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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2008

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2008
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UN in General

10 Stories the World Should Hear More About, 2007
The UN Department of Public Information has launched a list of ten stories that unfolded in the course of 2007 that the world may wish to hear more about. The list includes:
  • Northern Uganda: Major steps towards peace in a decades-old conflict
  • The Excluded: The hidden world of the stateless
  • Extreme weather events are part of a “new normal” trend
  • The suffering of the girl soldier
  • At a fragile crossroads: Afghanistan and the international community must pull together
  • A deadly disease no more – advances in malaria prevention and treatment
  • Promotion and protection of human rights: The role of special procedures of the Human Rights Council
  • Policing for peace: The law-and-order role played by blue berets
  • Southern Sudan: A path to ‘indivisible peace’ in the country
  • Bird flu pushed back – but threat of a human pandemic remains

60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A/AC.172/2008/2: Calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for the biennium 2008-2009 –– Note by the Secretariat
English, French & Spanish:

Bali Climate Change Conference Report (UNFCCC)
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has posted the report of the Bali Climate Change Conference, held in December 2007 (FCCC/CP/2007/6 + Add.1, Add.2).

Bangkok Climate Talks
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is holding talks on climate change in Bangkok this week. Sessions will be devoted to advancing the Bali Road Map agreed in December 2007. Plenary sessions of the Bangkok meetings will be webcast and the background documents are available.

General Assembly Thematic Debate on the MDGs, 1 – 2 April 2008
MDGs by 2015: Recognising the achievements, addressing the challenges and getting back on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015
The UN General Assembly is holding a special two-day thematic debate on the MDGs, to focus attention on the most intractable problems, identify lessons learned and mobilize governments to recommit to taking action to realize the Goals. Ted Turner will be the keynote speaker at a luncheon and guest at the GA President's press conference on 1 April. The Development Section has issued a media advisory and a press release, in cooperation with the GA President's office.

General Assembly Thematic Debate, 8 - 9 April 2008
Towards a Common Understanding on Management Reform

The WTO Building
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has a new publication about Centre William Rappard, entitled "The WTO Building". The book includes information on the history, artwork, and unique spaces within the building, including the library. Built in 1926, the building originally housed the International Labour Organization (ILO) and much of the art was hidden from sight for years. Research on the building is ongoing.

Peace & Security

20/20 Vision for the Future (IAEA report)
This background report, describing the current work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suggesting future priorities in the timeframe up to the year 2020 and beyond, has been circulated to members of a high-level panel of experts tasked with providing recommendations on the future of the IAEA. As part of the IAEA Secretariat’s “20/20” study, the Commission of Eminent Persons, a high-level panel of international experts, is reviewing areas such as the prioritization of the IAEA’s key areas of work, and options and approaches to funding. The Commission is expected to deliver its recommendations to the IAEA Director General over the coming weeks.

Las Naciones Unidas y el Afganistán (Nuevo diseño y actualización)

Peacebuilding Portal (new DESA project)
The Peacebuilding Portal is a part of a Conflict Management Capacity Building project of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and funded by United Nations Development Programme's Regional Bureau of Africa and the African Union. The Portal supports multilateral collaboration and networking on conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security.
This site was launched in conjunction with a redesign of the websites of the "three pillars" of the peacebuilding architecture:
and is considered a fourth "virtual pillar", to facilitate information sharing.

Prohibiting Cluster Munitions: Our Chance to Protect Civilians (UNDP report)
The report calls for adoption of Cluster Munitions Treaty on Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Munitions, outlines the threats these weapons pose to civilian security and economic development, and highlights ongoing efforts to clear lands that have been littered with hundreds of thousands of unexploded bomblets.

Relationship between the UN and the African Union (S/2008/186)
English, French, Spanish:
The Secretary-General recently issued a Report on the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security (S/2008/186). Issued in response to the Security Council presidential statement of 28 March 2007 (S/PRST/2007/7), the report considered the important issues that define the nature of collaborative partnership in international peace and security between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular, the African Union and the division of responsibilities between them under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations.          

Economic & Social Development

2008 Economic Report on Africa (UNECA)
The report, the annual flagship publication of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has the theme “Africa and the Monterrey Consensus: Tracking Performance and Progress.” The Monterrey Consensus refers to a 2002 conference on Financing for Development. The report provides 2007 economic indicator data and projections for 2008. Please note that the ECA website may be slow to respond to download requests.

2008 Human Development Report for Turkey (UNDP)
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) recently issued the 2008 Human Development Report for Turkey, entitled “Youth in Turkey”. According to the foreward by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Turkey, Mahmood Ayub, "Turkey’s young men and women are its next generation. They have skills and ambitions, vision and energy. But they need to be given opportunities to utilise these to the fullest. If this can be achieved, the county’s future will be assured and sustainable."

Children and AIDS

UNICEF, WHO, and UNAIDS have issued Children and AIDS: Second stocktaking report. The report shows progress in treating children with AIDS and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but urges greater efforts to stem the tide of the global epidemic.

ECOSOC dialogues on poverty and hunger
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has a new publication, “Strengthening Efforts to Eradicate Poverty and Hunger - Dialogues at the Economic and Social Council”. The book presents an overview of the key debates that took place during the ECOSOC meetings at the 2007 High-level Segment, at which the Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum, two new functions mandated by world leaders at the 2005 World Summit, were launched.

Global e-Government Survey 2008: from e-Government to connected governance
The survey assesses the e-government readiness of the 192 Member States of the UN according to a quantitative composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment.

Global Financial Stability Report: Containing Systemic Risks and Restoring Financial Soundness – April 2008 (IMF)
The Report provides semiannual assessments of global financial markets and addresses emerging market financing in a global context.

