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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.

Virtual CINE-ONU presents “The Great Green Wall”

To mark the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the United Nations and the European Commission present: “The Great Green Wall.”

After a short introduction from Veronika Hunt Safrankova,  Head of Brussels Office, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, Senior Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Coordinator at UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Producer of the film, we will have a discussion and Q&A with the speakers below:

  • Elvis Tangem – Coordinator of The Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and Sahel, African Union
  • Sandra Kramer – European Commission, Director Africa, Department of International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
  • Nora Berrahmouni – Senior forestry officer for Africa at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 
  • Deborah Seward (moderator) – Director of the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC)

About/Synopsis:

Imagine if we could restore a piece of land 3 times the size of the Great Barrier Reef! The African-led initiative referred to as the Great Green Wall, is growing an 8,000km natural ‘wonder of the world ‘ across the entire width of Africa. Discover how this project is providing a future for over 60 million people in the region.

The Great Green Wall provides a refreshing story of resilience, optimism and collective action. As Inna Modja passionately pursues an African Dream for a generation seeking to control their own destiny, she reminds us of the enormity of the task ahead and that time is not on our side. The resulting journey of hope, hardship and perseverance reveals our shared human condition, reflecting a deeper moral and existential question we all must confront: “Will we take action before it’s too late?

Watch the trailer here: youtube.com/watch?v=kB1qK_yBVxU

Register for the discussion here: https://fao.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pxFKjLqyQxiJcKesdnZ3LQ

This event is organised in collaboration with Cine-ONU Vienna and Cine-ONU Geneva

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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-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 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.

The Climate Crisis and Developing Economies: A conversation with the Director of Power Shift Africa

WHAT THE WEST OWES THE REST

The Climate Crisis & Developing Economies: A conversation with Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa

President Biden has ushered in the most ambitious climate plan in US history. But his wafer-slim majority in Congress gives him little time to push through his agenda before midterm elections in 18 months. The faith community must push for the realization of scaled up US climate ambition in coming months and years, following COP26 in November and in preparation for decisive 2024 Presidential elections.

Mohamed Adow is an international climate policy expert and ardent advocate for the people of developing nations – who are disproportionately affected by climate change but play almost no role in causing it. Hailing from a pastoralist community in Northern Kenya that faces increasing droughts, Adow’s experience on the frontlines of the climate crisis anchor his work as a voice for those most vulnerable to climate change. He is an outspoken and deeply respected leader among policy makers, NGOs, and the media on Africa and climate justice.

Mohamed is the Founder and Director of Power Shift Africa, a nongovernmental organization and thinktank based in Kenya that he formed in 2018 to mobilize climate action in Africa and shift climate and energy policies to zero carbon.

Join the event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86137939600?from=addon#success

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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 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. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Access Ends Hunger: How Can We Improve Access to Essential Resources?

This last year has highlighted incredible disparities in access to essential resources. The World Food Programme estimates that, due to COVID-19, 111 million more people are without access to sufficient nutrition. And UNICEF has determined that 500 million students are cut off from remote learning options at a time when remote learning is their only option.

Equitable access to critical resources such as education, technology and healthcare is an essential part of ending hunger. With access, people are able to leverage their own capacity and build better futures for themselves and their communities. So, how exactly does bridging gaps in access end hunger and poverty?

Join us Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 – 10:15 AM ET to find out!

Join Hunger Project leaders and our Goodwill Ambassador, Dora Nyambe, in a conversation about the importance of improving access to technology, health care and education. Importantly, they’ll also explore the challenges of removing barriers that prevent equitable access in Africa.

Speakers:

  • Irene Naikaali Ssentongo, Head of Programs in Uganda
  • Samuel Mutambo, National Program Director in Zambia
  • Dora Nyambe, Goodwill Ambassador to The Hunger Project
  • Moderated by our President & CEO Tim Prewitt

Learn more about the speakers and register for the event here.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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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 Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

[Laudato Si Dialogue] Critical opportunities in 2021 to create change: call for an integral path

This webinar will highlight key political opportunities in 2021 to create change, with a focus on the UN climate conference (COP 26) and the UN biodiversity conference (COP 15) and the need for an integral approach. We will hear from the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and from indigenous and youth leaders on the key role these conferences must play in building back better after the COVID 19 pandemic, achieving global goals, restoring harmony between humanity and nature, and building a culture of care and justice.

Register here!

Participants:

  • Moderator: Christine Allen, CAFOD Director
  • Representative from the Dicastery, Fr Augusto Zampini
  • Representative from COICA (Amazonia), Gregorio Mirabal
  • Global Youth movement representative, Ditebogo Lebea, Climate Activist and Youth Programmes Associate at South African Institute of International Affairs

Watch the event here:

youtube.com/c/GlobalCatholicClimateMovement

facebook.com/GlobalCatholicClimateMovement

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

CRNGO Climate Working Group advocacy meeting

Good afternoon colleagues,
Eid Mubaak to those of you celebrating / recognizing Eid ul Fitr. As discussed on at the 3 May meeting, the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations’ Working Group on Climate will have an informal, 60-min meeting to discuss COP26 Advocacy this coming Monday, 17 May, at 10:00 am EDT.
The agenda will be simple:
  • Bring along your organization’s plans / ideas  for Advocacy to share (or if you don’t have a plan, come and learn and support others who do!)
PS – just FYI, here’s some info on the upcoming UN Decade of Ecological Restoration:

Even amidst the global pandemic and climate crisis challenges, the Good News is that it’s almost time for the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.  In an effort to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) has developed many resources to share on June 5, 2021, which is World Environment Day. (See more information here: worldenvironmentday.global)

To help us take action in this next decade, UNEP has published a practical guide to ecosystem restoration called the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook – it provides an introduction to a range of actions that can slow the degradation of ecosystems and foster their recovery. Designed for all interested individuals and stakeholder groups, this guide outlines three pathways to getting involved in ecosystem restoration during the UN Decade and beyond:

· Taking action such as starting or support an on-the-ground restoration project

· Making smart choices like buying only sustainable products and changing diets

· Raising your voice in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration

You can find more information, as well as a link to this 21-page guide, here:  https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/

So join in on restoring one or more of the eight key types of ecosystems – forests, farmlands, grassland and savannahs, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, towns and cities, peatlands, and mountains – and become part of #GenerationRestoration !

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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 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.

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.

Partnerships as Game Changer for a Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19

Dear Colleagues,

The 2021 Partnership Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be held virtually on Monday, 3 May 2021, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (EST).

Under the theme of “Partnerships as Game Changer for a Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19”, the Forum will examine the critical role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For more information, please kindly refer to the event home page: https://sdgs.un.org/events/ecosoc-partnership-forum-2021

FYI, the 2021 ECOSOC Partnership Forum is scheduled to be webcast via webtv.un.org.

Registration for the Partnerships as Game Changer for a Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19 can be found at this link: https://sdgs.un.org/events/stakeholder-engagement-and-partnerships-during-and-beyond-covid-19-32662

We look forward to your active participation!

UN DESA

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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

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