media literacy

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. 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 Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children & youth

The NGO Committee on Children’s Rights invites you to our October meeting in recognition of UN World Mental Health month. Register here!

Invited panel of experts:

  • Kira Herbert, Educator, Croton-Harmon UFSD, BS Education, MS Education, NYS Teacher of Excellence
  • Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Pepperdine University

Moderator: Professor Roseanne Flores, Ph.D Dept. Psychology at Hunter College, NY & ECOSOC Representative, American Psychological Association (APA)

We’ll also hear the voices of school children and youth expressing their experiences during the pandemic. For questions or more information, please contact the Committee Secretary at marlena2173@gmail.com.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

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.

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. 

Protect Education for Sustainable Peace

Dear friends,

We cordially invite you to attend the High-level virtual event to mark the International Day to Protect Education from Attack under the theme “Protect Education for Sustainable Development” to be held on September 9, 2021 at from 8:30am to 10:30am (ET).

Access the full program, speaker biographies, and live stream here: sep9.educationaboveall.org/events/detail/1020408182850968762/talk/1953456246373491363

The event will focus on the critical issue of monitoring, reporting and data, and discuss how global leaders, local communities and groups, governmental bodies, academia, and media can engage fully and systematically in shaping advocacy, prevention and protection of education from attack. Discussions will also contribute to the global debate around the important need to build back education as part of countries’ COVID-19 recovery efforts, making education systems more responsive and resilient.

With kind regards,

UNESCO Liaison Office in New York

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

A gathering to foster the basic principles of a new approach for a fairer and more inclusive Digital Society

Grand Conversation: 

A gathering to foster the basic principles of a new approach for a fairer and more inclusive Digital Society

21 June 2021, Monday

Opening 6:00 AM PDT | 9:00 AM EDT | 2:00 PM WEST | 3:00 PM CEST | 4:00 PM EAT

Watch live on facebook.com/occam.milano.

This year 2021 is turning out to be rich in mutations. People are taking back their hopes and activities after the dark months of the Covid confinement. The great rendezvous of G7, G20 and COP26 are proving to be rich in contents and looks promising in terms of a step towards new global assets. The “Next Generation EU” Plan aims at reinforcing not only the new generation, but also at reforming countries in a more just and efficient way. The wind of digitalization blows strong and gives the feeling of a new world in gestation. All of us understand that we can be the protagonists: this is the reason for this Grand Conversation and the invitation to take part to actively discuss how to build the future rather than being a passive audience

21 June 2021

Live on facebook.com/occam.milano

This year 2021 is turning out to be rich in mutations. People are taking back their hopes and activities after the dark
months of the Covid confinement. The great rendez-vous of G7, G20 and COP26 are proving to be rich in contents and
looks promising in terms of a step towards new global assets. The “Next Generation EU” Plan aims at reinforcing not only
the new generation, but also at reforming countries in a more just and efficient way.
The wind of digitalization blows strong and gives the feeling of a new world in gestation. All of us understand that we can
be the protagonists: this is the reason for this Grand Conversation and the invitation to take part to actively discuss how to
build the future rather than being a passive audience.

Preliminary Agenda

Opening 6:00 AM PDT 9:00 AM EDT 2:00 PM WEST 3:00 PM CEST 4:00 PM EAT
Greetings: Daniela Bas, Director, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Division for Inclusive Social Development, USA
Maurizio Molinari, Director, European Parliament Office in Milan, Italy
General introduction: Pierpaolo Saporito, President, OCCAM and Infopoverty Programme, Italy

Session 1: Policies and Strategies Fostering the Next Digital Society

We are living in a moment of gestation towards new forms of society that are arising all over the world in different shapes, operated by digital
innovations that are now part of the common practices of life, work and governance. They are growing up in their global assets to give life to the Next Digital Society.

Daniela Rondinelli, Member of the European Parliament, Commission on Employment and Social Affairs, Belgium
Uma Rani, Senior Economist, International Labour Organization (UN-ILO), Switzerland
George Hara, Special Advisor, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister of Japan
Liberato C. Bautista, President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), USA

Session 2: The New Post-Covid Paradigm

The Covid-19 emergency is still pressing, imposing a hard change of behaviour to the society. After the pandemic, other priorities will emerge in the field of health security and in the expansion of human relationships, thanks to the increased digital opportunities. The whole world is now connected, and the ancient North-South gap can be easily overcome, changing the paradigm from charity and support, to transferring knowledge and competences. Africa woke up and started producing many innovations adaptable to its context without the influence of big, for-profit multinational enterprises. This should be a further motivation to renew win-win collaborations. How can emerging countries enter the digital development process? How to exploit human and material resources that are pivotal for the industrial development?Tony Ojobo,

President, African ICT Foundation, Nigeria
Nicolas Boissez, Head of Communication and External Relations, Fondation Hirondelle, Switzerland
Sofia Khadiri, Innovation Manager, LDV20 – Sparkasse, Italy
Andrea Cuomo, President Sacertis Knowledge, IW Bank, Switzerland

Session 3: e-Services for Development

The flow of change is exposed to different accelerations: enterprises are putting in place codes of conduct; governments are understanding how to use them, especially in the post-pandemic phase; consumers are still very much depending on the global supply. Much space can and must be covered by digital innovations to tackle the needs of consumers and the society as a whole, in fields such as health, education, jobs, agriculture, creative production. The aim is to ensure an e-welfare able to grant a dignified lifestyle and access to jobs for every individual.

