private sector accountability

Access Ends Hunger: How Can We Improve Access to Essential Resources?

This last year has highlighted incredible disparities in access to essential resources. The World Food Programme estimates that, due to COVID-19, 111 million more people are without access to sufficient nutrition. And UNICEF has determined that 500 million students are cut off from remote learning options at a time when remote learning is their only option.

Equitable access to critical resources such as education, technology and healthcare is an essential part of ending hunger. With access, people are able to leverage their own capacity and build better futures for themselves and their communities. So, how exactly does bridging gaps in access end hunger and poverty?

Join us Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 – 10:15 AM ET to find out!

Join Hunger Project leaders and our Goodwill Ambassador, Dora Nyambe, in a conversation about the importance of improving access to technology, health care and education. Importantly, they’ll also explore the challenges of removing barriers that prevent equitable access in Africa.

Speakers:

  • Irene Naikaali Ssentongo, Head of Programs in Uganda
  • Samuel Mutambo, National Program Director in Zambia
  • Dora Nyambe, Goodwill Ambassador to The Hunger Project
  • Moderated by our President & CEO Tim Prewitt

Learn more about the speakers and register for the event here.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

Strengthening Sustainable Forest and Ocean Management to Mitigate Climate Change

Session 3 of the UN DESA Global Policy Dialogues for Climate Action

Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 8:00 – 9:30 am EDT

  • How do the restoration and protection of forests and the ocean help address the climate change and biodiversity crises?
  • How should countries and the private sector best identify, finance and mentor sustainable forest and ocean management systems? 
  • How do we ensure that sustainable forest and ocean management is inclusive?

Leading voices in the fields of forest and ocean ecosystem restoration and management will discuss practical approaches for using these natural resources in ways that minimize the impacts of climate change, all in the context of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cross-cutting issues such as financing, governance, data and leaving no one behind will be part of the discussion.

Register here by 25 May 2021: bit.ly/climate26may

The event is free and open to all, and will be streamed live on UN DESA’s Facebook page. It will be held in English with captions available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The event is made possible by the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund. All are welcome!

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

COVID-19 and the Increasing Risks of Substandard and Falsified Pharmaceutical Products in Africa

Dear CoNGO members,

I am delighted to get in touch with you for the first time since the Brazzaville Foundation’s membership in November 2020 to the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO).

On the occasion of the upcoming World Health Assembly and Africa Day, the Brazzaville Foundation is pleased to invite you to an online high-level roundtable on Tuesday 25th May to discuss “Covid-19 and the Increasing Risks of Substandard and Falsified Pharmaceutical Products in Africa: A public health and security issue”. High-level speakers are expected such as Prof. Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister of Health of the Republic of Togo; Michel Sidibé, African Union Special Envoy for the African Medicines Agency (AMA) and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

If you are interested in taking part in global health and security discussions, please register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Z0sYZHfPQnWICzmnQY2r0g. Simultaneous translation will be available in French/English.

We are eager to share this event with you and we look forward to collaborating together in the future.

Best regards,

Richard Amalvy, Chief Executive, The Brazzaville Foundation

À l’occasion de la 74e Assemblée mondiale de la Santé et de la Journée de l’Afrique, la Fondation Brazzaville réunira des intervenants de haut niveau pour discuter des enjeux de santé publique et de sécurité liés aux risques croissants des médicaments falsifiés et de qualité inférieure dans le contexte de la pandémie de la COVID-19. Traduction simultanée en français/anglais.

Background notes:

Poor-quality medicines can be both falsified and substandard:

  • Falsified medicines are deliberately fake medical products. Criminals manufacture, traffic and sell fake products to unsuspecting customers.
  • Substandard medicines can be the result of poor manufacturing and quality-control practices in the manufacture or distribution of the product.

Poor-quality medicines lead to death and illness:

  • Both fake and substandard medicines pose a threat to public health because they can lead to death, additional illness in individuals, the spread of disease within a community and antibiotic resistance.
  • The link between the traffic in falsified medicines and organised crime has been well established by intelligence services and law enforcement agencies. They are smuggled onto markets using the same routes and techniques as drug, weapon, or human trafficking.
  • Transnational organised crime also funds terrorism, destabilising countries and weakening state structures.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. 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

International Day for Biological Diversity

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually.

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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.

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Government Services

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4waiI4cJTRCpn5f8M6jdWg

Digital government services are vital for developing a digital economy that benefits all citizens by expanding access to critical services such as health, education, and social protection. Countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years are increasingly looking to national digital strategies and agendas to transform the way they do business and improve the lives of their citizens. Current challenges to digital government include lack of coordination, the habit of working in siloes, funding constraints, and the absence of scalable solutions, all posing significant constraints to digital transformation in government. Amid the increasing pressure to act, countries do not have the time nor the luxury to reinvent the wheel or review fragmented and duplicated investments. This further increases costs and inefficiencies.

A “Whole-of-Government” platform approach to developing government services through the reuse and minimal customization of quick and easy to adopt building blocks is at the heart of the success of digital government services projects. Open-source models for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach, are an optimal solution to solving these issues in a cost-efficient and scalable manner.

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

For more information, full agenda, and the list of panelists: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/416

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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=cYA8UauD28UFor 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

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.

