systemic racism

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

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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. 

International Day for People of African Descent

The International Day for People of African Descent will be celebrated for the first time on 31 August 2021. Through this Observance the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.

International days reflect the values that society shares. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.

The United Nations strongly condemns the continuing violent practices and excessive use of force by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent and condemns structural racism in criminal justice systems around the world. The Organization further acknowledges the Transatlantic Slave Trade as one of the darkest chapters in our human history and upholds human dignity and equality for the victims of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism, in particular people of African descent in the African diaspora.

Learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance at un.org/en/observances/african-descent-day.

For further information on the International Decade for “People of African Descent: recognition, justice and development” (2015-2024), please visit un.org/en/observances/decade-people-african-descent.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Return to the Root: Exploring Racism Through Dance

“Return to the Root: Exploring Racism Through Dance” is an online discussion with Mr. Rafael Palacios, the Artistic Director of Afro-Colombian dance company, Sankofa Danzafro, and Dr.Terry-Ann Jones, Lehigh University Director of Africana Studies.

The conversation will be moderated by Mr. Mark Wilson, the Executive Director of Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University. Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, Department of Global Communications, will deliver a brief statement. The discussion explores themes of systemic racism, the legacy of slavery throughout African diaspora populations, and how we can participate in this discussion globally through multiple art forms. The discussion will have Spanish interpretation.

Please register here to attend the discussion. Register here to attend the free dance performance by Sankofa Danzafro: The City of Others.

This event is organized by the Outreach Programme on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, also managed by the Education Outreach Section in the United Nations Department of Global Communications. This year’s theme Ending slavery’s legacy of racism: a global imperative for justice reflects the global movement to end injustices whose roots lie in the slave trade. The theme highlights the importance of educating about the history of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, to bring about an acknowledgment of slavery’s impact on the modern world, and action to address its long-lasting effects. The theme guides the Outreach Programme’s development of educational outreach and remembrance to mobilize action against prejudice, racism and injustice.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Islamophobia & Race: What Are We Afraid Of?

Islamophobia and Race: What Are We Afraid Of?

October 23, 2020 at 10AM EST 

Join the Unitarian Universalist Association at the United Nations (UUA), the NGO Committee on Human Rights, and the Burma Task Force for a global conversation on faith-based discrimination and ethnic genocide. This discussion will explore the experiences of the Muslim community worldwide, while examining the intersectional ways in which Islamophobia and racism interact to perpetuate harmful preconceptions and prejudice. Speakers representing Myanmar, Sudan, Tibet, and the United States will reflect on their unique sociocultural identity and how Islamophobia continues to intricately impact multiple dimensions of their lives. Our esteemed panelists include: Zaw Win Nyunt, Intercommunal Peacemaker in Burma; Mariam Abdalgadir, Sudanese community activist and artist based in Bay Area, California; and Mariam Osmanu, Ghanaian and Nigerian graduate student from NYU Silver School of Social Work based in the Bronx, New York. As we interrogate structural and interpersonal bias against those who practice Islam, we should be asking ourselves: What are we afraid of?

Register in advance for this meeting: https://uua.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkceuprDIsHNTk4eU8OiubL-GmdvgA_-r3

______________________________________________________________________________________________

CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org and/or bobbinassar@yahoo.com. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

{Virtual} UN75 Global Governance Forum (Day 1)

OPENING PLENARY

9:00am – 10:30am

Livestream Link: https://livestream.com/accounts/22723452/UN75GGForumSept16

Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/REUF-0065

CONCURRENT DIALOGUES

Post-COVID Recovery and the Future of Global Economic and Social Governance
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86964411976  Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/BBWD-3967

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center has tracked more than 25 million confirmed cases of the virus globally, already causing nearly 850 thousand deaths (by 1 September 2020). The remarkable speed, global reach, and ease by which the virus crossed borders and is being transmitted between people have sent stock markets tumbling worldwide, with the World Bank projecting the deepest global recession since World War II (an estimated 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020). This excessive volatility, the sudden drop in confidence by consumers, and severe knock-on economic and social effects have resulted in a swift overnight contraction in cross-border finance, trade, air travel, and other sectors of our hyperconnected global economy, as well as millions of job losses. This session will examine measures to overhaul our system of global economic and social governance, both to respond to the immediate challenge of recovery from COVID-19 and redouble efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Rethinking the World’s System of Collective Security 75 Years After San Francisco
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89314705291 Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/JJUP-0643

75 years after its inception, the United Nations faces daunting challenges regarding one of its main tasks: the maintenance of international peace and security. Multiple, concurrent, and recurring intrastate conflicts, exploited by international state and non-state actors, have reversed the declining global trends in political violence witnessed since the end of the Cold War, fueling refugee movements and human suffering, particularly in the fragile and less developed countries. Moreover, the modernization of nuclear weapons arsenals and the collapse of the existing control and disarmament regimes are adding to the global threat scenario. At the same time, the growing roles of women, civil society organizations, and businesses, whose voices are amplified through modern communications technologies, offer new opportunities for effective peacebuilding and governance reform and renewal while more research illustrates the effectiveness of organizing and nonmilitary approaches to security. The complexity of the 21st-century challenges to global peace and security requires a far-reaching overhaul of a peace and security architecture with the United Nations at its core. This discussion, therefore, takes off with a set of proposed reforms to the peace and security architecture of the United Nations that were developed in expert discussions prior to the September 2020 Forum.

