WHO

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

UN Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19

Dear colleagues and members of the Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-Being,

Please consider yourselves invited to an event on Mental Health and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19 being held on March 30th from 9:00 to 10:15 am EST. This event is co-organized by the World Health Organization, the Co-Chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Mental Health and Well-being, UNICEF, the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the UN System Workplace Mental Health and Well-being.

Presenting experience from professionals in the field and examples from member states, the event will share practical tools, best practices and resources, as well as self-care tools, to help navigate through this difficult time and to strengthen and support our mental health and psychosocial well-being.

We hope you will be able to join us for this important conversation. Please register here!

Best regards,

Pierre-David Jean
First Secretary (Political) | Premier Secrétaire (Politique)
pierre-david.jean@international.gc.ca

Tel. (212) 848-1136 
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations |
Mission Permanente du Canada auprès des Nations-Unies
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

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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 for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.

Launch of the UN Global Report on Ageism

On March 18, join the UN Decade of Healthy Living for the launch of the first UN Global report on ageism and the start of a global conversation on why ageism matters and how we can tackle it.

Through an interactive and engaging discussion, this online event will challenge how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing. The event will launch the first UN Global report on ageism, developed by WHO, OHCHR, UNDESA, and UNFPA. The report presents the latest evidence on a topic that has only gained greater relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will highlight what we know about ageism, why it matters, and how we can tackle it. It will also kick off a global conversation that concerns us all and in which we all should have our say. People that join the first conversation will be provided with resources to spark their own conversations.

  • Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age.
  • Ageism against older and younger people is highly prevalent worldwide.
  • Ageism exists in our institutions, our relationships and ourselves, and affects us from childhood into older age.
  • Ageism has an impact on all aspects of people’s health and costs individuals and society billions of dollars.
  • Ageism can be combatted. Join the event to learn how.

This online event will be held in English on Zoom and requires pre-registration. Register here!

Help spread the word about ageism by using and following the hashtag #AWorld4AllAges.

This event is a side event of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

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CoNGO Notes:  For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit  facebook.com/ageinggeneva or ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Women’s & Children’s Health and Well-being: Implementing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Amelioration of Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) in the context of COVID-19

The Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations; Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations; WHO Office at the United Nations, New York; International Council of Women (ICW Nations (CCCUN); Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association International are pleased to present a CSW65 parallel event:

Women’s & Children’s Health and Well-being: Implementing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Amelioration of Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) in the context of COVID-19

Access to UHC includes physical and mental health and neurological conditions, the inclusion of mental health in primary care services, as well as the need for disaggregated data to develop comprehensive health policies and are essential to address mushrooming non disease worldwide (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and mental health conditions) especially for women and children. These must be addressed in the context of COVID the SDGs. Examples of successful and replicable programs and research from Australia, Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and U.S. will be discussed.

Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Carll, UN New York Main Representative, International Council of Women; Chair, Global Mental Health and NCDs Work Group & Former Chair, UN NGO CMH; President, CCCUN

Speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray – Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. Supark Prongthura – Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations
  • Dr. Nata Menabde – Executive Director, World Health Organization Office at the UN (WHO/UN), New York; Will discuss WHO and UHC next steps
  • Dr. Gita Mishra – Professor and Deputy Head, School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Australia; Will discuss large multi-national, multi-year women’s health study funded by government
  • Dr. Dana Crawford – Scholar-in-Residence, The Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University; Will discuss child behavioral health
  • Dr. Lyudmyla Porokhnyak, Chair, National Council of Women of Ukraine, Vice President, European Center, International Council of Women; Will discuss rural health outreach program

Audience discussion with Q & A to follow.

If you are interested in the event, please send an email to event4040@gmail.com by 14 March. You will receive a Zoom link a day or two before the event.

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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 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

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.

Fifty years ago, we landed on the moon; in the last decade, we discovered new human ancestors and photographed a black hole for the first time.

In the meantime, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25 per cent of parliamentarians were women, as of 2019. One in three women experience gender-based violence, still.

Let’s make 2021 count for women and girls everywhere.

The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 15 to 26 March 2021. In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, and taking into account the latest guidance from the United Nations Secretary-General and the World Health Organization (WHO), CSW65 will take place in a hybrid format with mostly virtual meetings.

Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session.

Themes:

  • Priority theme: Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls;
  • Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-New York, please visit ngocsw.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 the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

[UN Observance] International Day for Universal Health Coverage

On December 12 each year, the United Nations commemorates International Day for Universal Health Coverage. To read more and stay apprised of relevant events, please visit  https://www.un.org/en/observances/universal-health-coverage-day.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org

[UN Observance] World AIDS Day

Every year on December 1, the United Nations commemorates World AIDS Day. This year, the onset of COVID-19 has shone a glaring light on how much works remains to be done when it comes to saving lives threatened by deadly diseases. To learn more about World AIDS Day and how you can help end the stigma, check out who.int/westernpacific/news/events/world-aids-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com

Interactive Dialogue with WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Greetings,
It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in an interactive civil society dialogue with WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 4 November 2020 with the theme Strengthening connections across sectors: Building partnerships for healthy ageing in and beyond the COVID-19 era.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions are facing the most significant risks from COVID-19, yet neither are they invisible or powerless. In this space of both tragedy and opportunity CSOs working with these groups are the glue of solidarity globally, nationally, locally and at the community level. WHO leadership has a pivotal role to play in reinforcing the need for strategic action across WHO Departments and offices, with a common goal of improving the health (in the broadest sense) and well being of older people, and protecting their rights, during and living with the impact of the pandemic.

