UN charter

Panel Discussion on Deepening Inequalities Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and their Implications for the Realization of Human Rights

Join us at HRC48 for this half-day panel discussion on 28 September from 15:00 to 17:00 CET.

Background documents, the concept note and full agenda are available here: ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Panel_Discussion_Inequalities_COVID19.aspx

Date and venue:

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 3 to 5 p.m. Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva and online platform (Zoom)

To be webcast live and archived at http://webtv.un.org

Objectives:

As States work to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will address inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and their implications for the realization of human rights. This discussion aims to identify ways to alleviate inequality within and among States by sharing best practices, solutions to challenges and lessons learned, including in the context of integrated approaches to the promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – paying particular attention to Goal 10 on reducing inequality. The meeting will also address the role of greater international cooperation in further reducing inequalities within and among States.

The objectives are:

  • To highlight and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the goal to reduce inequality, with a particular emphasis on the requirement of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health to eliminate vaccine inequality. Recognition that no one is safe until everyone is safe will also be looked at from a human rights perspective as will the necessity of vaccine equality in promoting and protecting all human rights;
  • To identify the role of the promotion and protection of human rights and technical cooperation in setting priorities and addressing gaps in the global vaccine roll out. The focus will be on the importance of the human rights approach in addition to the moral and ethical case;
  • To understand how to better use the United Nations human rights mechanisms to advance vaccine equality as a necessary step in the promotion and protection of all human rights and how to provide technical cooperation in this regard;
  • To address how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the digital divide – using education to illustrate how the divide detrimentally affects the realisation of human rights – and to engage in a constructive dialogue among States and other stakeholders about sharing good practices and experience with regard to overcoming the digital divide and ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all;
  • To identify concrete steps for building back better, including by reversing the impact of austerity and economic inequalities and realising a human rights-based economy.

Organized by:

Development Economic Social issues Branch
Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.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.

Climate Week NYC 2021: Getting It Done

Climate Week NYC, taking place September 20-26, returns for 2021 with a focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations. It is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase leading climate action and discuss how to do more, fast.

Hosted annually by international non-profit the Climate Group in conjunction with the United National General Assembly, and in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York, Climate Week NYC is a global opportunity to come together to accelerate climate action and assess progress ahead of COP26.

Peruse the entire Official Events Program here: climateweeknyc.org.

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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

Uniting to Dismantle Racism and Militarism in U.S. Foreign Policy

The major challenges facing Americans today – racial and gender injustice, economic inequality, pandemic disease, climate change – cannot be solved without international solidarity and human compassion.  Endless wars and endless Pentagon spending only exacerbate these problems, making people at home and abroad less safe.  Without addressing the racism and militarism at the core of U.S. foreign policy, progress toward a more sustainable, just, and peaceful world will not be possible.

Please join us for a webinar to explore how progressive groups working on a wide variety of domestic and foreign policy issues can join together to dismantle structures of militarism and white supremacy

Speakers include:

• Salih Booker, President and CEO, Center for International Policy
• Shailly Barnes, Policy Director, Kairos Center and Poor People’s Campaign
• Diana Duarte, Director of Policy and Strategic Engagement, MADRE
• Tobita Chow, Founding Director, Justice is Global
• Diana Ohlbaum, Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation (moderator)

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvcumrrT0vGtOXAq3fM6tBj7AerKMTqD1i

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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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

32nd World Peace Festival

Namaste Dear Friends,
Please join and celebrate with us at the 32nd Annual “World Peace Festival” & Intl. Day of Peace celebration.
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Time: 10 AM – 1 PM EDT New York (7:30 PM India)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Livestream link on Facebook from the World Yoga Community – HQ: facebook.com/groups/235426709956668

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CoNGO Notes: The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations is one of the Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

76th Session of the UN General Assembly

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) will open on Tuesday, 14 September 2021. The first day of the high-level General Debate will be Tuesday, 21 September 2021.

