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UNRIC Library Newsletter - March 2012

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - March 2012
New information material
New titles
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New Websites within the UN System

UN in General

Human Rights Council – redesigned website
The new website , launched on 22 February 2012, provides extensive information for  the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, including the list of dignitaries addressing the high-level segment; the reports being presented at the session; themes and countries to be discussed during the session; the four-week schedule for the session; information on nine panel discussions to be held; the draft resolutions and decisions and oral statements.

Progress status of the digitization of United Nations documents  
The UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library is collaborating with the Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva in digitizing pre-1993 UN documents. Documents in the six official languages are scanned, processed for full text retrieval, and uploaded to the UN Official Documents System (ODS). The website will be updated regularly and the current list shows the progress as of end of January 2012.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: South Sudan (updated version)
html version:
pdf version:
The first version of this backgrounder – issued in July 2011 - focused on the independence and admission to UN membership. The updated version includes information from August 2011 onwards.


Peace and Security

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Guidance for Mediators (DPA)
The United Nations is enlisting its peace envoys in stepped-up efforts by the organization to combat the scourge of sexual violence in warfare, unveiling new guidelines to help mediators address the problem in peace agreements and cease-fires. The new guidance by the Department of Political Affairs will be issued to all UN mediators and mission chiefs and incorporated in training and briefing materials for envoys and their teams. Key principles for mediators include an obligation to engage parties in discussion on this issue and to work towards firm commitments in peace accords to cease all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. The guidelines also require sexual violence to be included in the definition of acts covered by a ceasefire and monitored for.

Conflict-related sexual violence: Report of the Secretary-General (A/66/657–S/2012/33, 13 January 2012)
English, French & Spanish:
The annual United Nations report documenting conflict-related sexual violence around the world today for the first time names some of the military forces, militia and other armed groups that are suspected of being among the worst offenders. The groups listed in the report include the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in South Sudan, armed militia groups and former armed forces in Côte d’Ivoire, and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The report provides examples of how sexual violence has threatened security and impeded peacebuilding in post-conflict situations, such as in Chad, CAR, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and how it has been used in the context of elections, political strife and civil unrest in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya and Syria, among others.


Economic & Social Development

AIDS Dependency Crisis: Sourcing African Solutions (UNAIDS)
The past decade has seen a remarkable transformation across the African Continent—an expression of hard-earned progress and promise even in the midst of a global financial crisis. This is an era of unprecedented economic growth, socially sustainable gains and strong African leadership. And today almost every country in Africa has a success story to tell, a story of lives saved through stopping new HIV infections and preventing AIDS-related deaths.

Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties: A Guidebook to Promote Women's Political Participation (UNDP)
English full length version, abridged version in English & French:  
This publication identifies targeted interventions for promoting the stronger presence and influence of women in political parties as well as advancing gender equality issues in party policies and platforms. The lessons learned and common strategies in this Guide are drawn mainly, but not exclusively, from 20 case studies that were commissioned by UNDP and conducted by NDI during 2009-2010. The entry points identified are designed to provide ideas for action for political parties, development assistance providers, party foundations, and CSOs in their work to support parties.

Guidance for partnerships with civil society, including people living with HIV and key populations (UNAIDS)
This document provides guidance on how The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), its Cosponsors and Secretariat (working at national, regional and global levels) should strengthen and operationalize meaningful and respectful partnership work with civil society. It should enable the UN to deliver the targets and elimination commitments agreed in the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

Progress on drinking water and sanitation: 2012 update (WHO / UNICEF)
The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the MDG 2015 deadline, according to a report issued on 6 March 2012 by UNICEF and WHO. Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells. The report says at the end of 2010 89% of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources. This is one per cent more than the 88% MDG target. It is estimated that by 2015 92% of the global population will have access to improved drinking water.

