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International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, over 2,000 have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorating the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. In each subsequent year, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment that strongly advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Unfortunately, this has yet to enter into force.

As the Secretary-General recognized in his disarmament agenda “Securing our Common Future” launched on 24 May 2018, the norm against testing is an example of a measure that serves both disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. By constraining the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, the CTBT puts a brake on the arms race. It also serves as a powerful normative barrier against potential States that might seek to develop, manufacture and subsequently acquire nuclear weapons in violation of their non-proliferation commitments.

Every effort needs to be made to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and to preserve its place in the international architecture. In this regard, the Secretary-General appeals to all remaining States whose ratifications are required for the CTBT to enter into force to commit to sign the Treaty at an early date if they have not already done so, and to accelerate the completion of their ratification processes.

It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as the world works towards promoting peace and security.

To learn more about the background and significance of this observance, please visit un.org/en/observances/end-nuclear-tests-day.

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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 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. 

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S. – China Relations

The U.S. and China

Past, Present and Future: Conflict and Cooperation in U.S.-China Relations

The prophetic historian Howard Zinn taught that if we don’t know our history, we can’t be free.  Without that knowledge, he warned, whenever a president comes on TV and says that we are in danger from here or there, we lack the framework needed to critically judge its truth.  Today the near unanimous Washington, media, and even scholarly and expert consensus is that China poses a dire threat to democracy and freedom around the world, and that our freedom requires defend them by challenging and containing China militarily, economically, technologically, diplomatically, and politically.  Provocative military operations near Taiwan or in the South China Sea carry the danger of an accident or miscalculation escalating to war, even a nuclear war.  Demonization of China also drives anti-Asian racism and violence across the United States, which must immediately be ended.

Understanding Chinese history and the history of U.S.-China relations provides us what we need to advocate for mutually beneficial policies and diplomacy, bringing the world back from the brink and opening the way for collaborations to address the existential threat of nuclear weapons, the climate emergency, and pandemics. Professors Mark Seldon and Zhiqun Zhu are uniquely qualified to share the essential histories of China and of U.S.–Chinese cooperation and competition.

Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModOmorz4rHtwRKZ9w0MwVaDenIP6Hy8GI

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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. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Faith + Biodiversity briefing

Dear colleagues,
At our June 30th Faith and Biodiversity meeting we agreed to meet every 3-4 weeks to share updates and progress towards the CBD COP15. Over the past few weeks our Faith and Biodiversity Working Group has been working hard drafting a response to the First Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. We plan to finalize our response by late August in order to submit it to the next round of negotiations, due to start on August 23rd.
We would like to invite you to a call on Thursday, August 5th, 10am ET, for a presentation on the key items our group have identified that we feel need to be included in the First Draft of the GBF from a faith perspective. Zoom details are below.
Meeting ID: 528 839 2946
Passcode: Bhumi
 
Many thanks, Bhumi Global
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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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Restorative Justice, Intergenerational Healing, and Reconciliation

Join a Religions for Peace “Faithful Conversation”:

Restorative Justice, Intergenerational Healing, and Reconciliation

Religious and spiritual leaders in Canada and from across the globe share the profound sorrow and agony of indigenous communities as unmarked graves of indigenous children are found on the grounds of residential schools in Canada. Religious and spiritual leaders join Religions for Peace Honorary President Grand-Father Dominique Rankin, who himself is a victim and survivor of the physical and sexual abuse at a residential school, in a conversation to address how to advance peace with justice, heal the old wounds, and walk together the difficult path towards reconciliation. Register here!

Read the Religions for Peace World Council Statement here.

French-English interpretation will be available.

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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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

[Film Launch] Nuclear Games

On July 23, the eve of the Olympic Games, global youth leaders for peace, climate action, human rights and disarmament will launch

As athletes gather in Japan for the start of the Olympic Games, media attention is focusing on the value of the Games for sports, protection at the Games from the COVID virus, and the Olympic Ideal for Peace and Humanity.

But there are other, more threatening and deadly Games involving Japan – and the entire world – that will continue during the Olympics and after. These Games involve the nuclear arms race and the misguided pursuit of nuclear energy.

Join youth leaders from around the world on July 23 as they launch Nuclear Games, a provocative film plus five ‘manga stories’ and an innovative, animated web documentary designed to attract, educate and engage. Register here!