As more information becomes available, it will be posted here: sdg.iisd.org/events/76th-session-of-the-un-general-assembly-unga-76

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CoNGO Notes: For information about the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO), and its commitment to the ideals and objectives of the United Nations, see www.ngocongo.org

Reclaiming Industrial Policy: Putting Policymaking Theory into Practice

UNCTAD15 pre-event:

Reclaiming Industrial Policy – Putting Policymaking Theory into Practice

Event co-organized with the OECD Development Centre

This webinar is the fourth of a four-part webinar series aimed at assessing what the emerging new consensus around industrial policymaking means and involves, particularly for developing countries. Tapping into the expertise of the recently launched Oxford Handbook on Industrial Policy and using the case studies offered by the Productive Transformation Policy Reviews (PTPRs), this fourth webinar will explore how the key principles that characterize the “new consensus” enshrined in the handbook shall be put into practice in countries that differ along several economic, political and social dimensions, and that face very different constraints.

Purpose and key objectives

The purpose of this event is to discuss how the key principles that characterize the “new consensus” around industrial policymaking enshrined in the Oxford Handbook on Industrial Policy shall be put into practice in countries that differ along several economic, political and social dimensions, and that face very different constraints. The case studies offered by the UNCTAD initiatives such as the PTPRs will serve as an anchor for the more general debate. The event will also represent the closure of a series of webinars that, tapping into the expertise of the recently launched Oxford Handbook on Industrial Policy, explore some of the challenges and areas of debate around industrial policy making.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4wJBII2oR8iiN1vMKMDMrg

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.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

From Words to Action: The UN Secretary General’s “Our Common Agenda” Report

The UN Secretary-General’s much anticipated “Our Common Agenda” report will be presented to the General Assembly on Friday, September 10 2021 at 10am EDT.

Watch live on UN webTV at 10:00 am EDT here: media.un.org/en/webtv

The report follows the UN75 Declaration, adopted September 21 2020, when member states commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations promised to fulfill 12 key commitments across the global agenda and mandated the Secretary-General “to report back with recommendations to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges.”

Reflecting the importance of the Our Common Agenda report, the Secretary-General’s office initiated preparations earlier this year that included consultations with Member States, youth representatives, UN officials, academic experts and civil society. The report on the “We the Peoples” online consultations with civil society, which generated 523 proposals for a stronger UN from 1,759 participants from 147 countries, will also be released September 10.

In a letter sent to UN missions in August, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Coalition for the UN We Need (C4UN) and Danilo Türk, President of the Club de Madrid called on world leaders at the upcoming General Assembly High-level segment to reinforce the necessity of collective action to strengthen multilateralism.

According to Espinosa, “We recognize that responding to the challenges and threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the overriding priority for governments around the world. But the pandemic also reinforces the social solidarity and awareness of humanity’s shared need to strengthen global cooperation.”

Upcoming C4UN communications will provide additional information and analysis on the Common Agenda report as well as events in September and October where the reports recommendations will be discussed in greater detail. Read the Regional Consultations report here.

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty: Protocol and the Way Forward

The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ Treaty) was signed in Bangkok on 15 December 1995 by 10 Southeast Asian States (ASEAN Member States) and entered into force on 27 March 1997, committing the region to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in line with the 1971 Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN). The webinar falls under the implementation of Action 5 of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Agenda for Disarmament: Securing Our Common Future, which aims to strengthen and consolidate nuclear-weapon-free zones, including by facilitating enhanced cooperation and consultation between existing zones, encouraging nuclear-weapon States (NWS) to adhere to the relevant protocols to the treaties establishing such zones.

Co-organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, this event aims to raise awareness on the issue of the SEANWFZ Treaty and to generate ideas for accelerating the signing and ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty by the NWS.

The webinar is open for participation by New York, Geneva and Vienna-based diplomats, academia and representatives of civil society. Speakers will engage in a moderated discussion representing different perspectives on the challenges surrounding implementation of the SEANWFZ, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Register here!

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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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

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