war

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

2021 observance: “Building back better: Supporting survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in the context of pandemic recovery”

Join us from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT on Thursday, 17 June 2021 via UN WebTV live webcast

Commemorating the 7th official observance, this year’s virtual event is co-hosted by the Office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Office of the SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict and the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations.

The purpose of the event is to stand in solidarity with the survivors and those working to support them on the frontlines, often at great personal risk, particularly in the current climate of intersecting crises. The event will provide a platform for strategic reflection on ways to integrate the specific rights, needs and perspectives of survivors of CRSV into national and regional COVID-19 response and recovery plans, to ensure they are not forgotten in a climate of intersecting crises and constrained resources.

The impact of COVID-19 on survivors of conflict-related sexual violence

The chronic underreporting of conflict-related sexual violence, due to stigma, insecurity, fear of reprisals, and lack of services, has been compounded by COVID-19 containment measures. Lockdowns, curfews, quarantines, fears of contracting or transmitting the virus, mobility restrictions, and limited access to services and safe spaces, as shelters closed and clinics were repurposed for the pandemic response, added a layer of complexity to existing structural, institutional and sociocultural barriers to reporting.

Proactive measures to foster an enabling environment for survivors to safely come forward and seek redress have become more urgent than ever. The pandemic has laid bare the intersecting inequalities that plague our societies, as compounded by conflict, displacement, and institutional fragility. The only solution for these overlapping ills is an injection of political resolve and resources equal to the scale of the challenge.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.  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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

It is a sad reality that in situations where armed conflict breaks out, it is the most vulnerable members of societies – namely children, who are most affected by the consequences of war. The six most common violations are recruitment and use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression”, decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.

Following the ground-breaking Graça Machel report, which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children, in 1997 the General Assembly adopted 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child. To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates this observance, visit un.org/en/observances/child-victim-day.

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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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com

International Week of Solidarity with People of Non-Self-Governing Territories

In the UN Charter, a Non-Self-Governing Territory is defined as a Territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.”

In 1946, several UN Member States identified a number of Territories under their administration that were not self-governing and placed them on a UN list. Countries administering Non-Self-Governing Territories are called administering Powers.  As a result of the decolonization process over the years, most of the Territories were removed from the list.

Chapter XI of the UN Charter – the Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories – provides that Member States administering Territories, which have not attained self-government recognize “that the interests of the inhabitants of these Territories are paramount” and accept as a “sacred trust” the obligation to promote their well-being.

Chapter IX urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, including land, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and requested the Administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

Administering Powers, in addition to ensuring the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the peoples, undertake to assist them in developing self-government and democratic political institutions. Administering Powers have an obligation to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General information on the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories under their administration.

Chapter IX also urged all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

To learn more about the history of this UN observance and view the UN’s educational videos on decolonization, visit un.org/en/observances/non-self-governing-week.

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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 Decolonization Alliance, please email lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on 12 December, 2018 through resolution A/RES/73/127 and was first observed on April 24, 2019.

Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promote and support the three pillars of the UN – peace and security, development and human rights.

The international norms and rules-based system that have steered nations through seven decades must rise to meet the mounting challenges of protectionism and isolationism. Global issues such as climate change, geopolitical tensions, humanitarian and migratory crises are cross-cutting, implicating the values and interests of nations and necessitate collective attention and action. Technological advancement has also impacted the political and socio-economic landscape and inter-state relations.

As emphasized in the resolution, the International Day is a reaffirmation of the UN Charter and its principles of resolving disputes among countries through peaceful means. It acknowledges the use of multilateral decision-making and diplomacy in achieving peaceful resolutions to conflicts among nations.

To learn more about how we commemorate this observance and read the UN Secretary-General’s comments on it, click here: un.org/en/observances/Multilateralism-for-Peace-day.

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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 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. 

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory Symposium

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our exchange with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will close the proceedings with a lecture on Saturday, May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

The symposium program can be found here.

Registration information can be found here. There will be one zoom link for the entire conference. (Panelists and chairs will also receive a special link for their sessions.)