Releasing the Pressure: Water Resource Efficiencies and Gains for Ecosystem Services (UNEP / SEI)
Policy Brief on Main Findings:
This UNEP report, produced by researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), urges policymakers and resource managers to shift from the traditional focus on water productivity per unit of agricultural yield ("more per crop drop"), to a broader view of the concept, which would include ecosystems services.

Report on the World Manufacturing Production (UNIDO)
World manufacturing output grew by 4.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period of the previous year, the lowest quarterly growth rate in 2011. The two main economies that contributed to the ongoing growth were China and the United States. The world manufacturing output had an impressive start in the first quarter of 2011 indicating a recovery from the financial crisis of 2008-2009. However this process stalled since the second quarter, especially due to the deteriorated financial situation in the Euro-zone countries, according to a report released on 1 March 2012 by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World (UNICEF)
More than half of the world’s 7 billion people now live in urban areas. What does this mean for children? UNICEF has dedicated the 2012 edition of its flagship report to the situation of children growing up in urban settings. Cities are known to generate economic growth – but, as the report reveals, not all children are benefiting from urban expansion. In this increasingly urban world, the absence of a sustained focus on child rights means that some children are being left behind.

United Nations E-Government Survey 2012: E-Government for the People (UNDESA)
The 2012 edition examines the institutional framework for e-government and finds that the presence of a national coordinating authority can help overcome internal barriers and focus minds on integrated responses to citizen concerns – an important lesson for sustainable development actors.

WHO Global Report: Mortality Attributable to Tobacco
The report shows that five per cent of all deaths from communicable diseases worldwide and 14 per cent of deaths resulting from non-communicable illnesses among adults aged 30 and above were attributable to tobacco use.

World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education (UNESCO / UIS)
To mark International Women’s Day, UNESCO has published the World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education. It includes more than 120 maps, charts and tables featuring a wide range of sex-disaggregated indicators produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The Atlas enables readers to visualize the educational pathways of girls and boys in terms of access, participation and progression from pre-primary to tertiary education. It also illustrates the extent to which gender disparities in education have changed since 1970 and are shaped by factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education and fields of study. French and Spanish language editions are forthcoming.

World Water Development Report, 4th edition  (UNESCO)
Volume 1 - Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk:
Volume 2 - Knowledge Base:
Volume 3 - Facing the Challenges:
According to the Report, people in many parts of the world enjoy improved access to safe drinking water –86 per cent of the population in developing regions will have it by 2015. But there are still nearly one billion people without such access, and in cities the numbers are growing. Sanitation infrastructure is not keeping pace with the world’s urban population, which will almost double by 2050 to 6.3 billion people.  Today, more than 80 per cent of the world’s waste water is neither collected nor treated.


Human Rights

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OPIC)
Text of the Protocol:
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OPIC) was opened for signature on 28 February 2012 in Geneva. 20 States signed the Optional Protocol.

The Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations
The Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations is an information and educational outreach programme run by the United Nations Department of Public Information. The programme focuses on learning the lessons of the Rwanda genocide in order to help prevent similar acts in the future, as well as raising awareness of the lasting impact of genocide on the survivors and the challenges that they still face today.

Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter (A/HRC/19/59)
English, French, Spanish:
Globalized food systems and the spread of Western lifestyles has spawned an international public health disaster with over a billion people suffering from undernourishment while another billion remain overweight or obese, an independent United Nations expert warned. “Our food systems create sick people,” said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, as he presented his latest report on 6 March 2012 to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Briefing note “The World Trade Organization and the Post-Global Food Crisis Agenda: Putting Food Security First in the International Food System”:


Humanitarian Affairs

Protecting People Crossing Borders in the Context of Climate Change: Normative Gaps and Possible Approaches (UNHCR)
The report argues that while a relationship between climate change, environmental events and displacement/migration exists, direct causalities are difficult to establish. The paper analyses existing approaches to address cross-border displacement and migration at the domestic, regional and international levels as well as suggestions by private institutions.


International Law

International Criminal Court’s First Verdict
On 14 March 2012, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided unanimously that Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003.