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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2009

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2009
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UN in General

Budget ordinaire – guide de recherche
A special chapter on the UN regular budget has been added to the Research Guide in French. The major budget documents and the key UN bodies related to the programme planning and budget process are introduced; the chapter also provides symbol patterns for documents and search tips for the major UN databases.

ECOSOC President's Corner
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) website has launched a President's Corner. The new site presents information about the key issues on the ECOSOC agenda and includes an online lecture series featuring the views of policy- and decision-makers on the issues.

Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food, 6 April 2009, United Nations Headquarters
English: http://www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/globalfoodcrisis.shtml
French: http://www.un.org/french/ga/president/63/interactive/food_crisis.shtml

Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, 25-27 March 2009, United Nations Headquarters
English: http://www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/worldfinancialcrisis.shtml
French: http://www.un.org/french/ga/president/63/interactive/world_financialcrisis.shtml
Spanish: http://www.un.org/ga/president/63/interactive/worldfinancialcrisis.shtml
The interactive thematic dialogue is conceived as part of the preparatory process for the upcoming International Conference on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Development, to be held 1-3 June at UN Headquarters in New York. It is also seen as a means to provide information and analysis useful for coordination with other on-going processes related to the financial and economic crisis.

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food- new website
English, French, Spanish: http://www.srfood.org/
The Special Rapporteur on the Right to food, Olivier De Schutter, has launched a new website that will have the official reports, other documents, and the calendar of activities related to the right to food.

Strategic Framework 2010-2011 (A/63/6/Rev.1)
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/63/6/Rev.1(Supp)
The Strategic framework for the period 2010-2011 has been released (A/63/6/Rev.1). The report outlines the strategic direction for the organization for 2010-2011 which includes the following priorites:

  • Promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and recent United Nations conferences;
  • Maintenance of international peace and security;
  • Development of Africa;
  • Promotion of human rights;
  • Effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts;
  • Promotion of justice and international law;
  • Disarmament;
  • Drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

World Digital Library
UNESCO and 32 partner institutions launched the World Digital Library (WDL), a web site that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world, at UNESCO Headquarters on 21 April. The site includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, and prints and photographs. The WDL was developed by a team at the Library of Congress with technical assistance provided by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Alexandria, Egypt. It functions in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – and includes content in more than forty languages.

Peace & Security

Contingent Owned Equipment Manual 2008 (A/C.5/63/18)
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/C.5/63/18
The 2008 edition of the Manual on Policies and Procedures Concerning the Reimbursement and Control of Contingent-Owned Equipment of Troop/Police Contributors Participating in Peacekeeping Missions (COE Manual) was issued (A/C.5/63/18). The Manual details the procedures authorized by the General Assembly for determining reimbursement to Member States for contingent-owned equipment.

International Nuclear Information System (INIS) – free access
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is making its International Nuclear Information System (INIS) available for free to Internet users around the world. INIS is the world’s leading database on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

Supporting victims of terrorism
Report: http://www.un.org/terrorism/pdfs/UN%20Report%20on%20Supporting

Video: http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/specialevents/2008/se080909_clip.rm
A new report and video summarize the key themes and recommendations of the Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism, held 9 September 2008. The report calls for legal, emotional and financial support for victims of terrorism and for a closer examination of the link between victims and counter-terrorism efforts.

UN Documentation Research Guide: Disarmament
A new special “Disarmament Chapter” has been added to the United Nations Documentation: Research Guide. The chapter introduces the main UN bodies and the major UN documentation in the area of disarmament. It also includes information about the outcomes of the General Assembly's special sessions on disarmament.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Background Note: 31 March 2009 (DPI/1634/Rev.95)
English: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/bnote.htm
French: http://www.un.org/french/peace/peace/bnote.htm

United Nations Political and Peacekeeping Missions – Background Note: 31 March 2009 (DPI/2166/Rev.70)
English: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/ppbm.pdf
French: http://www.un.org/french/peace/peace/ppbmf.pdf

Economic & Social Development

Global Green New Deal (UNEP)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had issued a policy brief on a Global Green New Deal. According to the announcement, the Global Green New Deal,
"has three broad objectives. In the short term, it should make a major contribution to reviving the world economy, saving and creating jobs, and protecting vulnerable groups. In the medium term, it should promote sustainable and inclusive growth and the achievement of the MDGs, especially ending extreme poverty by 2025. Also in the medium term, it must reduce carbon dependency and ecosystem degradation – these are key risks along a path to a sustainable world economy."