REGISTER HERE.

MODERATOR
Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing
SPEAKERS
Voice of older people in COVID-19:  Maciej Kucharczyk, AGE Platform Europe
Enabling age-friendly environments, including measuring their impact:  Grace Chan, Hong Kong Council of Social Services
Vaccination to older adults and those with underlying conditions:  Michael Moore, World Federation Public Health Associations
Regulated home-based and residential / institutional long-term care and support:  Isabella Aboderin, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG),
African Region
Including older people in all NCDs (including mental health) data and responses:  Justin Derbyshire, HelpAge International
Humanizing loss, grief, bereavement, and the last days of life: Alexandre Kalache, International Longevity Centre, Brazil
Organized by the International Federation on Ageing, HelpAge International, ILC Brazil and the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva and supported by many organizations, this interactive session forms part of the series of Civil Society-WHO Director General dialogues being organized on different topics of interest for the civil society, related to the COVID-19 response.
Join this innovative program of lightning talks on technical and systemic issues, good practice and concrete action which we believe will support a stronger focus on healthy ageing at global, regional, national and community levels.
Date and Time:
Wednesday 4 November 2020
8:00–9:30am (EST – New York) | 2:00-3:30pm (CET – Geneva)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org.

Monthly Meeting: NGO Committee on the Status of Women – NY

Monthly Meeting: NGO Committee on the Status of Women – NY

June’s Monthly Meeting will focus on the intersection between health and finance in the gender impacts of COVID-19. The topic will be approached through a multilateral lens, with speakers from various sectors including civil society, government, and United Nations agencies.

Read the detailed concept note and program with the speakers bios.

TO PARTICIPATE, register here:
PROGRAM:
NGO CSW/NY Business Meeting
Updates from Houry Geudelekian, Chair of NGO CSW/NY and UN Representative, Unchained At Last
NGO CSWs in the Regions:
Dr. Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organization Office at the United Nations
Nafissatou J. Diop, Ph.D., Chief, Gender and Human Rights Branch, UNFPA
Crystal Simeoni, Afrifem Economics Collective
Crystal J. Rogers, Community Organizer, New York State Nurses Association
Moderated by Rosa Lizarde, NGO CSW/NY Member-at-Large and Global Director, Feminist Task Force
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CoNGO NOTES: To learn more about the NGO Committee on Status of Women-New York, visit its website. To learn more about CoNGO’s committees on the status of women, and other substantive and regional committees, in Geneva and Vienna, and other regions, visit us here.

Elder Abuse Awareness Day: The Impact of COVID-19 on Violence, Abuse, & Neglect of Older Persons

Virtual Event
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at 08:00-09:00 EST (NY), 14:00-15:00 CET (Geneva)

Registration is required. REGISTER HERE

The UN General Assembly designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (res. A/RES/66/127).  According to WHO estimates, 1 in 6 people aged over 60 suffers from abuse. That means nearly 141 million people globally. This number might be much higher as elder abuse is one of the most hidden and underreported violations. 

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on older persons including distressing reports of instances of abuse and neglect of older persons in long term care institutions. Not only older persons are at a high risk of serious illness and mortality, but they are also stigmatized through abusive language in both the conventional and social media. 

Despite the lack of reliable data on the actual scale of elder abuse in the community where the majority of older persons live, emerging reports reveal the high impact of the COVID-19 pandemic both in the rise of cases of abuse and in the disruption of the services and protective measures.

The UN Secretary-General in his Policy Brief: The Impact of Covid-19 on Older Persons warned that measures to restrict movement may trigger greater incidence of violence against older persons and all types of abuse – physical, emotional, financial and sexual as well as neglect. He also claimed that the lack of adequate legislation at national level to protect the rights of older persons and the absence of a dedicated internationally agreed legal framework, contribute to the vulnerability of older persons and may have contributed to the inadequate responses to the COVID-19 crisis and that these gaps must be filled.  

There is an urgent need to combat and prevent this serious human rights violation. Many Member States’ delegations at sessions of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing expressed the need to develop universally applicable normative standards for the protection of older persons against violence, neglect and abuse, which would contribute to providing a comprehensive response and would also provide guidance for the development of a reporting, accountability and remedy mechanism for such violations suffered by older persons.

Verbal abuse and hate speech: Do they lead to other types of abuse? When do under or/and over-protection become abuse? Have lockdowns increased the risk of financial exploitation. What are examples of passive and active neglect?

Opening words by H.E. Mr. Alejandro Verdier, Deputy Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN in NY
Panelists:

  • Ms Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization: WHO’s new guidance on elder abuse and COVID-19
  • Jillenne Gunther, AARP Bank Safe: Fighting financial exploitation
  • Michael S. Mulvey, University of Ottawa: Tracing an outbreak of ageist discourse in social media

Co-Moderators: Amal Rafeh (UN DESA) and Monica Ferro (UNFPA)

The panel will be followed by a session of questions and answers with the audience.

Register here

Support for this program provided by Apple Bank and Hebrew Home
CoNGO Notes:
For more information on the NGO Committee of Ageing – NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org.
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