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[deadline] Call to Civil Society Youth: Int’l Youth Day 2021 ‘Transforming Food Systems’

For International Youth Day on August 12, 2021, the United Nations Civil Society Unit is celebrating youth voices. The theme of this year Youth Day is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.” The day aims to highlight the notion that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

Everyday, young people all over the globe work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Department of Global Communications is aiming to share these successes with our Civil Society network to celebrate youth and to encourage more youth to become involved by becoming the change they want to see in the world.

Please submit text and video responses for a chance to be featured in our International Youth Day Celebration: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2zWeD09UYE-9zF6kFubccOvTA93e0tRCpxiXcqYBlUVUQThKS1U5NTkwMDRGQ0ozOUlKTlgwM1lITyQlQCN0PWcu

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.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

Sustainable Ageing in a Digital World

Objectives:

An increasing number of concerns have been raised regarding the risks of leaving vulnerable groups behind in a hyper-digitalised world which includes older and marginalised populations. Therefore, digital inclusion needs to be a top priority in terms of public policy making from a human rights and from an economic productivity point of view. The latter is of particular importance for countries that do not yet have an adequate social safety net for their citizens and also for countries faced with the challenge of older persons soon outnumbering the younger population. Responsive policies could empower the older population who are not yet digitally proficient to reap the potential benefits of the digital technology and support their participation in an increasingly digitalized economy and society.

An ageing workforce poses a known dilemma to companies. Older employees who hold more manual and less highly skilled jobs tend to be less familiar with ICT and less equipped to participate in today’s digitalised workplace. Excluding older workers and employees from acquiring digital literacy and minimal competence to work in an ICT dense workplace would reduce retraining costs but might jeopardize productivity and externalise social costs. For example, in service sector where companies’ productivity might actually increase with age due to accumulation of tacit knowledge and abilities to network across age groups with clients. This will take younger employees more time, emotional intelligence and social capital. Hence productivity might be higher for a socially skillful older staff. While many routine works continue to be necessary within an ICT integrated work environment, older workers, arguably with greater patience, are better equipped to carry out the more routine data processing tasks with less errors and need for rework.

Inclusion of older workers in the development of digital competence would also make sense since many of the customer services and other more routine type of work connected to data platform interactions will continue to require a human touch for all age groups. A later life work pattern will become the norm in many of the ageing societies. Hence, acquiring digital literacy would enable older workers to remain active and productive longer. The aim of this panel is to broaden the public’s understanding about the impact of digital technology on ageing in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) which has accelerated the coverage and depth of digitalization in both public and private domains.

The key note speech will be based on the newly published policy brief on “Ageing in the Digital Era” by the UNECE and highlight the barriers to digital technology adoption and the use of digital tools in later life and suggest action areas for policy makers. Panelists will discuss various policy considerations for governments to adopt.

Learn more and register here: https://hopin.com/events/unisa-iasia-hybrid-conference

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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. 

[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. 

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slaverythe Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.

Join us for the 5th installment of this Live Discussion Series:

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public.

In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.

Register here: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R2NKoD1CR2aIVHXygJKYVA

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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 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

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.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Cultural events cancelled, cultural institutions closed, community cultural practices suspended, empty UNESCO World Heritage sites, heightened risk of looting of cultural sites and poaching at natural sites, artists unable to make ends meet and the cultural tourism sector greatly affected… The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector is being felt around the world. This impact is social, economic and political – it affects the fundamental right of access to culture, the social rights of artists and creative professionals, and the protection of a diversity of cultural expressions.

The unfolding crisis risks deepening inequalities and rendering communities vulnerable. In addition, the creative and cultural industries (CCI) contribute US$2,250bn to the global economy (3% of GDP) and account for 29.5 million jobs worldwide. The economic fall-out of not addressing the cultural sector – and all auxiliary services, particularly in the tourism sector – could also be disastrous. (source “Culture & COVID-19: Impact and Response Tracker – Issue 2

Why does cultural diversity matter?

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.

At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

To read more about the origin of this observance and peruse relevant materials, visit un.org/en/observances/cultural-diversity-day.

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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

 

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a frontline technology with profound implications for human beings, cultures, societies and the environment. AI has the potential to be our ally in the struggle for a more equitable, fair, and sustainable future. It is remarkable that AI generated some of the earliest alerts about the COVID-19 outbreak, even before it was confirmed, by routinely scanning hundreds or thousands of governmental and media data sources in multiple languages. This analytical capacity has also helped accelerate the discovery of the vaccines, and even understanding the protein structures. Self-learning algorithms and smart machines are playing an increasingly important role in our efforts to recover from the current crisis. Digital platforms and infrastructure have been broadened to keep our economies, our schools and our societies going.

We must always keep in mind that AI technologies also possess significant risks and challenges, especially in terms of deepening the existing divides, exacerbating gender disparities, and infringing on human dignity and human rights. This is why there are many initiatives that have emerged to ensure that these technologies help to overcome the current crisis and mitigate future risks, while tackling the downsides. Thus, the European Union is launching its AI rulebook and UNESCO member states are negotiating the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.

This high level session is aimed at taking stock of where we are and how to move forward with the tools that we have and that are about to be developed. Speakers will share their perspectives on how to make sure that developments in these technologies do not create new forms of exclusion and inequalities, including gender, and how to justly distribute the benefits.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KKDgPi8ESj6ACfGeMhB9ng

View the full program and list of speakers here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/353

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28U.  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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

2021 International Day of Families: “Families and New Technologies”

Please join the International Day of Families online webinar, “Families and New Technologies” on Friday, May 14 from 10 to 11:30 am EDT. This is sponsored by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The focus will be on the megatrends of new technology, analysis of their impacts on family life, and recommendations for responsive family-oriented policies to harness the positive aspects of those trends and counteract their negative facets. Discussion will follow-up on the theme of the 59th session of the Commission for Social Development “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.”
Watch the event live on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/UNDESASocial

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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