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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2009

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2009
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UN in General

The United Nations Today (DPI/2480, July 2008)
formerly known as "Basic Facts about the United Nations"

This publication has been posted in its entirety on the website for the United Nations Information Centres.

África y Naciones Unidas (UNIC Buenos Aires)
The UN Information Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina has produced a special feature in Spanish on the UN and Africa

Cyber Hate: Danger in Cyber Space (16 June 2009, UN Headquarters)
Webcast of the event:
Young people have unprecedented freedom to explore and learn about the world via the Internet, yet hateful online content and cyberbullying are a constant threat. Such harassment can have disastrous results including stress, poor grades, inability to cope with the pressure and even suicide. In the context of its Unlearning Intolerance Seminar Series, the United Nations Department of Public Information is organizing a seminar titled “Cyber Hate: Danger in Cyber Space”, which will explore the impact of hate-related discourse on the Internet and ways to counter it. The event will took place from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 16 June in Conference Room 2 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Security Council Documents 1946-1992
The Digitization Group of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library has completed the digitizing and uploading to the Official Document System (ODS) the English, French and Spanish versions of major Security Council documents from 1946-1992. The completion of this project is the first step in making all UN documents available in electronic format from 1946 to now.

Peace & Security

Board of Inquiry into incidents in Gaza Strip (A/63/855-S/2009/250)
English, French & Spanish:
A summary of the report of the UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry into certain incidents in the Gaza Strip between 27 December 2008 and 19 January 2009 has been issued (A/63/855-S/2009/250). The Board was established to look into nine incidents in which UN personnel, premises and operations were affected and it presented its full report to the Secretary-General in April. The Secretary-General's summary includes the eleven recommendations made by the Board in full, but the bulk of the report is summarized.

Electronic Legal Resources on International Terrorism (UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch)
Terrorism poses a major threat to international peace, security and stability. It is a scourge that threatens all countries and all people and therefore requires a global response. In an effort to help coordinate this response, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has created a comprehensive database containing counter-terrorism conventions, national criminal laws and case laws relevant to terrorism.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Background Note: 31 May 2009 (DPI/1634/Rev.97, June 2009)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions - Background Note: 31 May 2009 (DPI/2166/Rev.72, June 2009)

UNTSO 60th anniversary publication
(UN Truce Supervision Organization) (28.6MB, pdf file)
Economic & Social Development

Asset Recovery Guide: A Good Practices Guide for Non-conviction Based Asset Forfeiture (World Bank / UNODC)
Under the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative, the World Bank and UNODC have developed a guide for the seizure and forfeiture of stolen assets by corrupt leaders without the need for a criminal conviction. The World Bank estimates that public officials in developing countries have taken bribes amounting to between $20 billion and $40 billion a year, equivalent to between 20 and 40 per cent of official development assistance. Recovered assets could therefore provide much-needed funding for social programmes or infrastructure. However, developing countries lack asset forfeiture laws, as well as legal, investigative and judicial capacity. Developed countries, which is where the assets are hidden, may not be able to respond to their requests when legislation is not in place.

Give Girls a Chance: Tackling child labour, a key to the future (ILO)
Report in English:

Summary in French & Spanish:

This report provides an overview on the involvement of girls in child labour, and the policy responses required to tackle the problem. It provides global estimates on girls involvement in child labour, and looks at major sectors of work in which girls are involved.

In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement (UNU-EHS / CARE / CIESIN)
UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security, CARE International and Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network explores how climate change can push people to leave their homes in search of “greener pastures” … or just to survive. Policymakers and development actors need a better understanding of the linkages between environmental change, displacement and migration.

Machel study 10-year strategic review (UNICEF)

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in collaboration with UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) published Machel study 10-year strategic review: children and conflict in a changing world. The 1996 Machel Study (A/51/306 and Add.1) challenged the world to recognize that "war affects every right of the child." According to 2006 estimates, more than 1 billion children under the age of 18 were living in areas in conflict or emerging from war; around 300 million of them were under age five, and more than 18 million children were refugees or internally displaced.

Marine Litter: A Global Challenge (UNEP)
From discarded fishing gear to plastic bags to cigarette butts, a growing tide of marine litter is harming oceans and beaches worldwide, says a new report. The report, the first-ever attempt to take stock of the marine litter situation in the 12 major regional seas around the world, was launched on World Oceans Day by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ocean Conservancy.

The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment (UNEP)
This publication – released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - highlights failure and civil war in developing countries as some of the greatest risks to global peace and security.

World Drug Campaign Website (UNODC)
As part of its campaign to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs represents to society as a whole, especially to the young, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new website. The campaign website includes information on different types of drugs, from cannabis to methamphetamine, and health tips for parents, teachers and young people.

World Health Statistics 2009 (WHO)
English, French & Spanish:
World Health Statistics 2009 contains WHO's annual compilation of data from its 193 Member States, and includes a summary of progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals and targets. This edition also contains a new section on reported cases of selected infectious diseases.
Human Rights

Human Rights Council - 11th special session on Sri Lanka
On 26 May 2009 the Human Rights Council held its 11th special session to address the human rights consequences of the conflict in Sri Lanka. The special session took place following a request by Germany on behalf 17 members of the Human Rights Council, including Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Mauritius, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Humanitarian Affairs

2008 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum-seekers, Returnees, Internally Displaced and Stateless Persons (UNHCR report)
This annual UNHCR's report shows the number of people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide stood at 42 million at the end of last year amid a sharp slowdown in repatriation and more prolonged conflicts resulting in protracted displacement. The total includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million people uprooted within their own countries.

Poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory 2007 (UNRWA)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has released a briefing paper, Poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory 2007, designed to aid UNRWA in understanding the economic impacts of the tumultuous conditions of 2007. The paper includes information on trends, poverty by region, and the effectiveness of external assistance.  

International Law


ICC Legal Tools
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has developed a new set of Legal Tools for researching international criminal law and cases. The Legal Tools are essentially an electronic library of 40,000 searchable documents available to the general public.

ICTR Completion Strategy assessments (S/2009/247)
English, French & Spanish:
The assessments of the President and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on the implementation of the completion strategy of the Tribunal have been transmitted (S/2009/247). The report provides an overview of the case load and the challenges faced by the Tribunal. Annexes provide the status of cases completed and at various stages of completion.

ICTY Completion Strategy assessments (S/2009/252)
English, French & Spanish:
The assessments of the President and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on the implementation of the completion strategy of the Tribunal have been transmitted (S/2009/252). The report provides an overview of each case pending, the cooperation of the states of the former Yugoslavia, and the steps taken to complete the work of the Tribunal.

“Rotterdam Rules” site (UNCITRAL)



The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has created a new website dedicated to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (a.k.a. the "Rotterdam Rules") adopted by General Assembly resolution 63/122. The site includes links to the certified true copy of the convention, travaux préparatoires information, statements, a bibliography, and more.