Our primary sponsors are the Migration Lab of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Study Group for Language and the United Nations. We’d like to acknowledge additional support from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Esperantic Studies Foundation, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, and Birkbeck, University of London. At Princeton, generous support has also come from the Lewis Center, the Humanities Council, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Please direct questions to Sam Evans at same@princeton.edu

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is currently in the process of constituting an NGO Committee on Language and Languages and is calling for endorsement of the creation of this important committee. For information on this new committee, visit here. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

Language is a vital, but under-explored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021. Amid the disappointment of not being able to hold the symposium in person, we’ve managed to find two advantages to the virtual format: to enable participation by those without the means or time to attend, and to achieve a more satisfying exchange among humanists, social scientists, and people who work in the fields of education, language policy and language justice. We encourage you to attend as many sessions of the symposium as you can, which are spread out over two weeks to avoid zoom fatigue.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our symposium with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will give the closing lecture on Saturday May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa LahiriYiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

Access the full detailed program here: https://migration.princeton.edu/symposium/program

Learn more here: https://princeton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GNf33xbFR1O9wdsn38Hk6Q

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

Hybrid Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Dear NGO representatives,

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda and the United Nations Office at Geneva will mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda during a hybrid ceremony to be held on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony will include the message of Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director‑General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by her own remarks and the statements of Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, of H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva, of Mrs. Nadia Galinier, survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and of Mr. Cesar Murangira, President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section). This year’s ceremony will also include a poem read by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt. Interpretation will be provided in English and French.      

You are cordially invited to this important event through this link. You can also watch live at webtv.un.org.

Provisional Program:

  • Introduction by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Alessandra Vellucci Director, United Nations Information Service
  • Lighting of candles
  • Observance of a minute of silence
  • Message of Mr. António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations, read by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, followed by the Director-General’s remarks
  • Remarks by Ms. Ghada Waly Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Remarks by Mr. César Murangira President of the Association of Genocide survivors IBUKA, Memory and Justice (Swiss section)
  • Testimony by Mrs. Nadia Galinier Survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
  • Reading of a poem by Ms. Sarah Burckhardt
  • Remarks by H.E. Mrs. Marie Chantal Rwakazina Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations at Geneva

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com.

The Iran Deal or No Deal

The Iran Nuclear Deal or No Deal

Grassroots organizations from across the country are joining together to present the most recent developments surrounding the JCPOA and what they may mean for the future of Iran and the rest of the Middle East. For those who care about preventing a future war as well as addressing the humanitarian role the U.S. has in Iran, Yemen, and elsewhere, this is the event to join.

Register here: https://secure.everyaction.com/aFVE5ygCQEOMyNrNBjpx_Q2

Featuring:

  • Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council
  • Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy at Arms Control Association
  • Peter Beinart, Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York

Moderated by: Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council

Note: You are welcome to watch a recording of a previous event (https://fb.watch/3aRHLDJRGL/), which provides a great overview of the topic, but will not be necessary to get the full experience out of this larger event.

This event is co-sponsored by: 

Brooklyn for Peace; CODEPINK; Coloradans for Middle East Diplomacy & Peace; Demand Progress; Friends Committee on National Legislation Colorado Advocacy Team; Friends Committee on National Legislation New York City Advocacy Team; Friends Committee on National Legislation New York State Advocacy Team; Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace; Historians for Peace and Democracy; J Street Colorado; J Street NYC; Jewish Voice for Peace – Denver/Boulder Chapter; Long Island Activists; Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives; Manhattan Project for a Nuclear Free World; Massachusetts Peace Action; National Iranian American Council; New Jersey Peace Action; New York Progressive Action Network; NYPAN Greene; No War Westchester; North Country Peace Group; PEAC Institute; Peace Action; Peace Action Bay Ridge; Peace Action New York State; Peace & Social Justice Committee of the 15th St. Monthly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers); Rethinking Foreign Policy, Inc.; Peace Corps Iran Association; Progressive Democrats of Sussex County (Delaware); Progressive East End Reformers; Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center; South Country Peace Group; Suffolk Progressives; Syracuse Peace Council; Upper Hudson Peace Action; WESPAC; Win Without War; Women’s Action for New Directions; and Women’s March.