Food Security and Agriculture
Jawoo Koo, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
Giulia Bartezzaghi, Director, Food Sustainability Observatory – Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Giovanna Seddaiu, Project Coordinator, EWA-BELT EU Horizon2020 Project, Italy

Telemedicine
Francesco Sicurello, President, International Institute of Telemedicine, Italy
Claudio Azzolini, Professor Emeritus, University of Insubria, Italy
Fabrizio Conicella, General Manager, OpenZone, Italy
Hassan Ghazal, Founder and President, Moroccan Society for Telemedicine and e-Health, Morocco

Education

Toky Ravoavy, NGO Ligne Verte, Madagascar
David Neely, President, Affecting Change International, USA
Michael Mathews, Vice-President for Innovation and Technology, Oral Roberts University, USA

Session 4: How the Digital Communication can Drive the Process to Envisage a New, Better Digital Society

Cinema always anticipated new, visionary societies: what we live now was already done in films. The audio-visual language became universal, a new koiné, and everyone can be a producer, diffuser and consumer. Billions of movies are uploaded every day on the platforms, and the virtual world creates the reality. How to empower this collective creativity towards trends able to register and feed new aspirations of young people, in open dimensions that even democracy can benefit of?

Melita Zajc, Associate Professor of Media Communication, AMEU ISH Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jasmina Bojic, Founder and Director, UN Association Film Festival, USA
Firdaus Kharas, Founder, Chocolate Moose Media, USA
Giacomo Mazzone, Secretary-General, Eurovisioni, Italy

Roundtable: New Approaches to Build the Next Digital Society

The ancient régime is dying, and we need to find new perspectives, opening to younger generations to allow the growth of a world based on their vision. Traditional, hierarchical systems based on archaic powers are inconsistent with the new digital nature. This new DNA shall be made explicit and become the instrument for the development of the new SDG-inspired society, where software and hardware merge for the transformation of ideas into things and for the creation of correct actions enhanced by artificial yet intimately human intelligences.Participants to the Conversation, plus:

Heidi Tworek, Senior Fellow, Center for International Governance Innovation, USA
Nicol Turner-Lee, Senior Fellow, Brookings, USA
Giuseppe Enne, Founder and Scientific Advisor, Desertification Research Centre, Italy

Conclusion 10:15 AM PDT | 1:15 PM EDT | 6:15 PM WEST | 7:15 PM CEST | 8:15 PM EAT

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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

Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear colleagues,

The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring ReportHuman Rights Watch, the World Bank’s Inclusive Education InitiativeInclusion International and its Catalyst for Inclusive Education programme are co-hosting a side event in the framework of the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The event titled “Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic” is also co-sponsored by the Italian Government, the Mission of Panamá to the United Nations, the International Disability Alliance, Instituto Jô Clemente and the Brazilian Coalition of Inclusive Education.

We invite you to join us in this side event that will be held on Tuesday 15 June at 8:30am – 9:45am EDT (New York time).

Registration linkhttps://hrworg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q0kjeYF4SW2AemQBhl7VjA

Speakers:

  • Opening Remarks: Antonio Caponetto, Director of the Office for Policies in favor of persons with disabilities of the Italian Government (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
  • Moderator: Sue Swenson, President, Inclusion International

Panelists:

  • Gabriela Martinez, Inclusion International Regional Representative (Latin America)
  • Stella Reicher, Inclusion International / Instituto Jô Clemente (Brazil) Self-advocate, Inclusion International (Africa)
  • Karolina Kozik, Human Rights Watch (Italy – inclusive education in practice during COVID-19 example)
  • Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, World Bank IEI Survey “Learners with Disabilities and COVID-19 School Closures”

Closing Remarks: Manos Antoninis, UNESCO GEM Report

For more information, please find our Guide to the Conference of State Parties 2021 at this link: https://inclusion-international.org/cosp-2021/

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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 Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org.

Families and New Technologies: The Challenging Impact of Social Media

Certainly, there are positive aspects of access to internet and social media especially during Covid-19 related shutdowns. However, parents and families around the world also have found themselves vulnerable to a deluge of unwanted negative material such as pornography, sexually explicit messages on Tik Tok or damaging bullying on other social media. Unfortunately, many families are not aware that their children, at younger and younger ages, are viewing this material. The evidence is clear that exposure to such negative content can have a tragic effect leading to depression or even suicide. Data also show that pornography leads to demeaning and abusive treatment of women and can be deleterious to viewers. In addition, the use of pornography has been shown to tear apart the trust and security in a marriage, leading to conflict and divorce.

Panel speakers will share policies that help protect families from harmful use of technology. Other experts will explain the research of the impact of pornography on the personal and family life and practices that help individuals overcome the habit of pornographic viewing. Speakers will also describe how parents can protect their children from harmful exposure to social media and heal together from inappropriate use.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApceutrzotGdWxWzaDPuN7hFv6tM7MU9CT

Speakers: 

  • H.E. Mohamed Al Hassan, Permanent Mission of Oman to the UN
  • Mohamed Ibrahim Elbahi, Charge d’Affaires, Permanent Mission of Sudan to the UN
  • Andrew Love, Founder and Director, High Noon, Content Developer, Educator in sexual integrity and overcoming pornography habits
  • Erica Komisar, LCSW, Family Therapist, Parenting Coach, Author of forthcoming “Raising Resilient Adolescents in the New Age of Anxiety”
  • Kristen Jenson, Founder and Director, Protect Young Minds, Parent educator and author

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

World Press Freedom Global Conference

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April – 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges. The Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia and will be a digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Selected sessions will take place physically in Windhoek, respecting physical distancing and other precautions recommended by the health authorities.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. 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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