Program: Nuclear Games launch
A youth-led event organised by Youth Fusion and moderated by Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic)

  • Introduction to Nuclear Games and the issues by:
    • Dr. Andreas Nidecker (Switzerland): President, Basel Peace Office. Creator of the Nuclear Games concept;
    • Kehkashan Basu(Canada): Founder-President, Green Hope Foundation. UN Human Rights Champion. Winner, 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize. Member, World Future Council. Winner of the inaugural Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award; 
    • Michaela Sorensen(Denmark): Youth Fusion team member. Gender, Peace and Security Program Officer, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament
  • Excerpts from the web documentary and the five manga stories (see below)
  • Discussion after each manga story with young global leaders including:
    • Divina Maloum (Cameroon): Founder, Children for Peace. Co-winner (with Greta Thunberg) of the 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize;
    • Disha Ravi (India): Founder of Fridays for Future India;
    • Kasha Sequoia Slavner (Canada): The ‘Sunrise Storyteller’. Multi-award-winning young documentary filmmaker;
    • Tatsuro Debroux(Japan): Doctor in Law Pompeu Fabra University. Program Officer, Peace Depot. Japan Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament;
    • Aigerim Seitenova(Kazakhstan): Head of Programmes @“Wings of Liberty” Public Foundation
      Member of the Core Group of Youth Experts for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

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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 Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

[VNR Lab] National experience of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process: Japan

This lab will focus on the Voluntary National Review (VNR) preparation process in Japan, highlighting the methodology and principles of the country’s VNR report, preparation process and follow-up actions. The VNR lab could also reflect on the impact on COVID-19 on the VNR preparations and SDG implementation.

Concept Note, Program and Speakers: Link

Registration: https://forms.office.com/r/bKgy4pYS0S

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

No-First-Use: A powerful tool to achieve a world without nuclear weapons

Dear colleagues,

We draw your attention to the international launch on July 15 of NoFirstUse Global, a campaign platform and network promoting no-first-use policies globally as a measure to prevent nuclear war and to help achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Support for No-First-Use policies is growing in nuclear armed countries and around the world, as evidenced by the recent Open Letter to Presidents Biden and Putin on No-First-Use which was endorsed by over 1200 political, military and religious leaders, as well as legislators, academics/scientists and other representatives of civil society. Find out more by attending the launch event.

Register here for Session B, which is timed for the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LIMFa4HXTzqCVaAKToVr1Q

July 15 Program:

  • Tribute for the 76th anniversary of the Trinity nuclear test;
  • Introductions to NoFirstUse Global from cosponsoring organizations;
  • Video messages from prominent supporters;
  • Launch of a social media action ‘Don’t even think about starting a nuclear war’
  • Questions and comments from the audience/participants

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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. 

Towards the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change

Dear friends and colleagues,

As the 47th session of the Human Rights Council (21 June-13 July 2021) is about to end, we would like to invite you to a virtual briefing for civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, to take stock of the most recent developments on the proposal to establish a new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change under the Human Rights Council and discuss the way forward.

The event Towards the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change: Briefing on the June/July 2021 Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC47) will take place on Thursday 15 July, from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM GMT+2/CEST.

Register at the following link: https://bit.ly/2SVkcZu. Interpretation in French and Spanish will be provided.

Please find the concept note here and the background note here.

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

Migration and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications on the Sustainable Development Goals

Migrant Forum in Asia, in partnership with Asian People’s Partnership for Peace, Planet and Prosperity (APSD) is organizing an official HLPF side-event to explore the challenge COVID-19 represented for migrants and the impact of the pandemic on SDGs progress.

Read more & find related events here.

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

The Resilience Paradox: The Role of Faith Actors in Addressing Climate Challenges and Vulnerabilities Faced by Small Island States

Dear partners,

Greetings from the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations!

We are proud to share with you the event we are co-sponsoring at the margins of the High-Level Political Forum: The Resilience Paradox: Faith Actors in Addressing Climate Challenges and Vulnerabilities Faced by Small Island States. This event is the result of a partnership between the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations, The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Alliance, Episcopal Relief and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

During an hour and a half, we will focus on challenges to building resilience and sustainable development faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and spotlight the work of faith actors as prophetic voices on environmental and sustainable development issues. We will also interrogate the role of faith actors in building climate resilience, SDGs, COVID response, and advocating to and partnering with governments.

The event will be held on 12th of July from 10:00 to 11:30 EDT/ 14:00 to 15:30 UTC via Zoom.

To register please visit: bit.ly/FaithAtHLPF

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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 Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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