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

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Community-based protection, early warning, and conflict preparedness

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Community-based protection, early warning, and conflict preparedness

In this webinar, the second of a two-part series exploring existing efforts to improve the safety of civilians during armed conflict, we at PHAP will be discussing “secondary” prevention programs, in particular those focusing on strengthening communities in conflict-affected areas to reduce the risk of harm and mitigate the effects of armed conflict on civilian populations. We will hear from NGOs active in situations of armed conflict around the word about how they approach building capacity for prevention in communities – what the main considerations are and in which situations they are effective. We will also discuss what other organizations can learn from their approach and the implications this has for the humanitarian community as a whole.

Register here!

Background:

In armed conflict, the humanitarian community continues to witness highly disturbing situations where the safety of civilians is ignored or not addressed, or where civilians are purposely targeted by parties to a conflict. While protection services continue to provide much-needed support to vulnerable and marginalized groups and individuals and respond to protection concerns with remedial service provision, limited progress has been made on contributing to civilians’ safety in armed conflict. As Hugo Slim expressed it in the recent Oxford Lecture Series on Protection: “When you look at protection’s track record through wars, protection is at its weakest here, in this challenge in protecting people from physical harm and unlawful devastating attacks on their persons and homes.”

In the last few years, there has been a push by both humanitarian agencies and donors to examine how we can prevent and protect civilians from physical harm during conflict. Key questions remain: what does prevention mean and look like within our protection of civilians programming? Where does civilian safety “fit” within the humanitarian architecture?

There are, however, several existing approaches to mitigate and reduce risk in armed conflict for the civilian population, including how to prevent violence from happening in the first place and how to strengthen civilian self-protection strategies through community-based initiatives. This two-part webinar series aims to provide an overview of the range of strategies currently undertaken by national and international civil society organizations, UN agencies, and donors, providing examples of good practice, and discuss how such efforts can be advanced and systematized in the wider humanitarian community.

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

In this first of two webinars exploring existing efforts to improve the safety of civilians during armed conflict, we at PHAP will be discussing “primary” prevention programs, which focus on advocacy, armed actor behavior change, and direct engagement with armed actors, either by the humanitarian organization or by facilitating this engagement by communities. We will hear from civil society organizations and UN agencies about their approaches to primary prevention – what the main considerations are and in which situations they are effective. We will also discuss what other organizations can learn from their approach and the implications this has for the humanitarian community as a whole.

The event will be held virtually, and participants will need to connect via Zoom. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Spanish, English, and French. Register here!

Background:

In armed conflict, the humanitarian community continues to witness highly disturbing situations where the safety of civilians is ignored or not addressed, or where civilians are purposely targeted by parties to a conflict. While protection services continue to provide much-needed support to vulnerable and marginalized groups and individuals and respond to protection concerns with remedial service provision, limited progress has been made on contributing to civilians’ safety in armed conflict. As Hugo Slim expressed it in the recent Oxford Lecture Series on Protection: “When you look at protection’s track record through wars, protection is at its weakest here, in this challenge in protecting people from physical harm and unlawful devastating attacks on their persons and homes.”

In the last few years, there has been a push by both humanitarian agencies and donors to examine how we can prevent and protect civilians from physical harm during conflict. Key questions remain: what does prevention mean and look like within our protection of civilians programming? Where does civilian safety “fit” within the humanitarian architecture?

There are, however, several existing approaches to mitigate and reduce risk in armed conflict for the civilian population, including how to prevent violence from happening in the first place and how to strengthen civilian self-protection strategies through community-based initiatives. This two-part webinar series aims to provide an overview of the range of strategies currently undertaken by national and international civil society organizations, UN agencies, and donors, providing examples of good practice, and discuss how such efforts can be advanced and systematized in the wider humanitarian community.

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

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