Maverick Citizen


This week – World Refugee Day, International Day for Countering Hate Speech and Durban hosts the SA Aids Conference

This week – World Refugee Day, International Day for Countering Hate Speech and Durban hosts the SA Aids Conference
Women and children light candles forming the 'Red Ribbon' symbol as they pray for those who have lost their lives due to HIV/Aids, on the eve of World Aids Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, 30 November 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Narendra Shrestha)

This week sees the 11th edition of the SA Aids Conference in Durban and the Apartheid Museum will host a panel discussion and training workshop for International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

Tuesday, 20 June is World Refugee Day. The 2023 theme is Hope Away from Home. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on 20 June and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

Other events this week include:


From Tuesday 20-23 June from 8am daily, the 11th SA Aids Conference 2023, under the theme “Act, Connect and End the Epidemic” will be at the Durban ICC. 

“Now, more than ever before, we need to act to end an epidemic that has been a part of our lives for decades. We hope to do this by bringing the HIV community together under the same roof, post the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, to deliberate on the next steps towards an Aids-free generation in 2030. At this conference, we wish for people living with HIV, global and local policymakers, public and private sector officials, research scientists, donors, academics, clinicians, and civil society to continue the conversations, to jointly share new evidence and innovations that will help us end the HIV epidemic once and for all,” the SAAids conference brief reads. 

Registration desk will start opening from 19 June: 14.00-17.00. 

Register here.  

On Tuesday 20 June, from 12pm – 1pm, Health Justice Initiative and University of KwaZulu-Natal will host a Technical Workshop Series on National Health Insurance, titled “The implications for equitable access to lifesaving & affordable medicines for all patients”. 

Register here for all webinars in the series.

On Tuesday 20 June, at 10am the Institute for Economic Justice has a webinar on “Impacts, Pitfalls and Pathways to Equity”. 

The event description reads, “Join the Climate Ambition to Accountability Project as they facilitate a discussion on human rights and how it intersects with the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). Through our speakers we will aim to discover if human rights have been adequately embedded into the JET-IP and what the threats are as we invest more money into climate action.” 

Register here

On Tuesday, 20 June at 6pm, join expert investigators Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren in conversation with Koketso Moeti as they unpack and synthesise the findings of the State Capture report — when, where and how the money flowed, and how much it all cost the people of South Africa.

With billions looted in State Capture and the damage ongoing, this conversation will be essential listening for all citizens.

Paul Holden has spent the last fifteen years exposing grand corruption, beginning with the Arms Deal, and has written five bestselling books on South African and global politics and corruption. Paul is the Director and co-founder of Investigations at Shadow World Investigations. Hennie van Vuuren is the founding director of Open Secrets and has over 20 years’ experience working on issues of economic crime and accountability from within civil society. Koketso Moeti has a long background in civic activism and has over the years worked at the intersection of governance, communication and people power.

Register here

Wednesday 21 June, 8.30am is International Day for Countering Hate Speech. A panel discussion and training workshop will be held by United Nations in South Africa, in partnership with the Apartheid Museum, the Desmond Tutu Foundation and the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre to commemorate the occasion. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) will also be hosting a panel discussion and a training workshop on hate speech and mis/disinformation. The overall goal of the event is to bring awareness to and discuss hate speech and mis/disinformation as well as to equip participants with knowledge and practical skills on how to address these ills online. 

Venue: The Apartheid Museum, Northern Parkway and Gold Reef Road, Johannesburg, 2001

On Wednesday 21 June, from 3pm – 4.30pm the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations will launch the “Global Study on the Impact of Counter-Terrorism on Civil Society & Civic Space”.

United Nations Special Rapporteur will be presenting on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms along with Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Member States, civil society, the United Nations and other stakeholders during what is the Third United Nations Counter-Terrorism Week (19-23 June). The launch is co-sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations, the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, the Security Policy Alternatives Network, and the Global NPO Coalition on FATF. 

The Global Study will be made available in advance of the launch event here.

On Thursday, 22 June from 4pm-7pm a reception announcing the extension of the 2gether 4 SRHR programme, implemented by a joint UN inter-agency working group, will b hosted at the Embassy of Sweden Residence, on 297 Canopus Street, Waterkloof Ridge. The Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria will announce Sweden’s investment of $42-million in sexual and reproductive health and rights in East and Southern Africa, which has the potential to transform the health and lives of millions of people. The 2gether 4 SRHR programme, in partnership with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), brings Sweden’s investment into an impressive $99-million over eight years, demonstrating the country and their partners’ commitment to SRHR integration to advance health and well-being for all.

The partnership will bolster the efforts of four United Nations agencies — UNAids, UNFPA, Unicef and WHO — in supporting countries and regional entities to reduce maternal mortality (including from unsafe abortion), HIV and sexually transmitted infections, unmet need for contraception, and gender-based violence. 

Please RSVP by 11am on Tuesday 20 June to: [email protected]

Lastly, the Center for Environmental Rights has announced a call for nominations for the highly anticipated 2023 Rights and Remedies Course for environmental justice activists. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2023.

Register here. DM


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