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UNRIC Library Newsletter - March 2009

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - March 2009
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UN in General

Calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 2009
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/AC.172/2009/2
In addition to the UN conferences and meetings, the calendar for the principal organs of the specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and of treaty bodies, is also included.

Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Access to Education in Emergency, Post-crisis and Transition Situations-caused by Man-made Conflicts or Natural Disasters, 18 March 2009, United Nations Headquarters
English: http://www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/eie.shtml
French: http://www.un.org/french/ga/president/63/interactive/education.shtml
The President of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, at the request of Members States, and in partnership with specialized agencies and organizations, is convening an interactive thematic dialogue on 18 March to examine the most salient issues relating to the right to education in emergencies and to underscore the need to include education as an integral part of humanitarian response to conflicts and natural disasters.

La ONU y las Crisis (UNIC Buenos Aires)
Como nunca antes las crisis que enfrenta la humanidad tienen una dimensión intrínsecamente global. Incertidumbre económica, cambio climático, aumento en los precios y escasez de alimentos, insuficiencias energéticas, son retos que por su naturaleza misma requieren de acciones colectivas. El Sistema de las Naciones Unidas trabaja para integrar y coordinar los esfuerzos internacionales destinados a encontrar soluciones positivas a estas múltiples crisis.

UN Channel on Youtube
The UN Webcast uploads daily on the Youtube UN Channel video clips on various issues, including current news, peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, etc.

UNEP website redesign
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has redesigned its website. The new site is organized by priority themes: Climate Change, Disasters and conflicts, Ecosystem management, Environmental governance, Harmful substances, Resource efficiency, and other thematic areas. The publications page (http://www.unep.org/publications/) is prominent on all the main pages and highlights several recent publications.

UNFPA launches new European website
“UNFPA has restructured the site to provide you with more information about our activities, better, and faster, but without eliminating any of the features you have come to expect from us. The new site continues to feature our own and our partners' activities, with a special focus on Europe.”

World Food Programme (WFP) - new website
The World Food Programme (WFP) has updated its website. The site has a new layout with sections for aid professionals; students and teachers; and journalists. The policy resources section contains links to WFP publications.

Peace & Security

Strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to manage and sustain peacekeeping operations: Report of the Secretary-General (A/63/702)
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/63/702
This report summarizes the work on peacekeeping reform and highlights the progress made to date. In addition, the Summary report of the 2008 Parliamentary Hearing held in New York, 20-21 Nov. 2008, has also been issued (A/63/729 - http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/63/729). The hearing was entitled, "Towards Effective Peacekeeping and the Prevention of Conflict: Delivering on our commitments."

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Background Note: 28 February 2009 (DPI/1634/Rev.94)
English: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/bnote.htm
French: http://www.un.org/french/peace/peace/bnote.htm

Economic & Social Development

12 Simple Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
English: http://www.12simplethings.org/index.html
French: http://www.12simplethings.org/index-fr.html
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has started an advertising campaign to help reduce greenhouse gases. The campaign encourages people around the world to follow “12 simple things to reduce their carbon footprint”.

2008 Revision of the World Population Prospects
Press release: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2008/pressrelease.pdf
Selected tables: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2008/wpp2008_text_tables.pdf
Data online: http://esa.un.org/unpp/index.asp
World population is projected to reach 7 billion early in 2012, up from the current 6.8 billion, and surpass 9 billion people by 2050, reveals the 2008 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections, released today.

Climate Policy Integration: Towards Operationalization (DESA Working Paper No. 73)
The climate change debate raises the issue of often identified, but as yet little explored, requirement to incorporate climate policy into other policy sectors, often termed climate “mainstreaming” or climate policy integration (CPI). This paper explores the imperative for CPI, the state of current understanding, and proposals for implementation at the crucial national policy scale. The paper draws on the longer-standing field of environmental policy integration, noting that literature’s scant coverage of climate issues but its greater focus on policy and administrative structures and processes, and concludes that more attention needs to be given to these implementation mechanisms for CPI.

Girls’ Education in the 21st Century: Gender Equality, Empowerment, and Economic Growth (World Bank report)
The report noted that overall primary school enrollments for girls in poor countries jumped from 87 percent in 1990 to 94 percent in 2004, with also more girls than ever before now in secondary school. The publication is divided into 3 main parts:
  • Part I Education quality, skills development and economic growth
  • Part II Equity in education: What is holding countries back?
  • Part III Experiences from the field: how was it done?

Guidelines for Governments on Preventing the Illegal Sale of Internationally Controlled Substances through the Internet (INCB)
English: http://www.incb.org/incb/en/internet_guidelines.html
French: http://www.incb.org/incb/fr/internet_guidelines.html
Spanish: http://www.incb.org/incb/es/internet_guidelines.html
Online dealers of illicit drugs are the target of new guidelines launched by the independent body which monitors the implementation of United Nations drug control conventions. The guidelines were developed because of the rapid growth of internet pharmacies and their global reach, which requires that Governments worldwide cooperate with each other to tackle the problem, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said.