Reimagining the Global Human Rights and Humanitarian Architecture
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84866014310 Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/XXTS-2744

Though a latecomer to the United Nations system’s informal “pillar structure” (and despite fears of backsliding in recent years), human rights has assumed over the past two decades a central space on the United Nations Agenda, alongside more traditional concerns with peace and security and sustainable development. Similarly, with the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, the worst refugee crisis worldwide since the Second World War, and proliferation of urgent human needs accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic, the viability and design of the global humanitarian system has also moved to the forefront of international policy-making. This session will explore steps to reimagine and improve the global human rights and humanitarian architecture, leveraging the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary Commemoration and Declaration in novel ways to ensure that “We The Peoples” drive deliberations on the future of global governance.

Climate Governance: The Paris Agreement and Beyond
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86051900433 Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/XVKP-4679

The currently inadequate global governance mechanisms leave humanity exposed to unacceptable levels of risk. Climate and ecological related risks are also interwoven with knock-on effects across other sectors. The window for action is narrowing for the international community, and the current situation calls for unprecedented levels of international cooperation and exponential action across every region of the world, and across the global economy. In response to these catastrophic risks, a number of new business models and technical solutions have been developed and are increasingly being accepted and implemented. However, a truly transformational shift away from a fossil fuel dependency will require global governance solutions that facilitate existing and new ways of delivering on policy goals as described in the Paris Agreement and beyond. This session will explore the leverage points in global climate governance which may allow for solutions to scale and to catalyze the necessary transformation.

A Global Civic Ethic, Countering Rising Nationalism, and The Future of Global Governance
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84617435437 Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/MHTX-2168

Especially in an age of rising nationalism, modernizing and making more inclusive our institutions of global governance requires more than creative, often technocratic proposals recommending new tools and structural change. True global governance transformation must be underpinned by a moral and ethical vision for a more just, inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful world. Drawing insights and teachings from major world religions, philosophers, public intellectuals, and other global civil society actors, this session will speak to the moral and ethical principles associated with growing emergence of a Global Civic Ethics and the accompanying notions of global responsibility and citizenship. The roots of — and effective strategies for countering — exclusive forms of nationalism (which undermine and erode efforts to strengthen global cooperation and responsibility) will also be explored.

The Future of Philanthropy in Global Governance
Day and time: Day 1, September 16, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Livestream Webinar Link: https://livestream.com/accounts/22723452/UN75GGForumFOP                                                       Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/YYTU-3866

This lively and interactive session will feature leading voices in the philanthropic sector working, in partnership with civil society, the private sector, governments, and the UN system, to build a more inclusive, effective, and just system of global governance. The dialogue will be framed around the past and present advances in global governance philanthropy, as well as future considerations for philanthropy and global governance systems. It will consider how philanthropic institutions worldwide can best empower and catalyze other partners seeking to achieve progressive changes in the global governance architecture, to better address issues of equitable sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security.

Technology, Financing and Global Governance Partnerships for Good Global Citizenship
Day and time: Day 1, Sept. 16, 12:00 – 1:30pm EST

Zoom Webinar Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89808827586 Translation Link: https://attend.wordly.ai/join/FJZN-0000

In this challenging time, the need for universal connectivity and inclusive finance is greater than ever before. With the backdrop of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary, this session will explore how rapid advances in technology for digital cooperation and new perspectives of global citizens (private and corporate, national and multinational) can advance a more fair global economy for the better. The speakers include thought leaders who are innovating how global collective action problems can be addressed in our hyperconnected global economy. This interactive dialogue will give special attention to transformative approaches for fostering a more secure, just, equitable, and environmentally sustainable recovery to the COVID-19 crisis.

Urgent Debate: UN Human Rights Council — “Race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests”

THE DEBATE CAN BE VIEWED AT UNTV: webtv.un.org

The UN Human Rights Council will be holding an urgent debate on “race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests.” This unprecedented meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:00pm Geneva time (9:00am New York time).

Last Friday, the African Group (which represents the 54 African countries in the United Nations) submitted a request for an Urgent Debate during this week’s Council session which resumed after it was suspended in March due to COVID-19. While the request for an “Urgent Debate” (which is technically equivalent to a special session) is not specific to the U.S., it is very clear that racism and impunity for police killings of people of African descent in the United States including recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were the impetus for the request.

George Floyd’s tragic murder has sparked what appears to be an unstoppable global movement demanding concrete and bold actions to end racist policing practices and impunity for police violence.

While there is a  recognition that the global nature of racism and police violence, there is now an invitation to encourage governments, especially members of the UN Human Rights Council, to ensure that the Urgent Debate and its outcome, are focused on efforts to hold the United States accountable. The recommendation is the creation of an independent international accountability mechanism to document and investigate extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black men and women, and police violence against protesters and journalists.

We are encouraged to contact foreign embassies in Washington D.C. that are members of the UNHRC (see list here) especially U.S. allies and urge them to support international accountability for police killings in the U.S. This is a call made by families of victims of police killings in the United States and over 660 groups from 66 countries to mandate an independent Commission of Inquiry.