Global Monitoring Report 2008 - MDGs and the Environment: Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development (World Bank / IMF)
Press release:
A new report finds progress toward nutrition, health, education but warns that most countries will fall short on the MDGs. Though much of the world is set to cut extreme poverty in half by then, prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, with serious shortfalls also likely in primary school completion, nutrition, and sanitation goals.

Global tuberculosis control - surveillance, planning, financing (WHO)
The report compiles data from over 200 countries and territories each year, monitoring the scale and direction of TB epidemics, implementation and impact of the Stop TB Strategy, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

HIV/AIDS and the workplace (ILO)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has issued a new report, SHARE report: Saving lives, protecting jobs. SHARE, the Strategic HIV/AIDS Responses in Enterprises, is an ILO programme that aims to implement the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDs and the world of work through overcoming discrimination, changing behaviour and facilitating access to services and treatment.

LDCs information website
This site includes the statistical data used by the Committee on the occasion of its last review of the list (2006) and details concerning the methodology used for identifying LDCs. The Committee is responsible for undertaking a review of the list of LDCs, on the basis of which it advises ECOSOC regarding countries which should be added and those that could be graduated from the list.

Lancement du site ONUSIDA en français 
L’ONUSIDA, le Programme commun des Nations Unies sur le VIH/sida rassemble les efforts et les ressources de 10 organisations du système des Nations Unies dans la lutte contre le sida. Son site est maintenant disponible en français.

Planning for Change: Guidelines for National Programmes on Sustainable
Consumption and Production (UNEP report)
The report offers guidelines on how national governments can plan, develop, implement and monitor a national programme on sustainable consumption and production.

Principles of Drug Dependence Treatment (UNODC / WHO)

Discussion paper highlights nine key principles for effective treatment of drug dependence. Developed through scientific consultations, the paper aims to raise awareness about the nature of drug dependence as a health disorder.

World Population Policies 2007
The publication provides a summary overview of population policies and dynamics for each of the United Nations Member and non-member States for which data are available at mid-decade for the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and for 2007. It shows, on a country-by-country basis, the evolution of Government views and policies from 1976 to 2007 with respect to population size and growth, population age structure, fertility and family planning, health and mortality, spatial distribution and international migration.

Human Rights

Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, 2007 (UNHCR)
Full report:
The report is a compilation of data from countries which has high levels of asylum seekers and discussing the trend in the country of destination

Good Governance and human rights (OHCHR)
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recently issued a publication on Good Governance Practices for the Protection of Human Rights. According to the OHCHR press release, the report includes 21 case studies of governance reforms that have helped protect human rights around the world, in both developed and developing countries. The studies explore four areas: democratic institutions, the delivery of state services, the rule of law and anti-corruption measures.

Handbook on the Protection of Women and Girls
Recently released by The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this handbook describes some of the protection challenges faced by women and girls of concern to the UNHCR and outlines some of the strategies for dealing with these challenges. The handbook is intended to be used in situations of asylum, internal displacement, return, integration and statelessness.

Human Rights in Darfur
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN – African Union Joint Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have issued a report on an investigation into recent attacks on four villages in West Darfur. According to the OHCHR press release, the attacks left at least 115 people dead and some 30,000 displaced, and amount to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

OHCHR Fact-Finding Mission to Kenya – report
From 6-28 February 2008 a Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was deployed to Kenya to look into violence and allegations of human rights violations following the presidential election of December 2007. The OHCHR Mission analysed underlying civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights issues and formulated nine recommendations on possible accountability mechanisms.

OHCHR Nepal report

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) has issued a Summary of human rights concerns arising from the Terai protests of 13 – 29 February 2008.

Quiz sur la Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme
En 2008, l'ONU célèbre le 60e anniversaire de la Déclaration. Savez-vous où elle a été adoptée? Testez vos connaissances sur ce document fondamental du droit international relatif aux droits de l'homme.

Humanitarian Affairs

Framework for conflict-sensitive programming in Iraq UNHCR)
Full text:$File/full_report.pdf
This paper aims to provide an overview of the underlying causes of conflict in Iraq. It also suggests a set of guidelines to the international humanitarian and development community to effectively include conflict management activities in future interventions.

Friends of Human Security (A/62/695)
English, French and Spanish:
A compendium of human security-related intiatives and activities by members of the Friends of Human Security and United Nations agencies, funds and programmes has been released (A/62/695). The compendium includes reports from Chile, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, Switzerland and Thailand and 17 different UN bodies. UN Agencies, funds and programmes entries included lists of completed, ongoing and planned projects in support of human security including those funded by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. Read more about what the UN is doing in the area of Human Security from the UN Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs website (OCHA):

UNHCR and Google Earth
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced a new UNHCR and Google Earth initiative "Google Earth Outreach" that was launched in Geneva on 8 April 2008. The programme gives the humanitarian agencies an opportunity to virtually zoom in on specific refugee situations and provides a tool for a close-up view of some of the major displacement crises and humanitarian efforts. Currently the programme is focused on Chad/Darfur, Colombia and Iraq with plans to expand further. According to UNHCR technical experts, the Google Earth programme, as it grows "will allow UNHCR and its humanitarian partners to build and share with each other a visual, geographic record of their joint efforts on the ground to help refugees".


International Law

Special Tribunal for Lebanon (S/2008/173)
English, French & Spanish:
The second report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1757 (2007), on the subject of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, has been issued (S/2008/173). The report outlines progress since September 2007 in several areas, including, among others: the location of the seat of the Tribunal; the appointment of the judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutor, the Registrar and the Head of the Defence Office; the transition from the International Independent Investigation Commission to the Tribunal.