Industrial Development Report 2009: Breaking In and Moving Up; New Industrial Challenges for the Bottom Billion and the Middle-Income Countries (UNIDO)
Report: http://www.unido.org/fileadmin/user_media/Publications/IDR/2009/IDR_2009_print.PDF
Summary: http://www.unido.org/fileadmin/user_media/Publications/IDR/2009/IDR_SUMMARY_print.pdf
The Bottom Billion – the world’s poorest people living on less than a dollar a day – are being offered new hope to escape global poverty with the launch of a report, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Report represents a blueprint for action, to help the world’s poorest countries out of poverty. It focuses on these countries, mostly in Africa and South Asia, whose citizens survive on less than a dollar a day, and identifies the factors that contribute to the reduction of global poverty – such as successful and sustainable growth.

National Basic Food Prices Data and Analysis Tool (FAO)
A new online database of staple food prices on national markets in 55 developing countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe shows that local prices have not fallen the way they have at the global level, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The “National Basic Food Prices Data and Analysis Tool,” developed by FAO as part of its response to high food prices, shows the prices of different food commodities in local currencies or dollars and local measurements as well as standard weights. The interactive tool allows for price comparisons between domestic and international markets, between different markets in the same country, as well as between countries.

State of Polar Research (IMO / ICSU)
(The report is available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Inuktitut & Japanese.)
Multidisciplinary research from the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 provides new evidence of the widespread effects of global warming in the polar regions. Snow and ice are declining in both polar regions, affecting human livelihoods as well as local plant and animal life in the Arctic, as well as global ocean and atmospheric circulation and sea level. These are but a few findings reported in “State of Polar Research”, released today by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU).

The State of the African Cities 2008: A framework for addressing urban challenges in Africa (UN-HABITAT)
With rapidly increasing urban population, cities in Africa are faced with enormous challenges and will have to find ways to facilitate by 2015 urban services, livelihoods and housing for more than twice as many urban dwellers than it has today.

State of the World’s Forests 2009 (FAO)
English: http://www.fao.org/docrep/011/i0350e/i0350e00.htm
French: http://www.fao.org/docrep/011/i0350f/i0350f00.htm
Spanish: http://www.fao.org/docrep/011/i0350s/i0350s00.htm
What will be the impact on forests of future economic development, globalized trade and increases in the world's population? The 2009 edition of the biennial State of the World's Forests looks forward, with the theme "Society, forests and forestry: adapting for the future".

Swimming against the tide: how developing countries are coping with the global crisis (World Bank)
This background paper was prepared for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, Horsham, United Kingdom on March 13-14, 2009. Developing countries face a financing shortfall of $270-700 billion this year, as private sector creditors shun emerging markets, and only one quarter of the most vulnerable countries have the resources to prevent a rise in poverty.

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
English, French, Spanish and German: http://www.esd-world-conference-2009.org/
Organized in partnership with the German Ministry of Education and Research, the conference will be held from 31 March to 2 April in Bonn, Germany. It aims to underline the relevance of ESD and to promote international exchange on ESD. Besides, the Conference will assess results of the Decade’s implementation and develop strategies for the future. A final declaration will be adopted reflecting debates and proposing guidelines for the next five years. 700 experts and stakeholders are taking part in the event.

World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World

Published every three years by the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), the report offers a comprehensive assessment of the planet’s freshwater resources. This latest edition emphasizes the role of water in development and economic growth.

Human Rights

Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking (UNODC)
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is launching a new campaign to fight human trafficking. The Blue Heart Campaign aims to raise awareness and bring people together against this crime that shames us all. The Campaign’s symbol is represented by a Blue Heart.  This awareness-raising symbol illustrates the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy, sell and traffic our fellow human beings. The use of the blue UN colour also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.

Committee on Disabilities Rights - 1st session
English: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx
French: http://www.ohchr.org/FR/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx
Spanish: http://www.ohchr.org/SP/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx
The first session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is being held in Geneva from 23-27 February 2009. The Committee is a body of independent experts which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the States Parties. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly resolution 61/106 of 13 Dec. 2006 and entered into force on 3 May 2008. Information about the Committee and it's work can be obtained by visiting the website.

The UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women
English, French & Spanish: http://webapps01.un.org/vaw/home.action
In December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a comprehensive resolution calling for an intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and requesting the Secretary-General to establish a coordinated database on the extent, nature and consequences of all forms of violence against women, and on the impact and effectiveness of policies and programmes for, including best practices in, combating such violence. The database was launched on 5 March 2009.

Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme:
A Handbook for Civil Society

A new guide for civil society actors has been issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The handbook explains how the different United Nations human rights mandates and mechanisms work, and how members of civil society, such as human rights defenders, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, can engage with them most effectively. 

Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction to UN Assistance to Myanmar (UNPOS)
Report: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/retrieveattachments?openagent&shortid=JBRN-7PLHXR&file=Full_Report.pdf
Summary: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/JBRN-7PLHXR?OpenDocument
The UN has been present in Myanmar through a number of agencies since the country gained its independence in 1948.

International Law

Khmer Rouge Trials
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
English, French & Khmer: http://www.eccc.gov.kh/
The first trial of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has commenced in February 2009. The ECCC is an independent court created by the United Nations and Cambodia to try those responsible for legal violations during Khmer Rouge rule.
United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials

Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Arabic, English & French: http://www.stl-tsl.org/
English: http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/lebanon/tribunal/
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was officially opened on 1 March 2009. The Tribunal is an independent, judicial organization with a mandate to prosecute persons responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 resulting in the death of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and in the death or injury of other persons.