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UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2011

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2011
New information material
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New Websites within the UN System

UN in General

United Nations Day - 24 October
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.
24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday

UN Department of Public Information (DPI) – new website
New, multilingual DPI website as news sources proliferate, stories "go viral" on social media and user-generated content spreads instantly around the world, public information and communication are ever more important to the United Nations.  There are sections on news, top issues and priorities, campaigns, partnerships, engaging
with the public, sharing knowledge and on DPI’s work with the media.  You can read about our work with civil society and NGOs, academia, students and young people, the arts and entertainment world and celebrities. There’s a “How To” section about visiting the UN and finding UN photos and documents.

UN in Focus No.10, October 2011:
“States seek agreement and action at UN General Assembly week”
This issue provides an overview of the Secretary-General’s forthcoming priorities and many of the international meetings and events that took place during the 19-24 September high-level week of the opening of this year’s General Assembly.
Earlier issues:


Peace and Security

Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia – official website
The Contact Group, or CGPCS, established 14 January 2009 pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 1851 (2008), is a voluntary, ad hoc international forum of approximately 70 countries, organizations and industry groups with a common interest in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and bringing to justice pirates and their financiers and facilitators. As the Contact Group does not have a standing secretariat, the Republic of Korea suggested the establishment of an official website during the 7th plenary session held in November 2010. The Contact Group website will serve as a cyber secretariat offering a sphere of communication for Contact Group participants; a database storing Contact Group documents and other piracy-related materials; and an information centre promoting the work of the Contact Group to the general public. The website will be jointly operated by the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States (Press release SC/10401-AFR/2257, 4 October 2011).

“The Global Reported Arms Trade” – new web platform
The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs launched on 18 October a ground-breaking web feature that provides increased transparency in the global arms trade. This web platform will make tracing the transfer of all arms imports and exports recorded in the UN Register of Conventional Arms user-friendly by presenting data in a searchable, easily accessible manner, providing a wealth of previously difficult-to-find information. This tool can be a valuable asset to an array of UN and Member State users, including Security Council arms embargo monitoring panels, which will be able to locate weaponry that was originally reported by the exporter. Information on military expenditures can also be collected. Anyone working on the nexus between security and development, security sector reform and transparency and corruption will benefit from this tool.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 August 2011 (DPI/1634/Rev.124, September 2011)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 31 August 2011 (DPI/2166/Rev.98, September 2011)


Economic & Social Development

2011 Afghan Opium Survey: Summary findings (UNODC)

Opium poppy-crop cultivation in Afghanistan reached 131,000 hectares in 2011, 7 per cent higher than in 2010, due to insecurity and high prices. Afghanistan suffers from one of the highest rates of opiate consumption in the world with a current prevalence rate of 2.65 per cent. In 2005, the prevalence rate of opiate use was 1.4 per cent. The country also faces an HIV epidemic among the country's injecting drug

2011 Global Study on Homicide: Trends, Contexts, Data (UNODC)
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released its first Global Study on Homicide, which shows that young men, particularly in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Central and Southern Africa, are at greatest risk of falling victim to intentional homicide but that women are at greatest risk of murder owing to domestic violence. There is evidence of rising homicide rates in Central America and the Caribbean, which are "near crisis point", according to the Study.

Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals - MDG Report 2011 (UNDP)
African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards. According to the report, national schemes, such as pensions, safety nets and school feeding programmes, can impact positively on several MDGs by addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, providing them with labour market skills and safeguards against relapses into poverty.

Global Drylands: A UN system-wide response (UNEP)
Key findings:
Further information:
According to the report, increased investment in drylands, strengthened links between science and policy, and diversified livelihoods for communities to relieve pressure on natural resources are among the solutions to realize the potential of drylands. It sets out a common vision and agenda for UN-wide action on drylands management and the UN's role in addressing climate change and food security through a positive development and investment approach.

Global Employment Trends for Youth: 2011 Update - October 2011 (ILO)
One year later, with an environment of growing uncertainty in the economic recovery and recovery in the job market, the International Labour Organization (ILO) revisits youth labour market figures. Are prospects for youth employment better or worse than predicted? What has changed, where and why?

Global Tuberculosis Control 2011 (WHO)
Summary in French:
This 16th global report on tuberculosis (TB) provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care  and control at global, regional and country levels using data reported by 198 countries that account for over 99% of the world’s TB cases.

Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development (UNCTAD)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The Report shows that the potential of leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) to develop the private sector is far from fully exploited.It finds that many national and donor strategies related to PSD currently fail to take adequate account of the ICT potential, which has greatly expanded thanks to changes in the global ICT landscape. The Report then makes policy recommendations on how to remedy this situation.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011 (FAO)
The report highlights the differential impacts that the world food crisis of 2006-08 had on different countries, with the poorest being most affected. While some large countries were able to deal with the worst of the crisis, people in many small import-dependent countries experienced large price increases that, even when only temporary, can have permanent effects on their future earnings capacity and ability to escape poverty.

Trade and Employment: From Myths to Facts (ILO / EC)
This publication is the outcome of a joint project of the European Commission and the International Labour Office. It contributes to promoting the advancement of employment, decent work and social cohesion in developing countries by assisting policy makers and social partners in anticipating and addressing the effects of trade reforms on employment.

World Resources Report 2010-2011: Decision Making in a Changing Climate (UNDP / UNEP / World Bank / World Resources Institute)
WRR 2010-2011 is a major new resource to help developing country national-level officials make decisions that support communities and economic sectors to become more climate resilient. Based on input from more than 100 experts in 36 countries, the report offers strategies and innovative case studies to inform how to integrate climate change risks into national policies and planning.

YouthXchange Guidebook on Climate Change and Lifestyles (UNESCO / UNEP)
This new guidebook explores the links between climate change and lifestyles and helps young people consider the actions they might take towards more sustainable lifestyles. Aimed at young  people (15-24 year olds) and people working with young people such as educators, teachers, trainers and youth leaders in both developed and developing countries, this guidebook provides  scientific, political, economic, social, ethical and cultural perspectives on climate change.


Human Rights

Children and Justice During and in the Aftermath of Armed Conflict
Children’s access to justice in conflict and post conflict situations is the focus of this UN publication launched in September 2011 during the session of the UN Human Rights Council. Produced by the office of the UN Special Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the working paper examines how children who have suffered grave violations during armed conflict can access justice and how the current system deals with child victims and witnesses. It also explores the responsibility of children who were associated with armed forces and have committed violations during armed conflicts.

International Year for People of African Descent 2011 - Electronic toolkit
On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent. The Year aims at strengthening national action and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent. An electronic toolkit was designed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in order to assist its staff around the world tackle issues related to the situation of people of African descent, during the International Year and beyond.

Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghan Custody (UNAMA)
A new United Nations report released on 10 October 2011 cites evidence of the “systematic” torture and mistreatment of detainees in Afghan detention facilities, including of children, and provides recommendations which it hopes will spur the necessary reforms. The report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is the result of extensive interviews from October 2010 to August 2011 of 379 pre-trial detainees and convicted prisoners at 47 facilities of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Afghan National Police (ANP) in 22 provinces.

UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has developed a human trafficking case law database to provide immediate, public access to officially documented instances of this crime. The database contains details on victims' and perpetrators' nationalities, trafficking routes, verdicts and other information related to prosecuted cases from across the world. In doing so, it provides not only mere statistics on numbers of prosecutions and convictions, but also the real-life stories of trafficked persons as documented by the courts. The database aims to assist judges, prosecutors, policy-makers, media researchers and other interested parties by making available details of real cases with examples of how the respective national laws in place can be used to prosecute human trafficking. At its launch, more than 150 selected cases from over 30 countries and two regional courts have been uploaded, with an additional 100 cases from over a dozen states to be added in the coming months.


Humanitarian Affairs

Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, First Half 2011 (UNHCR)

Industrialized countries saw a 17 per cent increase in asylum applications in the first half of this year. The report shows that 198,300 asylum applications were lodged in the period between January 1 and June 30, compared to 169,300 in the same period in 2010.

Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2011: Revealing Risk, Redefining Development ((ISDR)
English, French & Spanish:
The Report is the second biennial global assessment of disaster risk reduction prepared in the context of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)

Safety and security for national humanitarian workers: Annex I to “To Stay and Deliver: Good Practice for Humanitarians in Complex Security Environments” (OCHA)
Despite overall improvements in aid agencies’ security risk management, national aid workers perceive continued inequities in security support compared with their international counterparts. National aid workers, while less subject to major attacks per capita than international aid workers, nevertheless form the majority of victims, and their security needs require attention.