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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.

Faiths 4 Climate Justice

Two weeks before global climate negotiations, people of diverse religions will rise to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions.

Learn more and register here!

On Sunday, Oct. 17:

At temples, mosques, and churches around the globe, we’ll call for climate justice and care for the vulnerable by ringing our bells, singing, praying, meditating, calling the Azan, sounding the shofar – whatever is true to our tradition. We’ll also unfurl banners on our sacred buildings that make it clear: the time to act is now.

On Monday, Oct. 18:

Dressed in religious garb, we’ll take our faiths into the streets and to our leaders’ doorsteps.  We’ll deliver our demands to political and financial leaders, hold prayer or meditation vigils outside government and bank offices, sing hymns about the climate, or take action rooted in our deepest values.

*Co-sponsors are religious organizations and spiritual communities worldwide who publicize Faiths 4 Climate Justice to their communities. We invite diverse religious institutions, congregations, schools, and other groups to sign on as co-sponsors. Co-sponsors commit to recruit action hosts and participants for the global day of action and organize 1 or more local actions. We provide co-sponsors with tools, resources, and one-on-one support for recruitment and action organizing. Co-sponsors, if interested, can serve on a planning team in preparation for the mobilization.

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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 Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

Dialogue Ⅱ of the 40th Anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace International Conference

Dialogue Ⅱ of the 40th Anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace International Conference:

Are Homo Sapiens Destined to be Trapped in the Myth of Unlimited Growth or Do They Have the Potential to Transform Themselves?

Dialogue II will feature Dr. Ehrlich, a renowned American professor in population studies, who will offer insights into the destiny of Homo sapiens trapped in the myth of limitless growth. Scholars warn that Earth’s capacity to support the coexistence of people and nature that has continued since time immemorial is nearing a breaking point. The dialogue will shed light on what kind of earth knowledge and practices are needed to save the future of human society from the looming crisis.

Panelists:

  • Paul R. Ehrlich, Emeritus Chair Professor, Department of Biology Stanford University
  • Jae Chun Choe, Distinguished Professor of EcoScience, Ehwa Women’s University

To view the Peace BAR Festival livestream and read the full program, please visit http://163.180.96.152:8082/pbf_E/main/index.do.

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

International Day of Non-Violence

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, including definitions and principles of non-violence, please visit un.org/en/observances/non-violence-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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

Digital Equity: Policies, Access, Literacy & Safety

The NGO Committee on Ageing-New York’s program provides a platform for a multi-stakeholder dialogue with a call to action. Speakers will address digital equity, including adequate policies, access, digital literacy, and safety. The virtual program will take place October 1st from 10:00—11:30am EDT.

Register here: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6cE7POAkqrbuCIgY3L2HFJghTde6BlqlF2HrEayaE4gwoCA/viewform

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Ageing-New York is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship to the United Nations, and more information is available at ngocoa-ny.org. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. 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 Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Digital Equity for all Ages: Connect, Respect and Protect Older People in Digital Technologies

This year, the International Day of Older Persons 2021 will provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and serve as a call to action. The #UNIDOP2021 will adopt a person centered, human rights approach to ensure digital equity including adequate policies, access, digital literacy and safety for individuals of all ages.

This particular side event from the NGO Committee on Ageing in Vienna’s program will address cyber security, especially for older persons. The virtual program will take place on October 1st from 7:30—9:15am EDT.

Objectives of #UNIDOP2021:

• To address digital availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation in the areas of public and private interests

• To bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy

• To highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

• To explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world

• To promote an intersectional person-centered human rights approach for a society for all ages taking into account existing/non-existing legal instruments in the field of digitalization

Register hereus06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GqD_gJ4OTtymbzNWk5x-rw

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

International Day for Universal Access to Information

On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information. Considering that several civil society organizations and government bodies in the world have adopted and currently celebrate this observance, the UN General Assembly also adopted 28 September 2019 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs – the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme – provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.

Access to information

Informed citizens can make informed decisions, for instance, when going to the polls. Only when citizens know how they are governed, can they hold their governments accountable for their decisions and actions. Information is power. Therefore, universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information. This right is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression. The media plays a crucial role in informing the public about issues of interest, but it relies on the ability to seek and receive information, too. Hence, the right to universal access to information is also bound up with the right to freedom of the press.

To learn more about why and how the UN commemorates this day, please visit un.org/en/observances/information-access-day.

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

UNCTAD Gender and Development Forum

UNCTAD Gender and Development Forum

Participation:

The two events are open to all member States of UNCTAD and to observers from the public. Speakers will include ministers and practitioners and representatives of civil society, the private sector and academia from all regions of the world. Registration for the Forum should be completed online at https://indico.un.org/event/1000156/.