CRNGO Climate Working Group advocacy meeting

Good afternoon colleagues,
Eid Mubaak to those of you celebrating / recognizing Eid ul Fitr. As discussed on at the 3 May meeting, the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations’ Working Group on Climate will have an informal, 60-min meeting to discuss COP26 Advocacy this coming Monday, 17 May, at 10:00 am EDT.
The agenda will be simple:
  • Bring along your organization’s plans / ideas  for Advocacy to share (or if you don’t have a plan, come and learn and support others who do!)
PS – just FYI, here’s some info on the upcoming UN Decade of Ecological Restoration:

Even amidst the global pandemic and climate crisis challenges, the Good News is that it’s almost time for the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.  In an effort to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) has developed many resources to share on June 5, 2021, which is World Environment Day. (See more information here: worldenvironmentday.global)

To help us take action in this next decade, UNEP has published a practical guide to ecosystem restoration called the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook – it provides an introduction to a range of actions that can slow the degradation of ecosystems and foster their recovery. Designed for all interested individuals and stakeholder groups, this guide outlines three pathways to getting involved in ecosystem restoration during the UN Decade and beyond:

· Taking action such as starting or support an on-the-ground restoration project

· Making smart choices like buying only sustainable products and changing diets

· Raising your voice in support of ecosystem conservation and restoration

You can find more information, as well as a link to this 21-page guide, here:  https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/

So join in on restoring one or more of the eight key types of ecosystems – forests, farmlands, grassland and savannahs, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, towns and cities, peatlands, and mountains – and become part of #GenerationRestoration !

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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 Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Improving Civil Society’s Limited Access to The Green Climate Fund

Following the launch of the paper “Improving Civil Society’s Limited Access to The Green Climate Fund” on 28 April 2021, CIDSE is pleased to invite you to the CSO engagement webinar on the topic, to be held on 05 May 2021. The online seminar will present the findings of this report, which include policy recommendations based on an analysis of GCF policies and lessons learned from five case studies.

Please find more information below:

We are excited to have you join us! As a reminder, this is an opportunity for CSOs big and small, including those in countries where GCF projects may happen.

More info & registration:

https://www.cidse.org/2021/04/28/new-study-cidse-publishes-a-report-on-csos-access-to-the-green-climate-fund-an-analysis-of-policies-and-experiences-from-case-studies/

Agenda:

15:00 Welcome & Introduction

15:10-15:30 Keynote by Thomas Hirsch (Climate and Development Advice) on the results of a new CIDSE report on “improving civil society’s limited access to the green climate fund”, along with policy recommendations. This research is based on an analysis of GCF policies and lessons learned from five case studies

15:30 Introducing the Panel for comments

15:35 Lessons from development finance to strengthen climate finance – Leia Achampong, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer – Climate Finance, Eurodad – Brussels

15:45 Expanding on experiences from Global South partner – Julius Ng’oma, CISONECC – Civil Society Network on Climate Change, Malawi

15:55 Policy perspective from a former GCF board member or expert interviewees (tbc)

16:05 Q&As from the floor to all speakers

16:25 Conclusion

Press contact: Valentina Pavarotti, CIDSE Communications Manager: pavarotti(at)cidse.org

For those of you who don’t know CIDSE, we are an international family of Catholic social justice organizations working for transformational change to end poverty and inequalities, challenging systemic injustice, inequity, destruction of nature and promoting just and environmentally sustainable alternatives.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

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.

ASPBAE Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Education Financing

Dear ASPBAE Members and Friends,
We cordially  invite you to join the ASPBAE Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Education Financing which will be held on Monday, 26 April 2021, at 1:00 pm Manila time (Philippine Standard Time).
This is a key Asia Pacific event as part of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) held from 26-30 April and the One Billion Voices Campaign, both coordinated by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and supported by ASPBAE. Each regional network member of GCE is holding an event on a different day of GAWE, and the Asia Pacific event by ASPBAE is the first one to start the week on Monday 26 April.
We hope you can join us in this event and encourage your colleagues to participate as well. There is no registration process required. Join the Zoom Meeting here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86001255005?pwd=M0h2ZVV3ZGY5VG51Zzl5OUZORDBlQT09
Meeting ID: 860 0125 5005; Passcode: 850131

The event will be attended by three senior government officials, one each from Timor Leste, the Philippines and Bangladesh speaking, along with a presentation from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), as well as a presentation from ASPBAE and a youth representative from NCE Nepal. There will be space at the end of the speeches and inputs for a number of questions to the speakers.

Objective:

The objective of the Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue on Education Financing is to encourage governments to mobilise national resources that can ensure inclusive education systems and programmes that prioritise the most marginalised.

Rationale:

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a huge gap between education spending, and what was actually needed to achieve SDG4. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated this gap, and has led to a curtailment of funding by donors and governments for the education of its people. More than ever, it is important for governments to step up and protect national education budgets, and even better, to increase them, especially to enable education access to rural and remote communities, people with disabilities, those that are missing out on school, unemployed youth, and those that have no access to online learning opportunities.

This online event is part of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE), an annual international week of campaigning for improved national education policies and increased national education budgets. The theme of GAWE this year is education financing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4). GAWE is part of a year-long campaign organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) called One Billion Voices.

Rallying Call: ‘Protect Education Budgets: reach the most marginalised’

Main speakers:

  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair, Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture
  • Dr. António Guterres, Vice Minister for Education, Youth and Sport, Timor-Leste
  • Mr. Md. Mahbub Hossain, Secretary, Secondary and Higher Education Division, Ministry of Education in Bangladesh
  • GPE presentation: recorded message from Ms Margarita Focas Licht, Chief, Effective Partnerships
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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.
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