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UNRIC Library Newsletter - May 2009

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - May 2009
New information material
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Redesigned Website of the United Nations
The redesigned UN website has been launched by DPI on 4 May 2009 in the 6 UN languages with a new structure, improved navigation and usability, and greater coherence. The site introduces a new branding concept and embodies the Organization’s priorities on multilingualism and web accessibility. The five thematic pages are colour-coded and serve as gateways to information on those themes.

UN in General

31st Session of the Committee on Information (UN Headquarters, 4-15 May 2009)
The General Assembly's Committee on Information examines UN public information policies and activities, evaluates and follows up efforts made and the progress achieved by the United Nations system in the field of information and communications; and promotes the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding.

General Assembly - Resolutions of the 63rd session
English, French & Spanish:
The first volume of the Resolutions and Decisions of the General Assembly at its 63rd session has been issued (A/63/49 (Vol. I)). This volume includes the resolutions adopted 16 September - 24 December 2008.

Global Model UN Conference (Geneva, 5-7 August 2009)
English & French:
The United Nations Department of Public Information is organizing the first annual Global Model United Nations Conference, which will be a simulation of General Assembly plenary sessions and the Assembly’s Main Committees. The theme of the 2009 conference will be “The Millennium Development Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty.

Interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on the "Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking" (13 May 2009, UN Headquarters)
The General Assembly held an interactive thematic dialogue: "Taking Collective Action to End Human Trafficking" convened by the President of the General Assembly at the request of Members States, in partnership with the members of UN.GIFT. The dialogue is based on the background paper of the Secretary-General on "Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons".

News Focus: Swine Influenza

United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development (UN Headquarters, 1-3 June 2009) - Date changed to 24-26 June 2009
This new website has been launched by the UN Department of Public Information. It provides background information leading to the conference, documents, statements, news and links to other sites. A moderated e-discussion on the Conference will also open very soon.
General Assembly President’s Website on the Conference

The United Nations is convening a three-day summit of world leaders from 1 – 3 June 2009 at UN Headquarters to assess the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. The aim is to identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations, and initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all Member States.

Peace & Security

"UNRWA at 60": A concept paper - Paying tribute to six decades of service and achievements

On 8 December 2009 UNRWA will be sixty years old. The paper introduces the rationale and ambitions for the project, the key messages, desired outcomes and objectives, and outlines the projects that will be developed.
Economic & Social Development

2009 Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction: risk and poverty in a changing climate (UNISDR)
The United Nations has launched the first global report uncovering how disaster risk is intensively concentrated in a very small portion of the earth’s surface and unevenly distributed. Based on more than 30 years of disaster data, the report highlights three main risk drivers that will be magnified by climate change and proposes 20 recommendations to help make the world safer.

Financial and economic crisis – new DESA webpage
The new webpage on the “Financial and economic crisis” focuses on the Department of Economic and Social Affair’s role in addressing the current situation through support of intergovernmental dialogue, research of macroeconomic trends and analysis of the impact of the crisis on social and sustainable development as well as gender issues. It also discusses what DESA can do in terms of capacity development and highlights the importance of having timely and consistent statistical data for monitoring economic conditions.

Food Aid Information System (WFP)
The World Food Programme (WFP) has posted its Food Aid Information System (FAIS) with its Policy Resources. The FAIS database contains comprehensive data on food aid flows and was developed to aid in the coordinated international response to food aid shortages.

Making the MDGs Work for All: Gender-Responsive Rights-Based Approaches to the MDGs (UNIFEM)
This new publication aims to assist states by suggesting a process for developing a gender-responsive rights-based national MDG reporting framework, and provides a sourcebook outlining issues, possible strategies, and long-term and intermediate targets and indicators.

Migration for Development - new inter-agency website in Brussels
The EC–UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) supports civil society organizations and local authorities seeking to contribute to linking migration and development. Implemented by UNDP in collaboration with IOM, ILO, UNFPA and UNHCR, the Joint Initiative also aims to 1) set up and reinforce networks of groups working on migration and development and 2) identify good practice in this field and share information on what actually works at the local and international level among those who are active in this area, with a view to 3) feeding into policy-making on migration and development.

