are joining together to call for climate leadership guided by compassion, love, and justice. In Chile alone, there are more than 15 actions taking place in Santiago and around the country. Churches are ringing their bells, and other places of prayer and meditation are sounding the alarm for action on climate change.

Click here to organize or attend an event.

Our 10 Demands

  • Energy: 100% renewable, clean energy for all! Sustainable, affordable power for everyone – especially the 800 million people without access to electricity
  • Finance: Global finance aligned with compassionate values!  Increased financing – in COVID recovery and beyond – for sustainable industry, infra-structure and agriculture
  • Employment: Jobs and healthcare for all! A just transition for workers impacted by climate change through job training, living wage and universal healthcare and insurance
  • Self-Determination: Respect Indigenous Rights! A strong defense for the legal rights of Indigenous communities and all environmental protectors
  • Hospitality: Welcome for migrants! Generous opportunities for climate refugees to migrate and establish new homes
  • Restoration: No more climate pollution! Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in wealthy countries by 2030; accelerated finance/technology transfers for global net zero before 2050
  • Biodiversity: End the planet’s desecration! No new fossil fuel exploration or infrastructure, no more deforestation; no more habitat or biodiversity loss
  • Divestment: Eliminate immoral investment! No further financing or COVID bailouts for fossil fuels and exploitative agriculture
  • Reparation: Climate reparations from wealthy countries! Initiatives by wealthy countries in climate financing and technology transfer, in recognition of these countries’ colonialist and environmental debt
  • Community: Bold faith community leadership! Sustained, united action guided by the teachings of our diverse religions, ushering in an equitable, peaceful life for all.

Click here to sign the statement and lend your support.

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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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit  facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

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