Global Monitoring Report 2009 (World Bank)

The “Global Monitoring Report 2009: A Development Emergency” notes that the global financial crisis is imperiling attainment of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and creating an emergency for development. The report warns that, although the first goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 from its 1990 level is still reachable based on current projections, risks abound.

Human Rights & Climate Change (OHCHR Report, A/HRC/10/61)
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/HRC/10/61
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report on the relationship between climate change and human rights (A/HRC/10/61). The report discusses how observed and projected impacts of climate change have implications for the enjoyment of human rights and for the obligations of States under international human rights law. Chapter I is focused on the main features of climate change; Chapter II outlines implications of climate change for human rights; Chapter III relates the discussion of the impacts of climate change on human rights with relevant obligations under international human rights law; Chapter IV draws conclusions on the relationship between climate change and human rights.

Hunger and Markets (WFP)
Full text: http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/

Summary: http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/

The third volume in its World Hunger Series explores the relationship between markets and the availability of food, identifying sources of market failure in addressing hunger and highlighting methods for improvement.

ILO Global Job Crisis Observatory
What began as a crisis in finance markets has rapidly become a global jobs crisis. Unemployment is rising. The number of working poor is increasing. Businesses are going under. The ILOs' Decent Work Agenda provides the policy framework to confront the crisis. This website provides information on the employment and social impact of the crisis and policy responses.

Innowat (IFAD)
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has a new kit, “InnoWat: Water, innovations, learning and rural livelihoods”. The kit includes a summary of two approach papers that provide the rationale for the project; topic sheets; fact sheets; tool sheets; and case studies.  In light of the changing rural context within which poor rural people find themselves, the overall goal of InnoWat is essentially twofold:
  • strengthen IFAD capacity as a knowledge management broker for development partners interested in water and rural poverty; and
  • provide IFAD country programme managers with practical tools for project development, implementation and pro-poor, waterrelated interventions.

Online Inventory of UN System Activities on Climate Change
The inventory is intended to provide information on the wide array of activities underway throughout the UN system in response to the global climate change challenge. It was launched in March 2009 with an initial sample of activities and continues to be enriched with new and up-to-date information on a regular basis.

Sustainable Development ListServ (SD–L)
This is a free and moderated community communications tool for knowledge–sharing on sustainable development, has been launched by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in collaboration with DSD/DESA.

Urban World: Climate Change: Are cities really to blame? (UN-HABITAT)
UN-HABITAT has launched a new magazine, Urban World (annual), to replace its quarterly flagship publication, Habitat Debate.

WMO Statement on the Global Climate in 2008
English: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/documents/1039_en.pdf
French: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/documents/1039_fr.pdf
Spanish: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/documents/1039_es.pdf
This annual report – published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) - is a well-established source of information in the field of global warming. It signals that 2008 was one of the warmest year since 1850 and reports major weather and climate events recorded during the year like cyclones, flooding, droughts, etc.
Human Rights

African Women's Rights Observatory
The African Women’s Rights Observatory (AWRO), a joint initiative of UN Economic Commission for Africa and UNDP, will have an institutional framework that provides up-to-date information on the status of observance of African women’s rights. AWRO tracks the progress of African governments in fulfilling various commitments made to promote and protect women’s rights in Africa.

UNAMA-OHCHR report on arbitrary detention
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have issued a new report on Arbitrary Detention in Afghanistan. The report finds that Afghans are often detained without lawful reason and recommends a range of changes to laws and procedures of the criminal justice system in the country. 

Humanitarian Affairs

Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, 2008 (UNHCR)
The number of asylum seekers in the European Union increased in 2008 for the second year running, according to provisional statistics compiled by the UN refugee agency. The increase can partly be attributed to higher numbers of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Somalia and other countries in conflict. Although the number of Iraqi asylum seekers declined by 28 percent in 2008, Iraqis continued to be the largest nationality seeking asylum in the EU.

Protecting refugees and the role of UNHCR
The publication provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, such  as who are the refugees, how the refugees are protected, explains the differences between refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, economic migrants and internally displaced persons.

UNRWA 60th Anniversary
For its 60th anniversary this year, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has established a pilot webportal, “UNRWA at 60”, that details the agency's anniversary projects and events. UNRWA has also created a Twitter feed, twitter.com/unrwaat60, to provide short updates on the "UNRWA at 60" initiative.