National Human Development Report: Russian Federation, 2008 - Russia Facing Demographic Challenges (UNDP)
The report focuses on demographic challenges in Russia - such as low birth rate, low life expectancy, aging population, migration - and how these challenges affect economic and social aspects of the life, including education and health. Report was prepared by the UNDP Europe and CIS regional office and is also available in Russian.

A proposal for amendments to the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to its Article 3, paragraph 9 (UNFCCC)
The draft key Copenhagen negotiating text, which will form the basis of an ambitious and effective international response to climate change, to be agreed in Copenhagen in December, are now available on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Document on other related issues:

World Economic Outlook, April 2009: Crisis and Recovery (IMF)
The report, presents the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. It is usually prepared twice a year, as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities. 
Human Rights

Durban Review Conference outcome document

Anti-racism conference outcome document – what it actually says

Guide on Ratification: International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (OHCHR)
According to the new guide, "today, some 200 million people live outside their countries of birth or nationality" and that about "90 million migrants – persons living outside their country of origin for three months or more - are economically active, engaged in the world of work". Outside the countries of their nationalities, the international migrants, both men and women, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The guide promotes and encourages ratification of the Convention and two ILO Conventions on migration and employment and incorporation of these standards into national legislation. The Guide was prepared by the Steering Committee for the Campaign for Ratification of the Migrants Rights Convention. Implementation of Convention is monitored by the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

Human Rights Situation in Iraq
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued on 29 April 2009 its 14th report on the human rights situation in the country covering the period from July to December 2008. The report, produced in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, notes that although the period covered was characterised by further improvements in security, the overall human rights situation in Iraq remains a matter of concern. 

Humanitarian Affairs

Horn of Africa Crisis Report (UNHCR / OCHA / WFP)
Full text:$File/full_report.pdf
Many parts of the Horn of Africa (HOA) continue to suffer under a precarious security situation coupled with susceptibility to harsh climatic conditions. Sporadic violence and prolonged drought conditions continue to strain the coping mechanisms of millions of people in the region. An estimated 19.8 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the HOA.

Sichuan Earthquake: One Year Report - May 2009 (UNICEF)
Part I:
Part II:
One year after a devastating 8.0 Richter scale earthquake hit China's Sichuan province, extensive assistance from UNICEF is reaching some of the most vulnerable children and women in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. This new report outlines how UNICEF has assisted the Government of China in education, health, nutrition, clean water, sanitation, psychosocial support, child protection, HIV/AIDS and social policies for children.  

International Law

Diplomatic Conferences for treaties
This new website of the UN Office of Legal Affairs provides access to the official records of a series of diplomatic conferences, convoked by the United Nations in order to negotiate and adopt several treaties based on drafts worked out by the International Law Commission and considered by the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the General Assembly. The user is provided access by individual document, and the entire collection of proceedings is searchable in full-text format.

Expulsion of aliens (A/CN.4/611)
English, French & Spanish:
The fifth report on the expulsions of aliens, by Mr. Maurice Kamio, Special Rapporteur, has been issued for the consideration of the International Law Commission. The introduction summarizes some of the discussion on the fourth report on the expulsion of aliens and states that "the present report will pursue this study by considering, on the one hand, the limits relating to the obligation to respect the human rights of persons being expelled and, on the other, some practices that are prohibited by international law on expulsion."

United Nations Legal Publications

  • Global Search:
    Using this function you can search various legal publications or combination of publications or all the publications. Accessible are: ILC Documents (including Yearbooks), Proceedings of Diplomatic conferences, Summaries of ICJ judgments, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Repertory of Practice of UN Organs, UN Juridical Yearbook.
  • Searching individual publication categories:
    The following publications can be accessed individually through this site: Yearbook of the International Law Commission, United Nations Juridical Yearbook, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Summaries of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice, Proceedings of Diplomatic Conferences, UNCITRAL Yearbook UNCITRAL publications, Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Repertoire of Practice of the Security Council.