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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. 

RE-JUST Towards a victim-centered criminal justice system: talking about trauma

The final conference of the RE-JUST project is a forum for discussion criminal justice systems and improving victims’ access to justice. Join our online event on 17th September to be inspired by knowledge and ideas from experienced professionals in the fields of law, criminology, and psychology.

We will first discuss structural issues for developing more victim-centered criminal justice systems, such as legislation, multidisciplinary cooperation, and how to provide victims with information on their rights. Then, we move on to understand how trauma can manifest in the criminal justice system and how criminal justice actors can in practice provide justice in a trauma-informed manner.

The event will be participated by a variety of speakers: Prosecutor General of Finland, Raija Toiviainen, President of Association Pro Refugiu, Silvia Antoaneta Berbec, Adjunct professor, and co-leader of a research group in legal psychology at Åbo Akademi University, Dr. Julia Korkman, Professor of procedural law at University of Turku, Johanna Niemi, and many more. View the full program here.

Register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice , please visit crimealliance.org. 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. 

Art and Climate: Creative Tools to Shape the Climate Discourse

Join the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for the penultimate session of our Climate Justice Webinar Series with the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy!

In the 6th edition of the series, we are welcoming Yessenia Funes, Climate Editor of Atmos Magazine, Finn Harries, Co-founder of Earthrise Studio and Henry McGhie, Founder of Curating Tomorrow, Reimagining Museums for Climate Action.

This webinar will explore the intersections of art, activism, creatives and environmental justice for effective climate awareness strategies. We will discuss art and design-based methods to engage more people in the climate discourse and reimagine our relationship with nature.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FwyZVVGPSjiSnXv0wgNKXQ

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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 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.

Autumn kick-off of NGO Committee on Ageing NY

Autumn kick-off of NGO Committee on Ageing regular monthly program

NGO COA-NY and the UNITED NATIONS: Update and a look ahead

Opening: Dr. Cynthia Stuen, Chair, NGO Committee on Ageing

  • Overview NGO COA’s activities during the past year and looking ahead in terms of its goals for the coming year
  • Introduction of new members of the Executive Committee, and Chairs of Subcommittees
  • New Decade of Healthy Ageing Knowledge Platform: decadeofhealthyage

10:30 am – 11:10 am

  • International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2021 – Ms. Erica Dhar (AARP) and Ms. Magda Kaczmarska (Generations United), Co-chairs of event
  • NGO participation in UN activities – Ms. Susan Somers (International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse) and Ms. Frances Zainoeddin (Soroptimist International)
  • Standing up for the rights of older persons – an event on 14 October 2021: A focus on the USA and Canada – Dr. Cynthia Stuen, International Federation on Ageing

11:10 am – 11:25 am

  • Secretary-General’s annual report to the General Assembly
    Ms. Amal About Rafeh, Chief, Programme Unit on Ageing, UN/DESA

11:25 – 11:30 am Closing

No registration necessary. Join the meeting via Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84134007168

The NGO Committee on Ageing also urges you REGISTER for the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2021.

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on Ageing-NY is one of the Substantive Committeeof the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). Likewise, 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. 

Panel discussion on Kiss the Ground documentary & regenerative agriculture

Greetings, Colleagues!
You are warmly invited to join in on a panel discussion on regenerative agriculture this coming Monday, September 13, 7 PM EDT.  We have three stellar panelists lined up to discuss the documentary “Kiss the Ground.”
This event is free and open to anyone who’s interested in learning more about regenerative agriculture and how it can stabilize our local foodsheds.

Watch the documentary Kiss the Ground in advance (for free!) if you haven’t already!  We will not be showing the film during our panel session, so be sure to check out the instructions below to view it ahead of time. Our panelists are Vel Scott, Stephen Cochenour, and Cody Rakes, and they’ll share some unique perspectives from urban to rural, classroom to community and beyond!

From Loretto Community’s Farm & Land Committee and Loretto Earth Network (LEN):
You may have heard of regenerative agriculture as a practical way to address climate change, but do you know what it is? Join us for a two-part educational series to learn more.  All are welcome!
1. Watch the documentary Kiss the Ground at your own convenience before September 13. (See below for instructions on how to access it.)
2. On Monday, 13 September, 2021, at 7:00 pm EDT: Join us for an online panel discussion of the film via Zoom:

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89759791735?pwd=OS94L2RUR3R3bWxhdGJmR05HbVdpdz09

Meeting ID: 897 5979 1735
Passcode: 371451

Instructions on how to access the documentary Kiss the Ground:
If you have time, we encourage you to watch the full length feature version which is 1 hour 25 minutes.  Here is the link:

Kiss the Ground full length

Password: viva

Some may be interested but find yourselves short on time.  In that case, you have the option of watching this 45 minute educational version:

Kiss the Ground 45 min. educational

Password: schools

The panel discussion will be kick started by your questions and comments.  After watching the film, please send any questions or responses to Jessie Rathburn, Loretto Earth Education and Advocacy Coordinator, at jrathburn@lorettocommunity.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 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

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.

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

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