misinformation

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

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.

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.

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.

Combating a Pandemic of Misinformation: Teaching Media Literacy

CTAUN is pleased to announce our first online event – a discussion about the way we receive and share information, and how we can  help our students – and ourselves – to tell fact from fiction.
In this age of COVID-19, the rapid spread of misinformation may be as dangerous as the virus itself.   We will examine why people believe and spread misinformation, and we have invited media professionals to offer techniques and resources that help students and educators recognize “red flags”of misinformation (“fake news”).
We will direct special attention to Social Media. We will hear from UN Communications experts about special initiatives underway to stem the spread of misinformation, and how educators and students can participate in this effort.
Please mark the date on your calendar.   Registration will open next week and will also be posted on our website.  There will be no charge for this event. A second webinar “United Nations and Indigenous People”  is planned for January.  Details will be posted on the CTAUN website.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN/

Holocaust Education in Crisis? Challenges and Responses

To mark the anniversary of the November 1938 Pogrom, The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and UNESCO are hosting an online discussion Holocaust education in crisis? Challenges and responses to examine the implications of recent surveys about Holocaust education and possible responses to the challenges and opportunities they raise.
Discussions about Holocaust education usually focus on three main questions: what should be taught, how should it be taught, and to what end? Recent surveys have shown that historical knowledge of the Holocaust is in decline, while related dis- and misinformation is on the rise. Simultaneously, research suggests a connection between students’ positive attitudes towards human rights and activism and their exposure to Holocaust education. Our diverse expert panel considers the implications of this research for their field.
Speakers:

Gretchen Skidmore, Director of Education Initiatives, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States

Debórah Dwork, Founding Director, The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center – CUNY, United States

Stuart Foster, Executive Director of the Center for Holocaust Education, University College London, United Kingdom

Elke Gryglewski, Head of the Educational Department, Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference, Germany

Yael Siman, Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Political Science, Iberoamericana University, Mexico

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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 Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org.