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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2012

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

UN in General

General Assembly Committee on Information – 34th session
The Committee on Information is responsible for overseeing the work of the Department of Public Information and for providing it guidance on policies, programmes and activities of the Department. Its Chairman, Mr. Eduardo Ulibarri of Costa Rica, will preside over the 34th Session (23 April - 4 May 2012) and its general debate scheduled (23 - 25 April 2012).

Policy guidelines for the development and promotion of open access (UNESCO)
UNESCO issued this publication to demystify the concept of Open Access (OA) and to provide concrete steps on putting relevant policies in place. Building capacities in Member States for Open Access is a necessary but not sufficient condition for promotion of the concept. Creating an enabling policy environment for OA is therefore a priority.
This publication will serve the needs of OA policy development at the government, institutional and funding agency level. The overall objective of the Policy Guidelines is to promote Open Access in Member States by facilitating understanding of all relevant issues related to Open Access.  The guidelines are not prescriptive in nature, but are suggestive to facilitate knowledge-based decision-making to adopt OA policies and strengthen national research systems.

Security Council - The Situation in the Middle East: Syria
(UN Pulse, 23 April 2012)
Further UN Pulse entries on Syria:


Peace and Security

The Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity (UNESCO)
Over the last decade, more than 500 journalists and media workers have been killed worldwide, with many more wounded or threatened while carrying out their professional responsibilities. In 2011 alone, 62 journalists were killed.

Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1540 (2004) – redesigned website
On 28 April 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
In 2011, the Security Council requested the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) to continue to institute transparency measures and activities, including by making the fullest possible use of its website.  The upgraded website offers new elements to render it more user-friendly, informative and interactive. The content of the site is now organized according to the four main areas of the 1540 Committee’s work:  implementation; assistance; cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations; and transparency and outreach. Multimedia resources will allow users to find a variety of sources for information on the work and activities of the 1540 Committee.  Users now have the option of receiving real-time information on new website content.

United Nations actions to address the threat and impact of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
This is fact sheet, prepared on 5 April 2012 by the UN's Integrated Task Force (ITF) on the LRA, chaired by the Department of Political Affairs, and it describes the work of the United Nations to address this threat from multiple angles, including the political, peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian and development fronts.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 March 2012 (DPI/1634/Rev.131, April 2012)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 31 March 2012 (DPI/2166/Rev.105, April 2012)


Economic & Social Development

GLAAS 2012 Report: UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water
While access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has considerably improved globally, services coverage could slip behind if adequate resources are not secured to sustain routine operations, warns the 2012 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water – or “GLAAS” – released on 12 April 2012 by WHO and UN-Water. The report calls for additional and more targeted resources, especially for routine operation and maintenance of existing systems and services.

The Global Outlook on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Policies (UNEP / European Commission)
Executive Summary:
The report is a collection of case studies and best practices ranging from global multilateral agreements and regional strategies to specific policies and initiatives being implemented by Governments, businesses and civil society organizations. It also identifies examples of effective policies and initiatives being implemented worldwide.

Releasing the Pressure: Water Resource Efficiencies and Gains for Ecosystem Services (UNEP)
This new report – released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - discusses the need to balance short-term water productivity gains, in particular in agriculture with the long-term role that water flows provide for maintaining sustainable landscape ESS, and serving multiple benefits to human well-being.

Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement;Cr=nutrition&Cr1=
The global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement continues to gain momentum on 10 April with the convening of 27 leaders committed to advancing the strength and security of nations by improving maternal and child nutrition. This influential group, appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to represent the many countries, organizations and sectors working to improve nutrition, will serve as strategic guides for this global Movement.

World Economic Outlook: Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain, April 2012 (IMF)
The prospects for the global economy are slowly improving, but growth is expected to be weak, especially in Europe, according to a United Nations-backed report released on 17 April 2012. The “2012 World Economic Outlook”, published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), added that unemployment in many advanced economies will stay high.

World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision (DESA)
According to the report, Africa and Asia will lead urban population growth in next 40 years.
Africa’s urban population will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion by 2050 while that of Asia will soar from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion.


Human Rights

1992 – 2012 United Nations Declaration on Minority Rights
Every country has national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities within its borders. Persons belonging to minorities aspire to participate in the public, social, economic, cultural and religious life of the societies in which they live, on an equal footing with the rest of the population. Twenty years ago, UN Member States adopted unanimously the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, an acknowledgment that a gap existed in minority rights protection. This gap persists today. The Minority Rights Declaration established that States have an obligation to acknowledge and promote the rights of minorities to enjoy their own cultures and identities, to profess and practice their own religions and use their own languages. The Declaration ushered in a new era for minority rights. It sets essential standards for protection and offers guidance to States as they seek to realize the human rights of minorities.

Managing Gender-based Violence Programmes in Emergencies: E-learning Companion Guide (UNFPA)   
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has released this new companion guide to its Free E-Learning Course ( for professionals who are working to address Gender Based Violence in humanitarian contexts. The e-learning course uses problems that practitioners currently face and case scenarios from real-life humanitarian contexts to guide learning. Integrated throughout the modules are videos, learning activities and quizzes that both engage the learner, and support participants’ varying learning styles. The new companion guide not only covers all of the content in the e-learning, but also provides new case studies, sample tools, best practices, and activities.

Universal Human Rights Index – updated database
English, French, Spanish:
The updated Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI) database is “one of the most important human rights research tools that has been created in the past twenty years,” according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. This comprehensive database is the only online tool, which brings together human rights recommendations from all parts of the UN system.” Since December 2010, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is fully responsible for updating and further developing the Index, which had initially been developed by the Swiss authorities. The UHRI database carries information dating back to 2000. Following its restructure, almost all of the documents dating from 2011 on are available in all six UN languages, and can be accessed by people with disabilities using technologies like screen readers. Additionally, each document now links to other related information in the database, which makes browsing easier. A major inclusion in the updated UHRI is the new search function for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a regular review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Each State is assessed every four and a half years by a working group, made up of representatives from all 47 member states of the Human Rights Council. The recommendations from the UPR are available on the database and can now be searched by country, by individual human right, by affected groups of people, and more. This information can then be easily cross-referenced with assessments from other UN bodies, so that users can get a very detailed picture of the human rights situations of all of Member States. With the second round of the UPR about to commence, the High Commissioner has expressed her hope that the increased transparency and functionality provided by the UHRI database will encourage better prioritization and implementation of recommendations to improve States’ human rights. (Press release, 23 April 2012)


Humanitarian Affairs

Response to the Horn of Africa Emergency: A continuing crisis threatens hard-won gains; Regional six-month Progress Report - April 2012 (UNICEF)
Despite significant progress in the food security outlook for the Horn of Africa, the child survival crisis is far from over. Millions of children require sustained assistance in the critical months ahead.