The two UNCTAD-led events of the Forum will be held with remote participation, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. These events will also be streamed live, in English only. Registration for these events should be completed online as follows:

High-level panel: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gQjtXzMWQ9KnO9zbBl–Nw

Workshop: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BVKquoVASfCy9xqNmKmRbg

High-level panel discussion: Shaping gender-responsive economies and societies – What role for trade?

27 September 2021, 4–6.30 p.m. (CEST)

This high-level panel will be results-oriented. Speakers will share their experiences in dealing with gender and economic issues. They will present the goals achieved and the shortcomings faced during their journeys, whether in policymaking, advocacy, business or research. They will also provide concrete ideas of how the work of UNCTAD with regard to trade and gender may further contribute to the goal of empowering women and creating equal opportunities for all in the current social and economic environment.

Session I: Gender equality and trade policymaking – The role of bilateral, regional and global trade policy initiatives alongside domestic policies

Session II: Essay competition on trade and gender

Session III: Trade as a driver of gender equality in the post-pandemic recovery – Perspectives from civil society, the private sector and academia

Closing: Gender and trade at UNCTAD – Future prospect

Gender and development workshop: Our work makes a difference

28 September 2021, 4–6.30 p.m. (CEST)

This workshop will showcase the impacts of hands-on activities conducted by UNCTAD to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the fields of trade and gender, trade facilitation, data and statistics, electronic commerce and entrepreneurship. It will also provide for concrete directions for the future role of UNCTAD in contributing to the goal of empowering women and creating equal opportunities for all, given the current social and economic environment

Session I: UNCTAD capacity-building initiative on trade and gender

Session II: Gender perspectives in trade facilitation reforms

Session III: Better data for gender inclusive trade policy

Session IV: eTrade for Women

Session V: Women’s entrepreneurship

For enquiries related to the programmes, please contact Ms. Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, Division on International Trade and Commodities, email: simonetta.zarrilli@unctad.org. For enquiries related to registration and logistics, please contact gender@unctad.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-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 on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

2021 Geneva Peace Talks: Recovering better for an equitable & sustainable world

We are pleased to invite you and your staff to attend the 9th edition of the Geneva Peace Talks. Marking the International Day of Peace, the Geneva Peace Talks will take place on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Room XVIII at the Palais des Nations and online.

The 2021 edition is organized under the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better. People around the world are facing not only a global health crisis, but also other imminent crises: climate change, poverty, inequalities, stigma and discrimination. We must transform our world into one that is more equal, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier. We must make peace with one another.

The event will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, from health equity to environmental action. We will hear from the former Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mr. Yves Daccord, the Head of the Secretariat of the Principles for Peace Initiative Ms. Hiba Qasas, Senegalese singer and champion for climate action Mr. Baaba Maal, Chief Executive Officer of the World Health Organization Foundation Mr. Anil Soni in an interview, three high school students from the first-ever Peace Talks club, a choreographer from South Africa; as well as two film makers creating a documentary on climate refugees.

Due to COVID-19 preventive measures, only a limited number of seats will be available in Room XVIII. Early registration for in-person participation is required as it will be closed once the maximum capacity is reached.

To follow the event online or to register, please use the following link: peacetalks.net.

This year’s Geneva Peace Talks are co-organized, once again, by the United Nations Office at Geneva, Interpeace and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to other international organizations in Geneva.

The Geneva Peace Talks are an annual highlight of International Geneva. We look forward to your participation, which will send a strong signal of support and demonstrate our collective commitment to peace across the world.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

Human Rights in older age: Towards the elimination of ageism and age discrimination

Join us for a special side event of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday 21 September 14:00 Geneva time.

Ageism is a global phenomenon, which has serious consequences for individuals and society at large. According to the UN Global Report on Ageism, half of the world’s population is ageist against older persons. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light entrenched ageism and age discrimination in many areas including hate speech in public discourse and on social media. Despite its scale and harmful impacts, ageism remains largely unknown and is often considered more acceptable compared to other forms of discrimination.

The report of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons to the 48th session of the HRC (A/HRC/48/53), examines ageism and age discrimination, analyses their possible causes and manifestations, and reviews the way the existing legal and policy frameworks at the international and regional levels protects older persons against ageism and age-discrimination.

This side event of the 48th session will bring to the fore real-life experiences of ageism and age discrimination faced by older persons and will take stock of the Independent Expert’s conclusions and recommendations with the aim to discuss strategies to address and prevent ageism and age discrimination and to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

Register here: hrworg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wOy7GGkqQgaaACt38yJb9Q

Event will also be webcast live on https://media.un.org/en/webtv/

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

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